Monday, August 28, 2006

Les Nouveaux CyberCelebs

The world is changing. It has always been the case in TechLand but never before has there been so much mobility and opportunity for impact and name-making.

New CyberCelebs emerge every day largely by dint of being there first, by being early users of a new medium or area or product and as things are moving so fast, finding themselves de facto experts whose opinions are sought. CyberCelebs are most often not formally educated in the underlying aspects of their substrates (e.g.; psychology, art, composition, game design, economics, politics, etc.) or sometimes even at all.

Some notable CyberCelebs include Julian Dibbell (gaming economies), Jerry Paffendorf (metaverse worlds) and Robert Scoble (blogging).

That the new experts are not those schooled in underlying principles, but early experiencers of the milieus suggests that:

1) there is tremendous opportunity for anyone to have impact in world-shaping and making a name for his/herself

2) formal education can but slip farther behind in preparing anyone for the world of accelerating technological change. Unfortunately something seems to be missing from both sides, traditional education is anachronistic and irrelevant, and TechLand misses by being homogeneous and narrowly focused.

The best way to be a participatory citizen of today is to splice a self-study program of traditional education with learning new areas though direct experience and blogs.