[Air-l] Web Science a Field of Study

David Brake d.r.brake at lse.ac.uk
Thu Nov 9 04:12:38 PST 2006


On 6 Nov 2006, at 21:20, air-l-request at listserv.aoir.org wrote:


> Tim Berners Lee has provided me with some clarity.
>
>
>   "The web itself should be independent of the social... the first  
> order, it should be not an institution but a completely blank piece  
> of paper, a medium upon which society can do what it needs to do  
> and what it wants to do." TBL
>

It's interesting to read this in light of his remarks around the  
launch of the institute:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6108578.stm

... in which he expressed his concerns that the web could be used for  
misinformation. If the web is and should be independent of society  
then surely it is society that needs to be fixed in this case not the  
web? (Personally I believe that there are influences in both  
directions).

I agree of course that he is calling for something that we all know  
already exists - interdisciplinary study of the Internet and its  
(inter)-relationship to society - but surely anything he does to  
raise the profile of Internet or Web studies (in whatever form they  
take) can only be good for all of us.

For what it's worth Sir Tim is one of my heroes - not only because he  
contributed to a great extent to the development of the web (which  
popularised the Internet for many people) but because he has  
consistently fought for open standards and clearly decided early on  
to use his position to attempt to ensure his work is used for the  
public good instead of merely cashing in as he certainly could have  
done.
---
David Brake, Doctoral Student in Media and Communications, London  
School of Economics & Political Science
<http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/media@lse/study/ 
mPhilPhDMediaAndCommunications.htm>
Also see http://davidbrake.org/ (home page), http://blog.org/  
(personal weblog) and http://get.to/lseblog (academic groupblog)
Author of Dealing With E-Mail - <http://davidbrake.org/ 
dealingwithemail/>
callto://DavidBrake (Skype.com's Instant Messenger and net phone)



---
David Brake, Doctoral Student in Media and Communications, London  
School of Economics & Political Science
<http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/media@lse/study/ 
mPhilPhDMediaAndCommunications.htm>
Also see http://davidbrake.org/ (home page), http://blog.org/  
(personal weblog) and http://get.to/lseblog (academic groupblog)
Author of Dealing With E-Mail - <http://davidbrake.org/ 
dealingwithemail/>
callto://DavidBrake (Skype.com's Instant Messenger and net phone)




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