AOL have set up a debate about the pros and cons of the Internet .
Guy's list making idea has inspired me. Maybe we could make a list of pros here ... I'll start off :
- There is often a feel of the 'supportive creative commons'.
- You can make new friends.
- You can keep in contact with existing friends.
- You can learn from others in informal groupings e.g. via discussion boards, blogs etc.
- You can do formal online courses and get qualifications - without leaving home.
- You can work as part of a group and teach others.
- If you are unable to go shopping or are disinclined to do so, you have purchasing power, can do online banking, etc.
- Many businesses have been successful in cutting costs - on all kinds of product. It is easier for a customer to compare prices on the net.
- Many books are cheaper online through companies like Amazon; people are buying more books.
- Obscure items - CDs, books, strange things are easier to find on the Internet than in local shops.
- People are into recycling through companies like e bay. T;internet can therefore help the planet.
- You can publish something without going through another person or company. Individuals can therefore take control over what is published.
- Because of point 12 above, busineses and big corporations no longer have complete monopoloy.
- Individuals and online groups can get their voices heard and even manipulate situations.
- You have access to a massive amount of information and can find out new angles which are not widely reported.
- You can gain official and unofficial viewpoints, including 'other culture' views from all over the world.
- Publication and feedback can be immediate.
- The publishing process is simpler.
- There is a range of modalities through which you can communicate, so that people can choose whether to use words, images, sound etc.
- Professional, slick looking results are easier to achieve than without technology.
- You can communicate in 'real time' - synchronous possibilities.
- There can be time lapses in communication - asynchronous possibilities.
- One to many communication;many to many; many to one.
- Interactivity is easy to achieve.
- On-line and off-line media can link up, for example you can have a photograph on your camera, fiddle around with how it looks and then put it on line.
- Mobile media can link - e.g. podcasting; mobile phones.
- In times of disaster, support networks and information lines have quickly and effectively been set up.
Can you think of anymore?