Posted by R. John Howe on March 06, 1999 at 14:20:01:
Dear folks -
Perhaps a little off-center of the thrust of Jerry's central salon question here but related is the fact that we are only in the early stages of learning how both to use this medium at its strengths and to deflect its pathologies.
As to the former, I remember how impressed I was when I first saw it, with the design of Carol Bier's site on her pattern and symmetry exhibition. I liked very much the fact that one was able to read the text and to examine the images side by side. This feature seemed to me to increase markedly the pedagogic potential of the site. Gerard Paquin's longish and scholarly article on Turkish weaving also has this feature.
One of the most serious disadvantages I experience with the Internet is its potential for addiction. One can find oneself checking email and one's favorite sites before remembering to kiss your spouse/children, etc. I am trying to develop some reweaving skills but find that I now talk about that more than I am doing it, since I am spending more time preparing salons, in eBay and in conversations like this one. I'm a member of several large professional discussion boards at work (one has over 5,000 professionals in 50 countries) and have found myself now gradually actually reading items on it less frequently than I did at first and contributing when I feel that I really have something to say but that I mostly exercise the delete key (on the basis of a scan of the title line only) on 98% of the messages received from it. With this board (i.e., Turkotek) I find that I still read everything (and at the moment, since our numbers are so small, feel obligated to do so). This addictive characteristic, will not, of course, be seen as disadvantageous to those using this medium for commercial purposes. But even here, with a few exceptions (there's good sociology documenting addiction to such things as pin ball) potential customers will eventually likely get jaded as a result of the very richness of the information with which they are being bombarded or will learn how to defend themselves against input overload and it will be those who find a way to keep in touch, while avoiding site visitor boredom that seem to me to have the most chance of succeeding. I still use "rug" as my search word on eBay (Wendel has trained me several times about conducting more restricted searches without effect) but went through over 1100 yesterday very quickly not looking at more than 10 or 12.
Just some thoughts.
R. John Howe
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