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How the Social Web Came to Be (part 2)

  1. How the Social Web Came to Be part 2 Trebor Scholz Department of Media Study Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 1
  2. Is the history of the Social Web, the history of mainstream culture? Which role did sub- and countercultures play? 2
  3. Vienna RSS Reader The first version of RSS was created by Netscape in 1999. RSS is based on XML. It is a format for syndicating content. 3
  4. (The site started in 1999 but it was first time archived on Waybackmachine on May 23, 2003.) “RTMark is itself a registered corporation which brings together activists who plan projects with donors who fund them. It thus operates outside the laws governing human individuals, and benefits from the much looser laws governing corporations.” 4
  5. Playahead is a large Internet community mainly aimed at Swedish teenagers. The site was founded in Helsingborg in 1998 and claims to have 1 million members, making an average of around 10 million logins per month. 5
  6. The network was acquired by Hearst Media on December 31, 2006. The original eCRUSH site was launched in 1999 pre-dating the social networking sites like Friendster, MySpace and Facebook. eCRUSH is the 10th largest dating site in the US. 6
  7. 2000 7
  8. 1990s dotcom awe too much too fast: “dotbomb” 8
  9. The Californian Ideology 9
  10. 5,900,000 (07) British teens and 20-somethings, 16 years and older Although serving users internationally, Faceparty markets mainly in the UK and has run many major events since its launch in 2000 (mostly in London). 10
  11. Sept 5, 2007 Jun 11, 2000 2,600,000 users (07), American Latinos 4000 on the site at any given time 11
  12. 2001 12
  13. September 11, 2001 13
  14. 14
  15. Bram Cohen (born 1975), SUNY at Buffalo BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) communications protocol, first implementation on 2 July 2001. BitTorrent has 135 million installs and accounts 55% of all Internet traffic (07, Bram Cohen) 15
  16. 2000 15,000,000 users (07) 16
  17. 2000/2001: Former editor-in-chief of Nupedia and Citizendium founder Larry Sanger (born 1968) and the American Internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales (born 1966) create Wikipedia. 17
  18. 2002 18
  19. 2002 2007 What went wrong with Friendster? 19
  20. Jan 22, 2002 2002. 28,000,000 users (07) Users, locating friends and family, keeping in touch “ members use real names, not screen names. Member privacy is protected through a blind relay e-mail system, so e-mail addresses and contact information are never revealed unless self-disclosed by members one-on-one.” 20
  21. Folksonomy (also known as collaborative tagging , social classification, social indexing, social tagging, and other names) is the practice and method of collaboratively creating and managing tags to annotate and categorize folksonomy Content. In contrast to traditional subject indexing metadata is not only generated by experts but also by creators and consumers of the content. Usually freely chosen keywords are used instead of a controlled vocabulary. 21
  22. July 2007 October 2002 2002. 15,000,000 users (07), Exploring/Sharing Music Tracks/Files “We have a pretty simple privacy policy. We are reasonably sure this won't piss anyone off. We won't pass your email address on to anyone, not even Lars Ulrich at gunpoint.” “Your pseudonymous listening habit data will be available to other users for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.” ... “We reserve the right to sell or license pseudonymous listening data for commercial use ...” 22
  23. 2000 2002. Meetup 2,000,000 users (07) 2003: prominence through Howard Dean 2005: requires organizers to pay for local groups leading to a drastic drop in local groups 23
  24. quot;The primary inspiration was the book Bowling Alone...” Heiferman said (co-founder of Meetup). quot;We are providing a service that revitalizes the Internet for local communities.quot; 24
  25. Feb 05, 2005 July 20, 2007 2002, US-based, 10, 000,000 users (07) Mainly South America (Chile, Argentina, Brazil) 2005: “It is Fotolog's policy to respect the privacy of Members. Therefore, Fotolog will not disclose to any third party Member's name or contact information. Fotolog will also not monitor, edit, or disclose the contents of a Member's information ...” 2007: “All content posted by a member is the property of the member that posted such content.” 25
  26. 26
  27. Clay Shirky's Social Software Summit November 2002 popularized the term “social software” 27
