[Air-l] Web 2.0 - "the machine is us?"
Lois Ann Scheidt
lscheidt at indiana.edu
Wed Feb 14 07:40:30 PST 2007
If you use a basic definition of social networking as a social
structure made of nodes which are generally individuals or
organizations. It indicates the ways in which they are connected
through various social familiarities ranging from casual acquaintance
to close familial bonds (2007, February 14). Then the creation and
existence of such communication networks dates back to the early days
of computer networking (see Kleinrock, n.d.).
So what is the difference between pre-Web 1.0, and Web 2.0? I
believe you can sum it up in two words
access and purpose. Early CMC
was limited to a select few people with access to the linked computer
systems necessary for communication and the knowledge, skills, and
abilities to use the systems. Of course, in many of these early
communications, the systems were not only the tools for the actual
contact but the reason the contact was required.
Today many more people have access to the technologies needed to make
online connections, while I wont say that connection is universally
available we are much closer to that dream then we were in 1969.
Likewise, as the use of technology has simplified more people can use
the systems without having intimate knowledge of how the systems they
are using actually work. Particularly, in my teenage research
population, most all of the teens from developed countries have access
to computers at some point during their week. So many more people are
available to make connections then were available in the early days of
Of course now many of these computer users go online specifically to
make and maintain their human connections. For many of them
communication has become their primary purpose for accessing computer
systems. The teens I talk with go online to blog, to rate music and
films, to post videos on YouTube (where networks are created around
specific videos and the videographers themselves), and to make new
friends or to talk to their old friends
among many other ways that they
connect and maintain their connections electronically
while they do
search for information it is not the reason they regularly go online.
For them the idea that early CMC was about the systems themselves
seems quaint and pretty boring, they connect electronically through
many sites/systems around many topics and many people.
Current social networking technology allows for more variety of
connection but the basics of networking remain the same. So it seems
to me that the discussion should be less about Web 2.0 and more about
the number of potential nodes, particularly nodes with limited computer
programming skills, and the reasons why these nods exist online.
Social network (2007, February 14). Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_networking
Kleinrock, Leonard (n.d.). The Day the Infant Internet Uttered its
First Words. Leonard Kleinrock's Home Page. Retrieved February 14,
2007, from http://www.lk.cs.ucla.edu/LK/Inet/1stmesg.html
Lois Ann Scheidt
Doctoral Student - School of Library and Information Science, Indiana
University, Bloomington IN USA
Adjunct Instructor - School of Informatics, IUPUI, Indianapolis IN USA and
IUPUC, Columbus IN USA
More information about the Air-L