2012.11 History: October Feature: Sassing Websites
presented by Richard Russell, summarized by Holly McEntee

It used to be that humans were consumers of content. We read newspapers and listened to radio and watched TV shows and movies, all pretty much 1-way. You could write letters to the editor or phone in to talk shows, but there was a time lag, and editors could censor and control these.
But the internet is 2-way. Consumers can talk back practically immediately and unfettered. Some content sites controlled this tightly, but some found it a way to attract eyeballs and thus sell more ads. (Viewers of websites are not customers, we are products, which is why it looks free to us.) Some consumers enjoy this interactivity and some do not. To many, it's part of the vast, unknown new world of internet interactivity.
Richard used the comment feature on espn.com to demonstrate one type of interactivity. He showed us how to sign up for a free account to allow reading and posting, explaining that many sites require signing up. He then showed us not only how to post and edit your own comments, but also how to read them, quote from previous comments, flag them for potential abuse, and share them with others not commenting on that same post (such as emailing them externally to others).
We ran out of time before we could get to the many other topics that were planned for this demo, but will cover them at a future meeting.

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