OneWebDay Debrief

On Monday, September 22, we celebrated OneWebDay in Milwaukee for the first time. It was a great success.

The School of Information Studies and the Center for Information Policy Research had an information booth set up in the middle of Spaights Plaza on the UW-M campus, and were inundated with interested students.

I was amazed at how many students rushed to collect information and learn about how to tweak their privacy settings on Facebook. “Oh, I need that!” was the common reaction. I was equally surprised at how many students conveyed that their professors told them to never use Wikipedia. (I’m going to start an educational campaign on campus or both faculty and students to better educate them on the value of Wikipedia, and that all information sources need to be vetted for accuracy, etc).

We also attracted a nice crowd for the 4 keynote speakers. Dean Johannes Britz reminded the audience that the Internet is still not fully global and not equally available to all (Amazon, apparently, doesn’t ship to South Africa, for example). I presented a version of the Yale Information Society Project’s “9.5 Theses” I helped draft, while Professor Thomas Malaby (Anthropology) spoke about what is at stake with online gaming, especially related to how gaming competencies are increasing becoming valued outside of traditional gaming circles. Finally Anthony Hoffmann gave a provocative talk directed to his peers (the “under 30 crowd”), arguing that they have a social responsiblility to ask “WTF!?!” related to an assortment of political and cultural issues related to social networking and other online activities.

Full event details are here, some press coverage here, Flickr photos, and YouTube videos of the speeches.

I can’t wait for OneWebDay 2009!

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