The machine is still changing

I was wilfing – it’s what tired people in front of a screen with an Internet connection tend to do.

I went back to my YouTube favourites, and found that I had favourited this video, over three years ago. Unbeknown to me, it was an important personal milestone: it recorded my growing interest in web 2.0 and internet culture, and fuelled my interest in researching how people, like me, were starting to use Blogger and Flickr as personal media vehicles.

The video was made by Professor Michael Wesch, assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University. Wesch’s work includes media ecology and digital ethnography, where he studies the impact of new media on human interaction.

I’ve just spent over 33 minutes watching another Dr Wesch talk, from 2009, about Postman, the history of ‘whatever’, online conversations and YouTube as antropology. It’s great fun, and a timely reminder of how, among the noise, chaos and mediocrity of the world wide web, we don’t necessarily have to amuse ourselves to death.

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