<CPOV> Welcome --> Conditions for the Possibility of CPOV?

Geert Lovink geert at xs4all.nl
Mon Mar 15 10:14:36 CET 2010

On 12 Mar 2010, at 5:04 PM, Jon Awbrey wrote:

> | What are the conditions for the possibility
> | of critical points of view arising, surviving,
> | and thriving on the Web?

CPOV is about Wikipedia (and it is not...). The Web is a lot, these  
days. The prime condition, in my view, would be lively communities of  
people who care, who are prepare to fight and argue, who believe that  
stuff matters. We have to fight indifference. This is why, in the end,  
we of the cpov initiative believed that we should indeed have a list  
like this. We cannot not presume that communities exist and do their  
(good) work. Not even this one. Social ties as defined by Facebook,  
Studi-VZ, Hyves and others will not do the job. In the case of  
Wikipedia the question for me would be if it is possible to build up a  
critical discourse outside of the small Western white male geek core  
that makes out the Wikimedia foundation. Wikipedia as a unique project  
deserves it to be more open, more diverse. But this will not fall out  
of the skies. There is a user culture that needs to be changed. We  
need better wiki software (a major update, please!), better interfaces  
and more contemporary multimedia content. First and foremost, the  
moderators will have to stop their harsh treatments of first  
contributors. We need to train students, academics and professionals  
to become regular contributors. This is all critical work to me.  
Debates will have to be encouraged. What the net needs right now is a  
rich discussion culture. Less insults and extreme opinions, more  
rhetorics. There is an art of debating, and projects like Wikipedia  
can help us to (re-)establish it.


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