  28. The American economist and urban studies theorist Richard Florida published the controversial The Rise of the Creative Class. 28
  29. “I noticed one member of the group sitting slouched over on the grass, dressed in a tank top. This young man had spiked multi-colored hair, full-body tattoos, and multiple piercings in his ears. An obvious slacker, I thought, probably in a band. quot;So what is your story?quot; I asked. quot;Hey man, I just signed on with these guys.quot; ... This young man and his lifestyle proclivities represent a profound new force in the economy and life of America. He is a member of what I call the creative class: a fast-growing, highly educated, and well-paid segment of the workforce on whose efforts corporate profits and economic growth increasingly depend. Members of the creative class do a wide variety of work in a wide variety of industries--from technology to entertainment, journalism to finance, high-end manufacturing to the arts. They do not consciously think of themselves as a class. Yet they share a common ethos that values creativity, individuality, difference, and merit.” -- Richard Florida in The Rise of the Creative Class 29
  30. The Precariat Frassanito Network (2002) “Precarious work refers to all possible shapes of unsure, not guaranteed, flexible exploitation: from illegalized, seasonal and temporary employment to homework, flex- and temp- work to subcontractors, freelancers or so called self employed persons.” 30
  31. 31
  32. 32
  33. 2003 33
  34. It was significant that in a well-organized effort, 8-30 million people in 800 ci t ies worldwide simul t aneously showed t heir defiance of the war in Iraq on February 15, 2003. The Internet served as organizational tool. March 19 - The first American bombs drop on Baghdad, Iraq. March 20- the invasion starts. 34
  35. Salam Pax Anonymous Iraqi Blogger gains international visibility with posts about the war March 2003 35
  36. Podcasting Podcasters' web sites can be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically, using an aggregator or feed reader capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom. 36
  37. 2003. Kazaa founders Swedish Niklas Zennström (b. 1966) and the Danish Janus Friis (b. 1976) released the peer-to-peer Internet telephony network Skype. 37
  38. photo credit as quot;Scott Beale / Laughing Squidquot; Joshua Schachter 2003 , Social Bookmarking Sept 10, 2007 acquired by Yahoo in 2005 3 million users, 10 million bookmarks (07) 38
  39. Aug 06, 2003 Sept. 10 2007 Sept. 2003. GreatestJournal operates on LiveJournal's open source server software (mainly Pearl) 1,871,618 users (07) 39
  40. June 2003 Google starts AdSense 40
  41. 2000 200,000,000 users (07) most culturally influential social networking platform in the history of the Internet to date 41
  42. “MySpace was actually created by executives whose backgrounds are anchored in spam and mass marketing, and who are tied to investment scandals. Almost alternateen good looks, Tom Anderson has served as an exceptionally convincing distraction.” source: 42
  43. Also essential to the creation of MySpace is current CEO Chris DeWolfe, who from October 1999 through March 2001 acted as the VP of Sales and Marketing at Xdrive Technologies. As a source close to DeWolfe at Xdrive put it, quot;DeWolfe learned that people will sign up for almost anything that they find useful, and they could care less about the fine print.quot; Marketing Tom Anderson as founder and alternateen: quot;I am as anti-social as they come, and I've already got 20 people to sign up.quot; 43
  44. On June 15th, 2006 Myspace states in their Terms and Conditions that the company has quot;a non- exclusive, fully-paid and royalty- free, worldwide license .... to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, publicly display, store, reproduce, transmit, and distributequot; all content uploaded to their site.” 44
  45. first archived: Jun 04, 2006 13,000,000 users (07) “As of October 2006, there is no automated way to remove yourself from LinkedIn. The official method is to file a customer support ticket.” 45
  46. Jul 18, 2006 Sept 5, 2007 2003, Germany, re-named in 2006, European Business networking mainly used in Europe and far East, competitor to LinkedIn 46
  47. The Strength of Weak Ties In 1973 Granovetter argued that within a social network, weak ties are more powerful than strong ties. He showed that most people got jobs because of their weak ties instead of their strong ones. LinkedIn and Xing are build on this idea. 47
