Readings, week 3: webs that were and webs that weren’t


(Source: Google Image Search, “Web 2.0”)

I took this screenshot of the Google Image Search for “Web 2.0.” Look at all the graphics that show up, the network symbols and the interconnections. They use the same blues to indicate that they’re business friendly, but the bright, vivid colors indicate, “Web 2.0 is FUN.” There’s a lot of marketing going on: marketing of products and marketing of ideas.

Two questions for our discussion tomorrow, one from each reading.

  1. What is Web 2.0? That is: how is Web 2.0 characterized by the people who have a stake in it? And how is Web 2.0 a “discourse” and a “metanarrative,” to use Alice Marwick’s words? 
  2. Alex Wright presents a number of different modelsby people such as Paul Otlet, Douglas Engelbart and Vannevar Bush—all of which present different models of interconnectivity and hyperlinking. When Wright wrote the piece, he noted that Tim Berners-Lee, who “invented” the World Wide Web, decries the state of links as unidirectional, not operating as a two-way environment. To what extent do newer social media technologies (or Web 2.0 technologies) get closer to the kinds of links that Otlet, Bush and Berners-Lee might have dreamt of?