“From the moment people have connected computers to one another, we have been using them to talk to one another” Ethan Zuckerman
A paper-based database offering thousands of hacks, tips, tools, suggestions, and possibilities for optimizing your life Steve Jobs called it the conceptual forerunner of the World Wide Web and the Bible of his generation Stuart Brand, 1968--1972
Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link 1985 An early BBS, outgrowth of the WWC
HTML, HTTP, and World Wide Web
Berners-Lee brought the three subplots together
World Wide Web 1989 Involves all three dimensions
How it works … Hypertext = HTML A language for documents Networks = HTTP A language for computers (clients and servers) Community Purpose from the beginning Focuses on how people use information Both HTTP and HTMP build this requirement into their architecture …
What is the problem Berners-Lee was trying to solve?
“the problems of loss of information about complex evolving systems” The problem of knowledge management “Many of the discussions of the future at CERN … end with the question -- Yes, but how will we ever keep track of such a large project?” “When two years is a typical length of stay, information is constantly being lost. “
How does the shape of data in the web match its intended social use?
[Although CERN is] nominally organised into a hierarchical management structure, this does not constrain the way people will communicate, and share information, equipment and software across groups. The actual observed working structure of the organisation is a multiply connected "web" whose interconnections evolve with time. The system must allow any sort of information to be entered. Another person must be able to find the information, sometimes without knowing what he is looking for.
Hierarchy = appearance Network = reality
How is it possible to connect networks, hypertext, and digital community?
Networks connect computers Hypertext connects documents Communities connect people Each mode of connection shares a common cultural logic (in spite of cultural differences)
A weird mix of military, hippie, hacker, and academic cultures
. . . sharing a common cultural form
Effects and Affordances
Effect 1 The social dimension overtook the computational one We still don’t have agents No true hypertext (according to Nelson) Instead, filtering has become socially mediated
We are left with social-semantic space
Effect 2 The Network is the Medium Laws of the Realm Metcalf's Law Page Rank The Long Tail Connectedness