Thursday, May 1, 2008

web: "where do they find the time?" exposed

This blogger gets the same response that I do when I tell people about Wikipedia editors, users supporting users, collaborative development, etc.:
Where do they [i.e. those losers] find the time?
First he figures out how much time we're talking about:
So if you take Wikipedia as a kind of unit, all of Wikipedia, the whole project--every page, every edit, every talk page, every line of code, in every language that Wikipedia exists in--that represents something like the cumulation of 100 million hours of human thought.
Wow, that's a lot of time devoted by people whom the clueless majority accuse of needing to "get a life". But the key insight is that is dwarfed by TV viewing:
And television watching? Two hundred billion hours, in the U.S. alone, every year. Put another way, now that we have a unit, that's 2,000 Wikipedia projects a year spent watching television. Or put still another way, in the U.S., we spend 100 million hours every weekend, just watching the ads. This is a pretty big surplus
How come TV watchers get a free pass? Then he goes on to talk about if only 1% of the time we waste on mass media (whose attitude is just "How much can you consume?") goes to participatory culture, the change will be dramatic. Do the math, it's 20 Wikipedia-sized projects, every year. So expect more great things!



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