[Air-l] Call for AOIR 7.0 Panelists on Critical Perspectives on Web 2.0
michael.zimmer at nyu.edu
Sun Jan 7 09:19:55 PST 2007
With the submission deadline for AOIR 7.0 approaching (Feb 1), I'm
seeking colleagues to join a proposed panel on "Critical Perspectives
on Web 2.0". A *draft* panel description is posted below, trying to
fit with the conference theme of addressing "the (playful) blurring
of boundaries online."
Please e-mail me off-list if interested at michael.zimmer at nyu.edu.
Will need a 250-500 word paper abstract prior to deadline.
Michael T. Zimmer
Doctoral Candidate, Culture and Communication, New York University
Student Fellow, Information Law Institute, NYU Law School
e: michael.zimmer at nyu.edu
Draft panel proposal: Critical Perspectives on Web 2.0
Web 2.0 represents a (playful) blurring of the boundaries between Web
users and producers, consumption and participation, authority and
amateurism, play and work, data and the network, reality and virtuality.
The rhetoric surrounding Web 2.0 infrastructures presents certain
cultural claims about media, identity, and technology. It suggests
that everyone can and should use new Internet technologies to
organize and share information, to interact within communities, and
to express oneself. It promises to empower creativity, to democratize
media production, and to celebrate the individual while also
relishing the power of collaboration and social networks. Websites
such as Flickr, Wikipedia, del.icio.us, MySpace, and YouTube are all
part of this second-generation Internet phenomenon, which has spurred
a variety of new services and communities – and venture capitalist
But Web 2.0 also embodies a set of unintended consequences, including
the increased flow of personal information across networks, the
diffusion of one’s identity across fractured spaces, the emergence of
powerful tools for peer surveillance, and the fear of increased
corporatization of online social and collaborative spaces and outputs.
In Technopoly, Neil Postman warned that we tend to be “surrounded by
the wondrous effects of machines and are encouraged to ignore the
ideas embedded in them. Which means we become blind to the
ideological meaning of our technologies” (1992, p. 94). As the power
and ubiquity of the Web 2.0 infrastructure rises, it becomes
increasingly difficult for users to recognize its externalities, and
easier to take the design of such tools simply “at interface
value” (Turkle, 1995, p. 103).
Heeding Postman and Turkle’s warnings, this panel will work to remove
the blinders of the unintended consequences of Web 2.0’s (playful)
blurring of boundaries and critically explore the social, political,
and ethical dimensions of Web 2.0.
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