  48. Continuous Partial Friendship (David Weinberger) Ambient Intimacy (Leisa Reichelt) 48
  49. PeanutButterWiki (PbWiki), a free ad-supported wiki was founded by three graduates of Stanford University: David Weekly, Ramit Sethi, and Nathan Schmidt in 2003. PbWiki's slogan is quot;Make a free wiki as easily as a peanut butter sandwich!quot; 49
  50. 2004 50
  51. 2004 Weblog is Word of the Year (Webster) • Weblog si Word of the Year 51
  52. May 2004 Sept 2007 2004, Ecological concern and social activism, 7,744,297 users “Care2 does not claim ownership of Content you submit or make available for inclusion on the Service ... “ 52
  53. • Weblog si Word of the Year Albert-László Barabási published Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life. 53
  54. 2004 150,000 users in 2007 (invite-only) 54
  55. “A 2004 glitch in's review system revealed that many well-established authors were anonymously giving themselves glowing reviews, with some revealed to be anonymously giving ‘rival’ authors terrible reviews. The glitch in the system was fixed and those reviews have since been removed or made anonymous.” 55
  56. quot;[U]sing a wireless internet enabled bicycle outfitted with a custom-designed printing device, the bikes against bush bicycle can print text messages sent from web users directly onto the streets of manhattan in water-soluble chalk.quot; Joshua Kinberg, 2004 56
  57. December 09, 2004 September 10, 2007 57
  58. Some feel that users have too much control over content, allowing sensationalism and misinformation to thrive, blowing unsupported claims out of proportion while quickly exposing very many people to these opinion pieces. It has been reported that the top 100 Digg users control 56% of Digg's front page content and that a niche group of just twenty individuals had submitted 25% of the front page content. co-founder Kevin Rose 58
  59. “Digital Boston Tea Party” On May 1, 2007 an article appeared on Digg’s homepage that contained the encryption key for the AACS digital rights management protection of HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Digg, removed the submissions and banned contributors. The removals were seen by many users as a capitulation to corporate interests and an assault on free speech. The Digg community staged a wide-spread revolt. One of the Digg users referred to it as a quot;Digital Boston Tea Party.quot; Digg’s response: “[A]fter seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you’ve made it clear. You’d rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won’t delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.” —Kevin Rose 59
  60. In 2004 the peer-to-peer file sharing client LimeWire was released. It is still possible to download LimeWire and share copyrighted files peer-to-peer. 60
  61. 2004 Archived: Apr 29, 2004 Flickr. Canada. 2004 It has a repository that is quickly approaching 1 billion images (08/2007). domain first switched on 2007, Flickr announced that the quot;Old Skoolquot; members, those that In January Aug 06, 2005 pre-date the Yahoo acquisition in 2005, will be required to associate their account with a Yahoo ID. This move was criticized. ( 61
  62. 10,000,000 users (07), invite-only 1 million communities as of July 2007 largest social networking site in Japan 62
  63. 2004 The Network's stated mission is to quot;enable individual self-empowerment on a global scalequot; and employ quot;business as a tool for social good.quot; Pierre Omidyar (b. 1967) 63
  64. Mar 22, 2004 2004. Owned by Google. Popular in Brazil, India, Greenland. 67,962,551 users (07). Open (Google login) 64
  65. Mar 31, 2004 2004, Canada. Photo sharing, teens 10,000,000 users (07) Piczo was the fastest-growing online brand in the UK in 2006 with girls under 18 accounting for almost half its audience. 65
  67. 2005 67
  68. Tim O’Reilly -- quot;What Is Web 2.0?quot; The power of naming Photo: James Duncan Davidson 68
  69. 69
  70. The Social Web and Law Enforcement In March 2005, the United States Secret Service met with a University of Oklahoma freshman after he posted to the Facebook: “We could all donate a dollar and raise millions of dollars to hire an assassin to kill the president and replace him with a monkey.” On December 14th, 2005 MIT students used data from an automated script that allowed them to download over 70,000 Facebook profiles. 70
  71. Facebook privacy agreement (07) states: quot;We may share your information with third parties, including responsible companies with which we have a relationship.quot; 71
