A Response to Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks
1. In The Wealth of Networks, Benkler describes the “Babel objection” as being a first generation internet argument. I agree with Benkler that positive communities have derived as a result of the internet, but were there studies done negating the Babel objection? There are still examples of open forums that are driven by anonymity, such as sites derived from the now non-existent Juicy Campus. Such sites transformed into public bashing arenas and gossip forums with no constructive contribution regarding the college intended to be profiled. Have there been studies on the psychology behind contributors to these sites?
2. Benkler gives examples of media “decentralizing the capital structure of production and distribution of information, culture, and knowledge,” (Benkler 30). The internet is an obvious example, but I enjoyed his example of Martin Luther’s disputations being capable of distribution due to print. Does Benkler project the future media capable of such radical shifts? Could this be the extension of transmedia?
3. Benkler states individuals “buy” time to use the internet buy watching less television. (Benkler 364) Have there been studies to support this? Has increased TV to internet interactivity, such as Bravo TV’s audience engagement, really decreased the amount of time people watch television?