Iscc web historiography

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Iscc web historiography

  1. 1. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 1 Web historiography An emerging field within internet studies
  2. 2. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 2 paris.fr — 2013 paris.fr — 2003, Internet Archive Evénement Paris présente sa candidature à l’organisation des JO 2012 Le Maire de Paris, Bertrand Delanoë a annoncé mercredi 21 mai 2003 la candidature de la Ville de Paris à l’organisation des Jeux Olympiques de 2012. « Des Jeux de toutes les couleurs », c’est ainsi que le Maire a présenté la candidature parisienne. Consulter le site www.jo2012.paris.fr Paris fête ses marchés du 10 au 15 juin prochain. La proximité des marchés et leur convivialité seront mis à l'honneur pour le plus grand plaisir de tous, avec pour la première fois une ambiance de Fête sur tous les marchés couverts et découverts lire la suite 22 juin 2003 : Journée nationale de réflexion sur le don d'organes et la greffe Retrouver une vie normale, pouvoir faire des projets… Ce sont des choses simples, mais que chaque malade en attente de greffe espère aujourd'hui. lire la suite Exposition: "Labyrinthes" Du 4 juin au 14 septembre, le parc de Bagatelle vous propose de découvrir le thème du labyrinthe au Trianon et dans les sept labyrinthes végétaux créés à cette occasion dans le parc. lire la suite Handball : à la conquête des anneaux. Les 6, 7 et 8 juin prochains, la France accueille l'Algérie, le Danemark et la Hongrie, pour la 17ème édition du Tournoi International Paris-Ile de France. lire la suite Cartographie du bruit : Paris publie sa cartographie du bruit routier moyen. Plus de 300 cartes à votre disposition. lire la suite 26ème Foire Saint-Germain Du 2 juin au 6 juillet Foire aux antiquaires, marché de la Poésie, marché de la bibliophilie, théâtre, concerts,expositions.... consulter le site www.foiresaintgermain.org Dépistage organisé et gratuit du cancer du sein à Paris Pour mieux lutter contre les conséquences des cancers du sein, l'ensemble des acteurs de santé se mobilise. lire la suite Paris Tout Foot : le Grand Tournoi La Mairie de Paris, avec le concours du Paris Saint-Germain, organise la deuxième édition de « Paris Tout Foot », les samedis 21 et 28 juin 2003. lire la suite Résidences d'artistes étrangers à Paris : appel à candidatures lire la suite I nternational artist residencies in Paris: call for applications in english Residencias en Paris para artistas extranjeros : llamado a candidaturas en español En bref .: : . Ensemble pour l'Algérie Concert de solidarité Zoom sur... Le développement économique durable Le Conseil de développement économique durable de Paris vise à associer les acteurs économiques et sociaux parisiens à l'action économique de la Capitale. Lire la suite Ouverture du site autocars.paris.fr Ce site, destiné aux organisateurs de voyage et aux compagnies d'autocars, les informera sur les services offerts par la Ville de Paris, notamment sur le nouveau forfait de stationnement. www.autocars.paris.fr 2003,Année européenne des personnes handicapées "Un programme parisien rassembleur, pédagogique, participatif et festif" consulter le programme Dossiers Ville Le logement social à Paris "Le logement, levier indispensable pour une politique de mixité et de justice sociale à Paris" consulter le dossier Environnement : triez pour recycler La collecte sélective démarre dans votre arrondissement lire la suite Paris en un clic Vos démarches Etat civil, formalités administratives, mariage, téléprocédures ... Paris recrute Découvrez les métiers de la Ville. Inscrivez-vous en ligne, consultez les résultats des concours ... Paris pratique Adresses, numéros, liens utiles... Plan de Paris W ebring Office du tourisme Mairies d'arrondissement Le site du mois Paris Développement Salle de presse English version Plan du Site Recherche Contacts I nfos Editeurs Haut de page recherche détaillée 2002 2003 200420 jul 01 - 7 jun 13 paris.fr — 2008, Internet Archive
  3. 3. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 3 Lessons to be learned? The importance of the web is growing More and more of our societal, cultural, political, etc. communication take place on the web The web of the past disappears 40% changed, 40% removed, 20% still there after one year If we want to document the present or study the past on the web we have to archive it ‘We’ can be a scholar/group of scholars or a (trans)national web archive such as the Internet Archive or BnF/INA Web archiving matters for anyone who wants to use the web as a source in any kind of study
  4. 4. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 4 Agenda 1. Web historiography  Why study the history of the web?  Web and web strata  Historiography and the web 2. The history of one website: www.dr.dk, 1996-2006 3. Web archiving  Digitized, Born-digital, and Reborn-digital Materials  A short history of web archives  The case of the Danish Netarkivet 4. The challenges of the archived web  The characteristics of the archived web  Analytical and methodological consequences 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  5. 5. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 5 1. Web historiography — Why study the history of the web? During the first decades of internet studies historiography did not play a significant role when establishing a new field, studying the past is less urgent than studying the present the very short past of the web may not even be considered a history Web history today: a few web histories have been written not yet constituted as a field of study in its own right (lack of a set of shared theoretical and methodological assumptions or discussions) a growing interest in the field
