[Air-L] in dis-praise of the Chronicle

Barry Wellman wellman at chass.utoronto.ca
Tue Jun 30 16:07:46 PDT 2009


I was appalled by the Chronicle's article -- especially the headline -- on
the putative death of e-lists such as this one.

First, they gave no systematic evidence, just some anecdotes. Although the
article was more nuanced than the headline: "on the one hand, on the other
hand." Yet, still anecdotes.

Second, they ignored the organizational ecology research that has shown
that some organizations die and some get born all the time.

Third, the posts by my fellow Canucks Catherine Middleton and Peter Timusk
clearly showed the difference between 140 character Tweets (which I do a
fair amount) and posts to this list (ibid). Both of their posts were too
nuanced to be short tweets.

Fourth, as Marc Smith can show you, even the older Bulletin Boards are
still thriving.

Indeed, my hunch is that each communication form adds on to the other,
rather than displacing it, which is why I never get much writing done
(today's excusive, anyway).

Happy Canada Day to All (except Janet Napolitano),

 Barry Wellman
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