Class 4: The Web, the Digitization of Everything, and the Internet Everywhere

In today’s class, we examined how the web grew from a collection of linked pages to a dynamic and an almost living cache of documents, in what we call Web 2.0, that grow because of the interactions we have with them either on social networking sites, messaging, blogs, or other forms of user generated content.

This growth could not have been possible without a critical mass of users, numbering in the billion, and without an almost unceasing connectivity that we have to the Internet. That is to say, that although not all of us have access to the Internet all the time and at full speed, enough of us do to create the relationships between one web document and another.

In the documentary, Digital Nation it is not so much that we use the Internet for everything in our everyday lives, as many of you have commented, but it is in fact that Digitization has in fact changed the very nature of how we live, work, learn, communicate, and even build relationships. It is because we have reconfigured our sense of time and space, as Michael suggested earlier this semester, that we can also impact the web, transforming it from a static place to one where it thrives on our activity.

The only question remains whether it will need us once the web becomes fully semantic and self-aware. Yikes!

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