Back at Dartmouth College in the mid 70's, Anthropology professors often looked like the ancient cultures they studied! My, how the field has changed. Professor Michael Wesch and his Kansas State students now study the society and culture of the web. What does it really mean to be part of the YouTube Generation? Remember, YouTube and many of the web's advanced collaborative features are only a couple of years old. The question being asked is: Are we different, or do we relate differently because of the web?
While I am not smart enough to answer that question, during a recent sleepless night I watched the professor's recent talk given at the Library of Congress. This presentation, titled: An Anthropoligical Introduction to YouTube (watch via YouTube), will make you think. While the presentation is worth of the time spent just for curiousity's sake, if your job involves encouraging virtual collaboration for your company, then his lecture is a must watch. You need to understand the viral nature of culture ... good and/or bad.
In summary, here are some additional links to assist your research:
- Digital Ethnography (Professor's Wesch Kansas State web site)
- Library of Congress: WebCasts | Virtual Services