  6. 6. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 6 Web strata:  web element  web page  web site  web sphere  web Web element 1. Web historiography — Web and web strata
  7. 7. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 7 1. Web historiography — Web and web strata Web page
  8. 8. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 8 Website Web page Web element Web site 1. Web historiography — Web and web strata
  9. 9. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 9 Website Web page Web element Web sphere Web sphere 1. Web historiography — Web and web strata
  10. 10. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 10 The web Web 1. Web historiography — Web and web strata
  11. 11. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 11 The web Website Web page Web element Web sphere 1. Web historiography — Web and web strata
  12. 12. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 12 Fundamental questions of historiography: 1.The purpose of the study 2.The philosophy and theory of history 3.Methodological issues concerning the source material 1. Web historiography — Historiography and the web?
  13. 13. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 13 Specific challenges for web historiography 1. The purpose of the study 2. The philosophy and theory of history 3. Methodological issues concerning the source material One of the main source types stands apart, namely archived web material. 1. Web historiography — Historiography and the web?
  14. 14. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 14 The web as a tool: Web History Digital History  web historiography  the web as source  to improve historical research  to present and communicate the historian’s work 1. Web historiography — Historiography and the web?
  15. 15. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 15 Website Web page Web element 2. The history of one website: www.dr.dk, 1996-2006
  16. 16. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 16 Overall aim to write a monograph about the development of dr.dk from 1996 to 2006  started july 2007  supported by the Danish Research Council for the Humanities in 2007-10  The development of the project website is supported by the 'Knowledge Society' research priory area of the Faculty of Humanities, Aarhus University 2. The history of one website: www.dr.dk, 1996-2006
  17. 17. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 17 What are the driving forces behind the creation and development of www.dr.dk from 1996 to 2006, and what are the consequences of these for the website? What theoretical and methodological new developments are required in order to be able to analyze www.dr.dk? Status: 1) collected a great number of sources (problems with access, time consuming) 2) theoretical/methodological discussions (papers, articles, book chapters) 3) read all relevant press releases 1990-2006 — first framework 4) reading all sources 5) writing about the period 1990 to August1996 2. The history of one website: www.dr.dk, 1996-2006
  18. 18. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 18 Source material Many sources — minutes of meetings, strategy papers, correspondance, etc. And the archived website, in two ways:  the object of my history of dr.dk (textual structure, layout, etc.)  a source that tells us something about the history of dr.dk (information about the site, the organisation DR, etc.) 2. The history of one website: www.dr.dk, 1996-2006
  19. 19. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 19 Digitized Previously analog material which has been digitized. Born-digital Has never existed in any other form than digital. Reborn-digital Born-digital material which has been collected and preserved, and which to some degree has been changed in this process. 3. Web archiving — Digitized, Born-digital, and Reborn-digital
  20. 20. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 20 The short history of web archives — 12-14 years — three main phases The pre-history of web archives  begin of the 90ies and onwards  individuals, families, organizations, institutions...  html, screendumps  no considerations about archiving  no considerations about cultural heritage Static web publications in national libraries  app. same period  national libraries  static web documents, look like journals and books  overall approach that of print culture (catalogueing...)  more professional  legal deposit laws The dynamic web in (trans)national web archives  a little later  crawlers, spin-off of search engine technology  the number of archiving initiatives increases  dynamic web material  librarian approach challenged  other transnational stakeholders Examples  The Internet Archive, 1996 — snapshot, transnational  Kulturarw3, Sweden, 1996/97 — snapshot, national  Pandora, Australia, 1996 — selective, national  Netarkivet, Denmark, 2005 — three strategies, nation.  BnF/INA, 2006 3. Web archiving — A short history of web archives
  21. 21. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 21 Three general strategies: a) snapshot b) selective c) event From Bjarne Andersen: ”DK-domænet i ord og tal”, netarkivet.dk Coverage Time Snapshot Selective Event 3. Web archiving — The case of the Danish Netarkivet
