Future of the Internet

Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Internet & American Life Project, was kind enough to send me a copy of a new book that he and Associate Director Susannah Fox put together with Janna Quitney Anderson, Associate Professor, Elon University’s School of Communications & Director of the Imagining the Internet Center.  The book is called Up for Grabs: The Future of the Internet, Volume I. It covers a range of topics including: social networks, digital products, civit engagement, formal education, families, extreme communities, politics, health system change, personal entertainment, creativity, and lots more.  The authors surveyed many technology experts and found much agreement about where digital hardware and software are heading and that technologies will become even more important in users’ everyday lives.  Lots of interesting disagreement and discussion around: the likelihood of an attack on the Internet, the “internet of things”, the changing of the formal education processes, the flourishing of individual creativity, social groups of all kinds, and other topics.  There is no question, however, that Pew’s premise holds true: the Internet, as a tool, influences human endeavors and there is a need to produce research testing the power and degree of those influences.

Also note, Lee Rainie is the opening keynote speaker at Computer in Libraries 2009, March 30th, Hyatt Regency Crystal City.  His talk — Friending Libraries: The Nodes in People’s Social Networks.

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