Gin, Television, and Social Surplus – Here Comes Everybody – couple of things here I agree with, couple that I disagree with.
To start with, I thought “journalists” calling non-fad web things fads was going to die years ago. The internet is not a fad. Blogging is not a fad. Sharing stuff on the web, clearly not a fad. Lolcats are a fad. Sharing pictures of your cat is not a fad. This is hardly an opinion. Were people still calling radio a fad when it had as much penetration as blogs do today?
Once upon a time in the ancient 1940s, people wondered what humans would do with all the free time afforded by machines doing most of their work, like cleaning, cooking, etc. Try to find someone today who says they have enough free time.
So what happened? Why didn’t we get our free time? Well we did. But the available options with which to occupy our time has increased much faster than our free time has. People no longer need to invent things to do with their free time, they have to spend extra time deciding which things to try to do in their free time, as they can only do a small subset of what they want to do. The difficulty today is to look at the millions of options out there, and eliminate virtually all of them from your life. Realizing that removing things from your life will make it more full; that is tricky.
Saying that you do not have time for something is always a lie. You have time for whatever it is you decide to have time for.
Oh, and to tie that back in, it is nice that an increasing amout of what people are spending their time on is contributing to the public good, such as Wikipedia, as discussed in the article.