  22. 22. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 22 4. The Challenges — The Characteristics of the Archived Web  Different archiving purpose and strategy  Differences as to technological choices Web archiving Macro web archiving •archiving institutions, such as national libraries •aiming at preserving the cultural heritage of, for instance, a nation state •allows for as many different kinds of research projects as possible in the future Micro web archiving •individual scholars or groups •in relation to, for instance, a specific research project •usually calibrated to fit the research project in question
  23. 23. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 23 The online web is changed or deleted with an unprecedented pace Must be collected and archived here and now, while it is still online The web archive is a real-time archive 4. The Challenges — The Characteristics of the Archived Web
  24. 24. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 24 The archiving institution that wants to archive the online web must make a number of choices What is archived is almost never a copy on a 1:1 scale of what was once online A collection of unique versions which did not exist before the act of archiving It is created in and by the process of archiving, which is why it can be considered 'reborn' digital material The archived web is a reborn, unique and deficient version and not simply a copy of what was once online 4. The Challenges — The Characteristics of the Archived Web
  25. 25. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 25 No matter how an archived web document has been created, and no matter in what archive it is found, the web historian cannot expect it to be an identical copy on a 1:1 scale of what was actually on the live web at a given time From born digital to 're-born digital' Two reasons for this • the archived web document is an actively created and subjective re-construction • it is almost always deficient 4. The Challenges — The Characteristics of the Archived Web
  26. 26. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 26 An actively created and subjective re-construction • subjective because choices have to be made between different archiving forms and strategies (made by either an individual or an institution) • a re-construction in the sense that it is re-created on the basis of a variety of archived web elements that are re-assembled and re- combined in the archive Thus, the archived web document is the result of an active process and in this sense it does not exist prior to the act of archiving. 4. The Challenges — The Characteristics of the Archived Web
  27. 27. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 27 Almost always deficient — for two reasons • technical reasons (soft- or hardware), for instance words, images, graphics, sounds, moving images can be missing, or some of the possibilities of interaction can be non-functional in the archived web document • the dynamics of updating, that is the fact that the web content might have changed during the process of archiving, and we do not know if, where, and when this happens — an example 4. The Challenges — The Characteristics of the Archived Web
  28. 28. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 28 ”During the Olympics in Sydney in 2000, I wanted to save the website of the Danish newspaper JyllandsPosten. I began at the first level, the front page, on which I could read that the Danish badminton player Camilla Martin would play in the finals a half hour later. My computer took about an hour to save this first level, after which time I wanted to download the second level, ’Olympics 2000’. But on the front page of this section, I could already read the result of the badminton finals (she lost). The website was — as a whole — not the same as when I had started; it had changed in the time it took to archive it, and I could now read the result on the front page, where the match was previously only announced.” N. Brügger: Archiving Websites, 2005, pp. 22-23 4. The Challenges — The Characteristics of the Archived Web
  29. 29. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 29 Consequences • we cannot be sure that we have everything in our archive — we will always have lost something in the asynchronous relationship between updating and archiving • we are also in danger of getting something that in a way was never there — something that is different from what was really there 4. The Challenges — The Characteristics of the Archived Web
  30. 30. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 30 My archived version of the newspaper’s website can be a combination of elements from two (or more) versions that were there at different times — but they were never there at the same time as they might now be in my archive. Paradox: • the archive is not exactly as the website really was in the past (we have lost something) • but the archive may be exactly as the Internet never was in the past (we get something different). 4. The Challenges — The Characteristics of the Archived Web
  31. 31. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 31 The process of archiving • creates a unique version and not a copy • a version of an original which we can never expect to find in the form it actually took on the web • neither can we find an original among the different versions, nor can we reconstruct an original based on the different versions 4. The Challenges — The Characteristics of the Archived Web