  72. Jan 22, 2005 1995, UK. 34,000,000 users (07), media sharing and social networking 2005: “Bebo does not claim any ownership rights in any Materials that you submit, post, or display on or through the Bebo Services or on the Web site.” 2007: “By submitting, posting or displaying any Materials on or through the Bebo Service, you automatically grant to Bebo a worldwide, non-exclusive, ... right to copy, distribute, create derivative works of, publicly perform and display such Materials.“ 72
  73. Archival screenshot, Mar 16, 2005 4,700,000 users (07) Open to people 18 and older, (Yahoo! login) “Yahoo! does not claim ownership of Content you submit or make available for inclusion on the Service.” 73
  74. 74
  75. 2004 Dreams and Goals; Tagging 1,007,433 users (07) 75
  76. Launched March 2005. The site has an audience which is 96% UK derived. The typical demographic profile is 16-22 year olds with a 60% lean towards females. 250,000 members (06) 76
  77. 2005. 1,000,000 registered contributors (07) 77
  78. May 27, 2005 Sept 10, 2007 2005. Video sharing site. An average of 9000 video uploads a day (Nov 2006). Video limit 20 mins, 150 MB. 78
  79. September 10, 2007 June 03, 2005 Meetro is an application that overlays the physical world on top of the online world. It combines SMS features, social networking and links it to location. 79
  80. 2006 80
  81. Everybody and their mom has a profile up on MySpace 81
  82. Deleting Online Predator Act legislation The Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006 (DOPA) is a bill, which was brought before the United States House of Representatives on May 9, 2006. The bill, if enacted, will require schools and libraries that receive E- rate funding to prohibit access to social networking websites. The bill would thereby limit access to a wide range of educational material on these websites (especially for minority and rural youth). 82
  83. Yahoo! Messenger 22 million users by December 2006 AIM December 2006 100 million “total users” between 40 and 50 million, Jan 2007 83
  84. Fandom Cingular Wireless announced today it has shattered its own record for wireless text messaging during the fifth season of quot;American Idolquot; (2006) -- 64.5 million text messages throughout the show's season. 84
  85. Micro-blogging is a form of blogging that allows users to write brief text updates (usually less than 200 characters) and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, and the web. France/ Finland Germany status updates on FB 85
  86. 2004 Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send quot;updatesquot; (text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) via SMS, instant messaging, email, to the Twitter website, or an application such as Twitterrific. Twitter was founded in March 2006 by San Francisco start-up company Obvious Corp. (Ruby on Rails.) 86
  87. as tool for human rights advocacy 87
  88. In 2006 Jay Rosen posted quot;PressThink: The People Formerly Known as the Audiencequot; 88
  89. 89
  90. (media sharing, video) (The MySpace for Christians) (Latino social networking site) (referral and social networking around music) (free social networking, cars) (social networking, online education, e-commerce) (online identity) (social networking for professional women, feminist) (Christian social networking site) (social networking for soccer players) (referral site about travel) (social networking, media sharing, family-focused) (sharing of all kinds of lists with friends) (blogging, media sharing) (mobile social networking) 2006 90
  91. (social networking site of the National Hockey League) (social networking for pet aficionados) (social search) (social networking and referral grouped around fashion) (social networking site about mental health and wellness) (feminist social networking site celebrating friendships among women) (social networking focused on weddings) (social networking and referral for the entire family) 2006 (activist, youth social networking) 91
  92. Netporn Bulletin Board Systems such as Rusty n Edie's charged users for access, leading to the first commercial networked pornography since BBSes were not accessed via the Internet. While pornography had seen limited distribution over the Internet in the 1980s, it was not until the Internet became more accessible to the general public throughout the 90s that netporn became widely distributed. 92
