Mass Culture 2.0

June 21, 2007

This month, Encyclopedia Britannica’s blog is serializing a commentary on the cultural effects of Web 2.0. The author, Michael Gorman, is dean of library services at California State University at Fresno and a former president of the American Library Association.About two years ago, Gorman published a memorable essay in Library Journal. In it, he referred to “the Blog People,” expressing doubt that they were “in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts.” The immediate occasion for this remark was the public reception of one of Gorman’s own complex texts, about which uncomplimentary things had been said by bloggers (some of them, in fact, being his colleagues in the library world). “It is entirely possible,” he continued, “that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs.”

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