  32. 32. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 32 Since a web archive usually covers more than one point in past time, numerous versions of the same web element will exist — a URL, a web page, an image, a website, a hyperlink etc. — each from a different point in time Most often websites (especially larger websites) are not continuously archived in their totality — the spatial extension of the same archived website is not necessarily identical throughout time The broad web archive is multitemporal and multispatial 4. The Challenges — The Characteristics of the Archived Web
  33. 33. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 33 The rapid and endless new developments of software and use forms on the web force the archiving institutions to try to keep pace with these changes The web archive is often reactive in the sense that it is constantly struggling to keep up with the changes The web archive tends to be reactive 4. The Challenges — The Characteristics of the Archived Web
  34. 34. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 34 The web material is incomplete compared to what was once online — two general types of incompleteness  The user of a web archive will miss some of the information about the web which is usually at hand on the online web  Individual web elements and possibilities of interaction may be missing Something is missing 4. The Challenges — The Characteristics of the Archived Web
  35. 35. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 35 What is specific for the incompleteness of web archives is not that things are missing, but rather that they may be missing in ways which make it very difficult to determine if something is missing at all as well as what and where No stable original to compare with Incompleteness is rarely documented Something is missing 4. The Challenges — The Characteristics of the Archived Web
  36. 36. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 36 4. The Challenges — Analytical and Methodological Consequences The complex blend of hypertextuality, interactivity, multimediality, and fluctuation (born-digital material) increases when combined in the web archive with material from other points in past time Each synchronic and historically distinct form of heterogeneity and complexity is multiplied, accumulated, and combined diachronically The further the archive stretches back into the past, the more heterogeneous and complex the archived material becomes Heterogeneity and complexity is multiplied
  37. 37. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 37 The structure of hyperlinks is an integrated part of the archived web and not just an added feature of the archive Gives rise to problems of inconsistency related to time and space  Temporal inconsistency between the link source and the link target  Spatial inconsistency if the link target is not archived at all Difficult to determine if — and to what extent — the archived web material is inconsistent or not Hyperlinks become inconsistent 4. The Challenges — Analytical and Methodological Consequences
  38. 38. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 38 When studying the online web one can select a corpus to study, for instance, a set of URLs or file types In a web archive: since a number of versions of each element exist, one has to construct not only one corpus, but two. First the URLs that should be included in the study Second the specific versions of each of these URLs An archived web corpus is a double construction 4. The Challenges — Analytical and Methodological Consequences
  39. 39. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 39 The archived content itself as well as the division of the material in elements can be changed Any 'montage' of the archived elements in the archive — or any extraction from the archive — is also an editing of these elements Reason: the subdivision of the archived material and the subsequent combination of elements are not necessarily inscribed in the material itself A continuum with no clear-cut temporal or spatial subdivisions inscribed by the producer; the subdivisions are editable, scalable, and random, and they are made a posteriori by either the web archive or the scholar The archived web is edited and editable 4. The Challenges — Analytical and Methodological Consequences
  40. 40. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 40 The amount and the complexity of the archived material do not allow for systematic and detailed processing of the entire archive once the web has been archived (exceptions exist) Have to make do with either the metadata provided by the archived web itself (e.g. meta-tags in the source code), or with the log files from the archiving process, if the archive makes them available Subsequent processing is lacking 4. The Challenges — Analytical and Methodological Consequences
  41. 41. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 41 If transnational studies are to be based on archived web material, all the analytical and methodological consequences outlined above are multiplied by the number of involved web archives The interoperability between web archives is challenged 4. The Challenges — Analytical and Methodological Consequences
  42. 42. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 42 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications How can one of the basic practices of media and web historiography — the creation of a register of websites — shed new light on the use of the web as a historical source?
