There are exceptions – some adults “get it.” Out there in Pioneerland there is a growing consensus among adults that the Internet is powerful- duh. Ami Dar from Action Without Borders is one of those people. But those are adults, and they are usually talking about Adultland and the people who occupy that (see MoveOn).
What I’m interested in is the adaption of what Tim O’Reilly calls the “Architecture of Participation.” Basically, the Architecture of Participation is meant to describe the culture of openness that, online, encourages “openness” and ultimately, a democratic-type of engagement for users. Its about being able to change the content at Wikipedia, and then getting that content checked or used by other people. Its about being able to create a MySpace page, change the layout, content, and purpose of the page, and connect to all your friends. Its about being able to mark your spot on a map and show everyone where you belong and what you believe in. But its so much more than that.
I think that we can translate the spirit of the Architecture of Participation into a practical, applicable journey with young people, one that transcends the Internet and propells us into action in our local communities. That goes back to Ami Dar, who recently implored social entreprenuers to “use the web to go beyond the web.” I would love to hear what YOU think that could look like. Reply to this blog and share your two cents. That way we’ll interact, all “web 2.0”-ish.