Web 2.0 Accelerates the RenGen

I was struck by the way Virginia Kuhn at USC’s Institute for Multi-Media Literacy describes this year’s batch of graduates:

“Perhaps one of the strongest shifts that occurred during the four years of the Honors Program’s first cohort was a movement from a Web 1.0 ethos in which users encountered relatively static Web sites, to a Web 2.0 paradigm in which sites became platforms encouraging user creativity. The IML’s Honors students cheerfully seized these tools and the corresponding mentality, and their projects reflect their ability to merge academic goals with participatory media.”

Let’s step back for a second. In four short years, Web 2.0 has turned the Internet into a vast digital canvas for creative expression. It has accelerated the rise of the RenGen considerably. It’s important to consider and absorb these seismic changes in the culture if we are to benefit from them.

Technological advances, especially in viral media, are like fast food. We acquire, devour and digest them in a snap. No time to think. Less time to wonder what it means.

Here’s to slow thought.

(Interesting that Kuhn joined USC in 2005 after successfully defending one of the first all-digital dissertations in the country. )