Ayham: I think that’s such a significant point. Again, it goes back to the first day, or the first conversation series, about how art.yale.edu was so much about the community of the school. And it works because there is a very distinct and specific community that you can draw a line around. Maybe meaning comes because the community is defined—it’s not so open. But I’m not sure, and that sounds terrible to say.
Matt: That sort of sounds like what Facebook is getting a lot of push-back for. They’ve almost algorithmically defined what that community is that only you are seeing, like people who like similar things that you do.
Laurel: It almost seems like there needs to be more fiction in the beginning. What if adding a friend was like 10 times harder?
Ayham: Like it is in real life?
RC: I do think that certain sites will draw specific crowds. But with larger websites that millions of people use, community is often more open than in real life (or at least the perception of it). I think that's what makes people more brave to enter, to comment, to befriend. Maybe it's a good thing, maybe it's not if that space is needed for specific conversations from a certain group. But it's even starting to influence the way people even meet. But through these web platforms, they also reinforce their own ideas about community and what they value, through the things they post or write about or even just like (on FB). There's just a different set of rules...
Katelyn: Actually, if that were the case, I think people would approach these websites a lot differently. There’s this humanistic aspect that it doesn’t live forever, and so you feel a sense of shared responsibility or maintenance.
Dan: You’d use it, but you wouldn’t invest in it. That seems like it could be totally healthy.
RC: I think now people believe that the internet has the capability to hold your information forever. There is something freeing about being able to outlive what you put out. Although I suppose for art historical purposes it's always the inverse. But I think that that allows for commentary about this particular moment, when everything can fade quickly and we move unto the next thing right away.