Tim Berners-Lee, the British physicist inventor of the World Wide Web, recently inveighed against social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In, calling it a threat to the open culture of the Web. The world of social media indeed resembles the mid-1990s online world that was contemporary with Lynx and Mosaic. Today's Web 2.0 world, dominated by Google, Facebook, and others, is often populated by online walled gardens. Fundamentally, the world of wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter has forced traditional publishers to shift from a mode of broadcast to one of dialogue. Commercial publishers are unlikely to be as puristic about the principles of the Web as its inventor. But the groundswell from online communities, whether walled or not, will continue to challenge them to be more innovative and responsive to customer needs. At the very least, they need to actively manage their representation in social media.
NEWSBYTES BRIAN M C KENNA continued from page 12 I Gale, a part of Cengage
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