After reading Nicholas Carr’s blog about Web 2.0, it reminds me again of how much technology has changed our lives, and how many jobs are being lost because of computers and the internet. Machines have replaced people on the assembly lines and now amateurs with a netbook are replacing professionally trained writers who research for years to get all the [correct] details into an encyclopedia.
Jeff Howe also explored the concept of crowdsourcing and how it affects professionals. His first example was that of photography, and how amateur photography has practically trumped professional photography, simply because you can find “quality” material online, either free, or for a very minimal price.
The idea of crowdsourcing is scary for me personally. My dream job is to host a radio show – but with satellite radio becoming more popular, and podcasts available for free online, what am I going to be left to do? Traditional radio could disappear because some highschooler on his laptop records a weekly gossip show and posts it online for free.
At the same time, this rapid gathering of information, posted by all sorts of people, could help me in my position (if it still exists). I can get multiple angles and get them quickly, and in turn broadcast them to my listeners. And the people I get the information from might not even be professionals…
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I want to trust who I get my information from, just like Carr. I want to know that the facts I have a correct the first time I relay them. I think that these “open source encyclopedias” will eventually hold us back, which is unfortunate, because they seem to be winning out over trusted, professional sources – and why? Just because they’re free.