  43. 43. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 43 A register of sub-sites on dr.dk Sub-site: dr.dk/nyheder, dr.dk/radio, etc. The register includes 480 sub-sites and can be seen at: www.drdk.dk/registrant.html 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  44. 44. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 44
  45. 45. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 45 A register tailored to the research question(s) it makes it possible to answer media characteristics of the medium it registers makes use of a number of categories: Title, date of publication or transmission, writer, director, cast, etc. 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  46. 46. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 46 Main concern — web material The media characteristics of the web medium forces us to reconsider and possibly reinterpret the categories: What should be understood by 'Title', 'Date of publication or transmission', etc.? Main concern — traditional media Which categories to include with a view to uniting research question and media characteristics? 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  47. 47. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 47 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  48. 48. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 48 Print media, film and radio/television The title of a newspaper and the titles of the articles in it are supplied by the publisher and they are unequivocal And the same goes for film, radio and television Title Websites Three possible titles:  the name as it appears from the sub-site’s textual content  the URL of the sub-site as it appears in the location line in the browser window  the page title which the publisher may have given the web page, and which can be read at the top of the browser window 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  49. 49. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 49
  50. 50. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 50 Yet another problem — redirects A URL may not correspond to an actual website, but can be merely an 'empty' name Consequences A sub-site can have more names than the ones on the webpage — a number of possible 'satellite names' It is difficult to find these 'satellite names', and we cannot see them on the website It is difficult to determine, whether a URL corresponds to a website or redirects to another URL, and is thus is ’empty’ 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  51. 51. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 51 ... and this issue becomes further complicated in connection with historical studies... Redirects are not always identical over a period of time, they come and go and their role may change, a former main URL may become a redirecting URL — and the other way around Concluding on the category ‘Title’ In a register of a historical source such as a Website, one of the most fundamental categories ’the title’ is in many ways more equivocal and fluid than it is in other media types And in general it is very difficult to reconstruct and document this network of names in the past. 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  52. 52. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 52 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications Print media, film and radio/television Can normally be identified without difficulty due to the material or semiotic characteristics of the medium (or combinations of these): printed newspapers or film: the material delimitation of each copy radio or television programs: semiotic demarcation of programs in the flow by means of transitional markers such as jingles, voice- overs, titles and credit lines newspaper articles: material delimitation — the individual newspaper copy — and semiotic delimitations within each copy (headings, layout of text, pagination...) Spatial extent Websites Seems in some respects closer to broadcast media, as the outer limits are established almost solely by semiotic means
  53. 53. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 53 Challenge Does not unfold as a linking of semantic elements in a time-based progressive chain of expression How to get an overview of the entire spatial extent of the website? And how to do this over time, in historical studies? 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications ”a coherent textual unit that unfolds in one or more interrelated browser windows, the coherence of which is based on semantic, formal and physically performative interrelations.” N. Brügger: ”Website history and the website as an object of study”, New Media & Society, 11/1-2, 2009, p. 122.
