Saturday, 17 October 2009

Rocket Science #12 - Social Networking

To be held on Sunday 22nd November at 3.30pm - DIG Cafe

Social Networking - Facebook, Twitter - you know the kind of thing. A panel of three speakers will guide us through the dangers, the delights and the decorum of this new digital world. Facebook for family ties? The computer version of the Village Square? On-the-wire political culture?

Who needs the village square when we have Facebook? Or polling booths when we could, potentially, vote online? And will this new-age social networking on the net kill real-life communing?

Political strategist Ben Hart, human network researcher Associate Professor Barry Golding and lecturer in computer networking Dr David Stratton will form a panel to debate the pros and cons of online networking (Facebook, Twitter etc) versus the real thing at Newstead’s Rocket Science on November 22.

Ben Hart, a chief of staff with the Victorian Government, says Barack Obama’s incredible online campaign was a key to his election and believes online networking is likely to be a big part of our political future.

Education academic Assoc. Prof. Golding, who researches human face-to-face networking, argues that online networking could be another great divider setting new lows in social inequality between those who do and those who don’t.

He says the net has stolen our young people and created a world that locks out the technologically incompetent and ill-equipped and the poor. Is he right?

“Never before have we been able to be more in touch with the world, find out more and hear more, “ Dr Stratton says, “ yet in this new age of Facebook and Twitter there are those who argue humanity is losing a vital dimension, that of being able to commune face to face.

“Our panel will explain what online social networking is, how it works and look at its positives and negatives.”

“We have a skeptic and a devotee and my job will be to keep the conversation on track and make sure we cover all points of view. We’ll use show and tell on a projected computer screen to demonstrate tips and tricks.  Online networkers can come and share tricks – and indulge themselves with some face-to-face networking. Those worried about the consequences of this trend are welcome to come and talk about it.”

To download a copy of the flyer click here.

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