Sunday, May 18, 2008

MLA 2008: It's All About the Network

Mark Funk's MLA 2008 presidential address and the McGovern Lecture by Andrew Zolli, (Founder of Z+ Partners Inc.; a think tank) dovetailed with one another nicely.

Mark broke away from the 'we’ve always done it that way” approach to presidential addresses and discussed how social networking should be used by MLA to rethink how we do association business. Activities such as committees, the CE clearinghouse, our traditional print publications, and the annual meeting itself can leverage emerging technologies and social networking.

The most important point he made is that it is not about the technology, but is all about the connections between people.

The title of my blog is a classic quote from Marshall McLuhan's classic work, Understanding Media. He is known for his visionary interpretation of the effects of technological communication on society. For those who are unfamiliar with him, it was McLuhan coined the phrase "global village." in addition to the "medium is the message." In this now 44-year-old text, McLuhan asserted it it is not the media or a technology in of itself that is important, the the impact that it has on society.
"the personal and social consequences of any medium - that is, of any extension of ourselves - result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action.

To the point that Mark made, and reinforced Zolli, it is not what Web 2.o can do for our association, it's members, and our customers. What it IS about is the impact that Web 2.0 and social networking technologies have on how we connect and relate to one another. It is not about how we should use Web 2.0 technologies, but rather the impact these technologies have on the way our association conducts business, communicates, and presents it's scholarly communications. Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Jana said...

It almost sounds like we are sitting back and letting others using Web 2.0 technology created outside of our resources to access us, rather than us creating Web 2.0technologies by these comments.

But, I understand the point of this -- we are focusing so much on the application, and not so much on the impact. Probably putting a lot of junk out there.