  54. 54. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 54 Concluding on the category ‘Spatial extent’ The Website is not delimited in a material way (as are print media) or by the linking of semantic elements in a progressive chain of expression (as are broadcast media) We are dependent: on such aspects as semantic cohesion, paratexts and linking when delimiting the spatial extent of the subsite and on the consistency of these means of expression over time when trying to trace the same subsite in the past 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  55. 55. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 55 Websites May have something similar to a ‘start time’ But not based on a 'narration' with a beginning, a story and an end. More complex — a ‘continuum of publication’ 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications Temporal extent Print media, film and radio/television The temporal extent is based on the rhythm of chronology: print media have a clearly marked and precise time of publication (month, week, date and hour) programs in broadcast media have a precise start time, followed by a transmission time and a precise stop time, all of which are marked in the aired program and possibly also in a program schedule
  56. 56. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 56 Start time? First time published on a webserver. But can be difficult to establish with certainty: almost never mentioned on the website in the same way as in a newspaper or a broadcast program secondary sources such as program schedules does not exist press releases can help, but not always possible to determine whether the website was actually launched on the announced date ... and, unfortunately, web archives are not of much help... The existence of a subsite in a web archive: it existed at the time of archiving Conclusion In most cases the start time will be imprecise — a period of time rather than a point in time 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  57. 57. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 57 Temporal extent of the subsite from the 'start point' and onwards? If a start time can be established, the temporal extent of the subsite from this point onwards is fundamentally different from that which we know from other media types: a continuous publication with no overarching marked temporal subdivisions, such as dates or hours/minutes the temporal subdivisions are not made by the producer at the time of publication or transmission, but by the archive or the researcher 'post festum’ temporal subdivisions are therefore random in relation to the time continuum of the media artifact — and they can therefore be changed after publication temporal subdivisions are not necessarily identical in different archives — most often they are not — and they can be different in the same archive 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  58. 58. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 58 Stop time? Although the Website has a temporal extent like a radio or television program, it does not need to have a stop time in order to be a website as does radio and television programs. The stop time of a website may be defined in two different ways. the website has been removed from the web server the website is not being updated anymore, but remains on the web server 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  59. 59. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 59 In both cases we face a number of practical problems in determining what has actually happened.... We may only be able to register the fact that at a certain point in time, it was no longer online. It is difficult to determine whether the website is actually being updated or not 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications Consequence It is very difficult to determine when a website ‘ends’. If our register has to show how meny websites existed at a given time the number of active websites tends to grow — an accumulation of ‘non-ended’ websites
  60. 60. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 60 Concluding on the category ‘Temporal extent’ Compared to the programs of broadcast media: the web sub-site as a whole is often continuous the well-known entities of start and stop times may in themselves form more of a continuum than a point in time the website may thus appear to be a historical source that is not only continuous, but infinite 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  61. 61. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 61 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications Various archived versions Print media, film and radio/television Regardless of who stores a newspaper or a film strip, or who presses the record button, archived copies of newspapers, films and radio and television programs are by and large identical. Minor differences may, for instance, include the absence or presence of commercials in archived television programs. Websites A unique version and not a copy. The differences between archived sub-sites are more or less fundamental to their presence in an archive. Standardization and documentation is difficult.
  62. 62. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 62 Concluding on the category ‘Various archived versions’ The differences between versions may very well affect the above- mentioned categories – names, spatial and temporal extents — insofar as they may vary, depending on which archived version is used. The differences between archived versions play a crucial role when establishing a register of subsites, which is why it is relevant to register the known archived versions as well as their limitations and deficiencies. 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  63. 63. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 63 A register of websites? A register of subsites is in many ways significantly different from registers of other types of media such as newspapers, films, radio and television, whether in their analog or digital form. The question is no longer simply whether we wish to include the 'title' and 'publication date' in our register, but also how we wish to interpret the terms 'title' and 'publication date'. 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  64. 64. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 64 Websites The apparently simple and practical task of creating a register of these historical sources forces us to reconsider well-known categories in a number of ways, and to supplement the usual assumptions regarding which categories to include with more fundamental reflections on what we actually understand by each of these. Print media, film and radio/television ... are easy ;-) 5. A register of websites: An old practice with new implications
  65. 65. THE CENTRE FOR INTERNET STUDIES Niels Brügger, Director, the Centre for Internet Studies & co-director NetLab Web historiography, An emerging field within internet studies , 25 june 65 Comments? Discussion?
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