Friday, August 20, 2010

PL 61/10: Participatory culture

Filed under: future — plinius @ 6:01 am

The social division of labor is changing.

As a civic institution the public library is moving away from a place centered on books to a place centered on activities. These activities are increasingly social and digital:

  • collective or group-oriented rather than purely individual
  • multi-medial and interactive rather than straight reading or listening

The new MacArthur report on participatory culture describes the new environment pretty well.

A participatory culture is a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby experienced participants pass along knowledge to novices.

In a participatory culture, members also believe their contributions matter and feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least, members care about others’ opinions of what they have created).

The whole report is published on the web:

For ease of reference I have reproduced the executive summary (released under a CC license) on Google Docs.



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