The debate over participatory media as outlined by Lanier and Fake seems to have two contrasting viewpoints. One side, Lanier, argues that digital collectivism produces dull, lifeless work. Fake summarizes Lanier’s argument saying, “The self-proclaimed ‘father of VR‘ believes that people who don’t get credit or compensation for their work are lesser, humiliated beings without dignity.” Participatory Media and Why I Love it (and Must Defend It)
Lanier is concerned that this move towards large scale user generated content is lowering the value of the internet. He said, “We shouldn’t want the whole world to take on the quality of having been designed by a committee. When you have everyone collaborate on everything, you generate a dull, average outcome in all things. You don’t get innovation.” World Wide Mush
Fake on the other hand, is a staunch supporter of internet gems such as, “Wikipedia, Flickr, Delicious, Facebook, Twitter, Hunch.” She sees past Lanier’s argument that content is worthless if it can not be used to bolster the author’s ego or make the author money.
I agree with Fake in this debate. The internet is a tool that can be used by anyone around the world. The appeal of the world wide web is the fact that it is an open forum for people to share their ideas, pictures, videos, songs, or whatever form of media they choose. Does Lanier think that our class blog is just another piece of web mush? To berate and belittle the actions of the guy who created The Evolution Of Dance Video, or blogs like Broslikethissite.com is to go against one of the fundamental functions of the internet and an inherently flawed debate.