Q: Is interactivity worth the price?
It may not bring in much ad revenue (yet) and it may take effort (but less than creating content), but if you treat interactivity — and the people who do it — with respect, good things will come of it: content, improvement, promotion, respect.
You cannot afford not to interact.
The net is a tool, everyone gets to use it in some way or another and, since everyone takes care of their own information needs through it, it scales. Most importantly of all, content is a by-product of the net, you can't have a chicken without giblets, but they aren't the main course.
Meanwhile, PEW has come up with a confirmation of Reed's law; apparently the net is how we increasingly maintain and expand our relationships, find communities of interest, seek help and stay in touch with family. Who knew that a group forming networks would form groups? (Juts for the hell of it I Googled "David Reed's Group Forming Networks". Guess who came up top of the list? LOL)
And thanks to Jerry Michalski for the pointer to a thoughtful editorial in today's New York Times,
Verlyn Klinkenborg describes his addiction to email. Rather than ranting about the email flood, as email volumes these days would justify, he compares it to the postal service and examines how it's all affected his life. I especially like this paragraph:
I think of e-mail as a continuing psychology experiment that studies the effect on humans of abrupt, frequently repeated stimuli — often pleasurable, sometimes not, but always with the positive charge that comes from seeing new mail in the inbox. So far, the experiment has revealed, in me, the synaptic responses of a squirrel.
It is a truism of our time that we now have shorter attention spans than ever before. I don't think that is true. What we have now are electronic media that can pulse at the actual rate of human thought. We have the distinct discomfort of seeing our neural pace reflected in the electronic world around us.
Yes, I like that, the reflection of our neural pace in the world about us. Is it a good thing? Who knows, but damn its fascinating, a little like living inside a collective mind.
For years now I have said that what this technology is doing is to rewire our thinking processes, literally changing the minds with which we think. I have no reason to revisit that. And in fact it looks to me that confirmations are coming more quickly than ever.