Culture Shift

A couple of months ago, in what one of my correspondants referred to as “an obnoxiously large quote”, I answered a AALL Spectrum Member to Member question about blogs by talking about Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, etc.   Since then I’ve noticed another trend shifting from Blogs to these other services.  Namely, the Meme.

In case you don’t feel like reading through that link, basically, there are all sorts of memes.  The blog meme, which I am most familiar with from my personal blogging days, usually involves answering a set of questions or something similar and then “tagging” other people to answer them.   (A quick check shows that I’ve actually done some in this blog here and here.)   But it can also just be using an “inside joke”, that millions of people on the Internet are in on.

I know this because I am aware of all Internet traditions.  *cough*

First it started with everyone on Twitter changing their userpic to one generated by the FaceYourManga site.  Then there was one where you had to grab the nearest book to you, go to a certain page and change your Facebook status message to the 4th sentence.   And now, most recently, I’ve seen on both Facebook and FriendFeed a meme where you list 25 interesting facts about yourself.

(And apologies to people that tagged me…I’ve been busy and I am also scared to try that particular meme just in case it turns out that there actually aren’t 25 interesting things about myself.)

This doesn’t change the value of these services for information dissemination.  There are still plusses and minuses for people in the library community attempting to use them for this purpose.   And it’s not another death knell for blogs… I am pretty sure that blogging is here to stay, although it may change through time.  I just think it’s interesting that there’s another shift from blogs to these newer services.

I also think that this is further proof that due to the community aspects of Web 2.0, newbies should approach it much like you do when traveling to a foreign country for the first time.  (And I do so hope, Gentle Reader, that you are not an Ugly American when you travel.)   Learn the language.  See what the cultural traditions are.   Just like you wouldn’t want to set up a Steak House in India, you should check to see what your user base needs and wants out of a technological product and then deliver that.