The Web Is Not Virtual

At some point in my talks, I usually mention how websites are changing from a virtual brochure with lists of services to something a bit more “real” – but it can be difficult to explain that concept! I usually show an active library blog with comments, and discuss the website as a form of digital community.

But check this out – from The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus blog. It’s a comic strip that usually focuses on “Church 2.0” issues (think Library 2.0, but replace “patron” with “parishioner,” and you’ll get the idea).

Here’s the text of this comic strip (the graphic is much better, but the actual strip is too wide for my blog!):

“I no longer believe in ‘virtual reality’.
Real people, real opinions, real emotions,
real shopping, real relationships,
real junk mail, real joy, real sadness,
real empathy, real crime, real porn,
real info, real poetry, real art, real cruelty,
real goodness, real truth, real lies,
and so it goes on…
There is nothing ‘virtual’ about it at all.”

The web is much more than information and databases – we’re no longer traveling down an “information superhighway,” are we?