  93. 89% of porn is created in the U.S. $2.84 billion in revenue was generated from U.S. porn sites in 2006 25% of all search engine requests are pornographic $89/second is spent on porn 72% of porn viewers are men (2 8% are women) 260 new porn sites go online daily “Sex” is the most-frequently searched term on the Internet 70% of all porn traffic occurs during the 9-5 workday There are about 372 million porn web pages. 93
  94. 2006 (Finland). is a social networking and micro-blogging service similar to Twitter. 94
  95. 2006. Singapore-based internet radio and music community website. Over 1 million users (07) 95
  96. 2004 domain first switched on Aug 06, 2005 Facebook is a social networking website which was launched on February 4, 2004. Started for colleges, then high schools, and now everyone. 34,000,000 users (07) quot;We may use information about you that we collect from other sources, including but not limited to newspapers and Internet sources such as blogs, instant messaging services and other users of Facebook, to supplement your profile.quot; 96
  97. “User Revolts” ? 97
  98. In September Facebook launched a quot;news feedquot; feature causing protest and responses by 741,000 users who joined the Students Against Facebook News Feed group. 98
  99. 99
  100. 100
  101. 741.000 members of FB group in September 2006 101
  102. flow ion mat nfor of i e eas 741.000 members of FB group in September 2006 102
  103. “Even though I wish I hadn't made so many of you angry, I am glad we got to hear you,” he wrote. “And I am also glad that News Feed highlighted all these groups so people could find them and share their opinions with each other as well.” 103
  104. “Every MySpace user I know is absolutely sick of the advertising onslaught and would leave if they could. But they feel trapped because they have so much content invested there, not to mention all their friends.” 104
  105. Writely and Spreadsheets were merged into a single product on October 10, 2006 “… you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty- free license to reproduce, adapt, modify, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services…” 105
  106. ( August 2005 “We assure you that the contents of your Account will not be disclosed to anyone and will not be accessible to employees of AdventNet. Neither do we process the contents of your Account for serving targeted advertisements.” 106
  107. 2007 107
  108. 1.114 billion people use the Internet 108
  109. The Daily We Social objects and topical foci around which communities are shaped on the Social Web cater more and more to niche interests. The Internet gets incorporated into existing practices. 109
  110. (mobile social networking and media sharing) (social networking around baking) (social networking about books) (mobile media sharing) (mobile social networking, IM) (social maps) (micro-blogging) (social news site) (Game platform) 2007 110
  111. (North-American) English content is not dominating the Internet anymore. 111
  112. Social network hopping? Most people are on no more than 2 networks 112
  113. Consolidation 113
  114. By 2007 Wikipedia reports more than 2,000,000 articles in its English version and Technorati indexed more than 80 million blogs. 114
  115. Facebook reports about 34 million users, growing by about 4 million each month (2007). It has stronger membership outside the United States than MySpace. 115
  116. In 2007 hi5 hi5 hi5 is the leading social networking site in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Kuwait, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Thailand, and Tunisia. 116
  117. The Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to quot;enable and support independent, non-corporate creativity and political engagement.quot; Videobomb is a PCF project. It was founded in 2005. 117
  118. Bebo, Friendster, Orkut, and hi5 have also strong international presence. Orkut dominates India and Brazil also because exit costs are high, making it hard for people to migrate. Fotolog dominates Argentina and Chile. 118
  119. 2007. Hyperlocal social news. The term quot;hyperlocalquot; is used to refer to news coverage of community-level events usually overlooked by mainstream media outlets. 119
  120. Women aged 25-34 spend more time online than men in the same age group.,,2154293,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=technology 120
  121. conclusion 121
  122. The web is a platform for other things to come. What this will be is anyone’s guess. To find out we need to get going and start by protecting net neutrality. 122
  123. - end - direct comments, additions, etc to Trebor Scholz Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 123
  124. 124
  125. 125