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May 12, 2006

Our Topic

by Douglas McLennan
Everyone's a critic. And now that anyone has access to an audience through the internet, our computers have become a cacophony of people with opinions. Clearly not all opinions are equal. Traditionally, the influence of an opinion was closely tied to the venue in which it was published - how widely it was disseminated or how prestigious the publication was thought to be...

With a growing flood of opinions available to all, some suggest that the influence of the traditional critic is waning, that the opinions of the many will drown out the power of the few. But in a time when access to information and entertainment and art seems to be growing exponentially, more than ever we need ways to to sort through the mass and get at the "good" stuff. The question is how? Where is the critical authority to come from?

Some suggest that new social networking software that ranks community preferences and elevates some opinions over others will supplant the formerly powerful traditional critics. So what is to be the new critical currency? Stripped of traditional legitimacies, how will the most interesting critical voices be heard and have influence?

Posted by mclennan at May 12, 2006 12:37 PM

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