Culture is future » Innovation and digital

10.09.2012

Wanna get Amen? Reflections on the culture of opining in social networks

The internet and the digital revolution have changed the way how society manages knowledge. 

credit : Paul G

 

The WorldWideWeb has made every scientific, historical or statistical fact accessible, creating an endless storage of information and knowledge. In this environment of unstoppable flowing information, so-ciety’s need for structure and order grows. Factual knowledge is no longer in demand, but opinion and orientation is. It seems there is a market for opinion and the German startup Amen tries to oper-ate on this market. By offering a syntactical corset, it enables its users to opine on basically anything, may it be in a negative or a positive way: “Charlie Sheen is the best actor ever”. And the possibilities to react to those expressions of opinion, in the negative or the affirmative eventually creates a hier-archy which brings structure.  The critical questions though are the ones of profitability: Can compa-nies like Amen find a market for opinion? Can it accumulate enough users to give the expressed opin-ions worth? Do these ways of structuring information via opinion actually benefit the user in his or her everyday struggle for oversight in a disorienting world?

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A contribution from the Freie Universität Berlin, by Judith Schilling, Rene Reineke and Francesco Giammarco, supervised by Carola Richter.