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The History of the Internet

The History of the Internet

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The History of the Internet

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  1. Robert Burnett and P. David Marshall, Web Theory, Routledge, London 2003 The History of the Internet

  2. The History of the Internet • From the Cold War to Web 2.0 • ARPANET: the Advanced Research Project Agency, 1969 – The Ministry of Defence of the US, 1958 • Packet-switching technology: telecommunication transmission

  3. The History of the Internet • Standardized communication protocols, 1973 • 1983: split of ARPANET to MILNET for military purposes and ARPANET for research • Start of 1990s: gateways with payment, the Internet is commercialized

  4. The History of the Internet • A global network of computers with the addition of new nodes • Grassroots: BBS: bulletin board system, the end of the 1970s

  5. The History of the Internet Actors: • The military complex: communication and secrecy • Research: sharing of knowledge • Business: transactions • Grassroots: populism and democracy

  6. The History of the Internet Still: duality and tension: • Public role and commercially useful and private use • The Internet as gift or as commodity • The Panopticon, surveillance end censorship

  7. The History of the Internet Still: duality and tension: • Space and time. • Communication: either space or time bias. • Preservation of information: time (oral culture, insular, conservative) • Distribution of information: space (dissemination, exchange, empires) • The Web: spatial control or limitless archival structure?

  8. The History of the Internet Still: duality and tension: • The Web: spatial control or limitless archival structure? • Space: like TV massive diffusion, but no spatial locality, no centre, not as simultaneous as TV • Time: the Web as a giant archive: the function of the hard disk as storage, servers.

  9. The History of the Internet Still: duality and tension: • Post-industrial information society: • Information on the Internet, which is without gatekeepers, is not knowledge, but raw material for knowledge. • No validation. • Same form, new content of website. • Orphaned web sites. • Information without geography • Old media’s official and legitimate websites are paralleled with personal websites. • A search engine only covers 20 % of the Web.

  10. The History of the Internet Still: duality and tension: • The Web stresses a post-modern epistemological crisis: production of knowledge from information • The reason for the epistemological crisis is topographical or narrative: the Web is network. The individual element is linked. A piece of information will never be finished, and new information will influence it.

  11. The History of the Internet The new agora:

  12. The new agora: • A new public space with exchange of new, information and goods. Freedom of speech. Bartering and negotiations and also a mode of publicness. • The Web constantly transgresses Jürgen Habermas’ spheres

  13. The new agora: • The commodity and the gift: a basic duality of the Web. • Historically the Web has been a gift: free exchange and distribution of information and research. • Freeware, shareware, downloading, cheats, music, copy-paste. • The library. • Educational institutions.

  14. The new agora: • The gift nature of the Web has delayed its economic development. • The killer application: pornography has developed the market nature of the Web since the early 1990s • Now: travels, hotels, real estate, books, banks, shares etc. • B2B og B2C • The audience commodity: counting users: Hits, cookies, databases.

  15. Form: • Hypertext • Convergence • Montage • Text medium?

  16. Reception: • Modalities of participation: • Surfing – browsing, the flaneur – search engines • Reader: downloading • User: producing • Uploading: reception becomes production • The fusion of work and non-work, information and entertainment – part of a new economy.

  17. Reception: Dystopian and utopian: • Quality time: offline is better than online Discuss and give examples of both. • Lack of research of how we use the Web.

  18. The Web and identity Network as a new social morphology: • Work, recreation, education and government. • Network as a social as well as a textual category. 1. Describe and map your social network 2. Then relate it to media use

  19. The Web and identity Web culture and labile identity • Class? • Gender? • Geography/nationality? • Still spatial orientation with computer • The dislocation of the telephone

  20. The Web and identity : dating

  21. The Web and identity Communication with real people online • Different from tv. • Different from reality tv.

  22. The Web and identity Cultural production: reader, author, character fuse with technology • The sophisticated signification-creating audience of cultural theory becomes textual producers.

  23. The Web and identity • Communication technologies reconstruct (parts of) the subject and its world: Book / tv or the telegraph / telephone • Media technologies are hybrids: they are both parts of the subject and a medium to carry it • The social and mediated construction of reality

  24. Communication The Internet abolishes traditional borders between three kinds of communication: • Interpersonal (One-one) • Mass communication (One-many) • ”Computing” (Many-one) • plus: many-many

  25. Communication • The old modes of communication adapt, e.g. into: • segment audience (narrowcasting) • more service • recycling in new media (on-line radio and tv and newspapers) • interpersonal communication: replaces face2face, extends weak ties

  26. Web 2.0 A new user behaviour and a new business model

  27. Web 2.0

  28. Web 2.0 • From Netscape to Google: • Netscape: the web browser, a desktop program • Google: only a mediator between user and on-line • Google’s relatives: • eBay • Amazon • Napster •,,, FaceBook

  29. Web 2.0 - Emergence • The Web 2.0 principle: the more users the betters service • Critical user mass: eBay • The narcissist peer group is mediated in MySpace etc. •

  30. Web 2.0 – Multi-player-communities

  31. Wikipedia • Wikipedia: The Age of Enlightenment’s democratic project: Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciencesdes arts et des métiers,1751-1780 has finally been fulfilled through Wikipedia.

  32. Wikipedia • Human knowledge has three branches memory, reason, fantasy • Bourgeois society and the French Revolution: Knowledge can improve the world • Wikipedia rests on trust – the edit function.