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Netgain Challenge

From Alan Inouye

Today, people have access to a dizzying array of information sources. This array is amazing and I’m not pining for a return to the sparse information options of yesteryear. However, I sense a significant deterioration of the public interest as many of the most pervasive services are operated by for-profit companies. Who watches out for the interests of the public in the digital society?  Now the array of options also enables the public to become information producers and disseminators a la the rise of the blogosphere. It also raises the bar for users of information to separate the wheat from the chaff.  So what to do? We need to radically improve the digital literacy of the general population. Work with industry to encourage them to incorporate public needs more explicitly (and commend those companies already actively engaged in this way). And explore possibilities for new forms of institutions that place the public interest first. We have libraries, so we should be supportive of their evolution in the digital society. What about other (new?) institutions?

21st century philanthropy, civil society, equity, governance, information ecology + economy
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