= Legba Carrefour Responds To David Nassar And Nathan Freitas | Digital Nation | FRONTLINE | PBS
digital nation - life on the virtual frontier

Legba Carrefour responds to David Nassar and Nathan Freitas


Legba Carrefour

The abstraction question is a pretty good one as is the comment from
David about authenticity. The thing is, I don't know if you can say
that multiplicity really ensures authenticity.

It's pretty easy to swarm parts of the network with junk information.
There's an analogy here with social media's impact on music

A music critic named Christopher R. Weingarten went on this pretty
epic rant at the 140 Character Conference about how real-time social
media is effectively gutting any value in music journalism. He starts
off by quoting a music aggregation site called Hype Machine's about

"We handpick a set of kickass music blogs and then present what they
discuss for easy analysis, consumption and discovery. Rather than
picking and writing about music ourselves, we think a select group of
passionate people can do a better job, so we amplify their posts and
the audio they choose. This group will produce more vibrant culture
and conversation than a huge social mob, or a rigid hierarchy of

Weingarten goes on to say that people who use aggregators think they
are getting some kind of alternative view when the reality is that
they're getting a pre-packaged lowest-common-denominator set of
information that serves no other purpose than consumption.

His rant is pretty amazing and has direct relevance on this conversation.

So I'm not always enthused by the idea of a huge social mob that
dictates conversation--that just displaces discussion from actual
humans right back to a top down media model. It's one-way broadcast
communication like corporate media, the only difference being that the
corporate media can get free labor from a crowdsourced pool of people.

It's a fine line between the zeitgeist of a grassroots social fabric
and the death of discourse through search engine optimization.

Here's where he goes off:

posted February 2, 2010

FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of wgbh educational foundation.
web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation

Series funding by: Macarthur Foundation
Park Foundation
and Viewers Like You.

Digital Nation is brought to you by the Verizon Foundation

Verizon Foundation