Category Archives: Ning

The Impact of the Web 2.0 World on Scholarly Societies

A friend who is very involved in the leadership of the American Folklore Society  just shared with me a link to James Lappin’s very effective blog post “The Impact of the Web 2.0 World on the Records Management Society.”  While presented as a case study of information science/archives organizations in the UK, its arguments generalize amazingly well and provide valuable food for thought for all scholarly disciplines and societies–including those that the readers of this weblog care (or have given up caring) about.

Vis-a-vis the American Anthropological Association, the post provides a compliment to the arguments presented in a less immediately accessible way in “Anthropology of/in Circulation: The Future of Open Access and Scholarly Societies.”  (As a contributor to it) I am very proud of the later paper, but it represents a dialogue on a range of issues and features a diversity of voices with several overlapping sets of interests. Mr. Lappin’s essay is a single scholar’s view on the ways that scholarly societies should be confronting the challenges and opportunities of a world in which most of their members will have access to web 2.0 tools. His discussions of the growing irrelevance of scholarly societies in the 20th century mode and his case for a new mission for the scholarly society (amplifying member’s voices in public rather than as a provider of members-only benefits of decreasing value) connects especially well with the case that Chris Kelty was making in “Anthropology of/in Circulation.” He also provides and operationalizes a number of do-able  steps of a clear cut sort–a kind of emulate-able game plan that a society leadership would be foolish not to at least give thought to.