Supplementing your text for next week – the introduction and chapters 1 & 2 in We the Media – are a few readings/viewings that address just where the Internet came from and where it’s going. This kind of historical grounding is vital if we’re to have an idea about where to take online communication.
First, take a look at this piece from the Internet Society, “A Brief History of the Internet.” You might skim some of the more terminology-heavy sections, but be sure to focus on the motivations of the players involved.
As a companion, here’s a timeline of the stages of development for how the Internet came to be. I’m also including Hobbes’ Internet Timeline (now up-to-date!), which is an EXHAUSTIVE listing of events – don’t try to read the whole thing, but DO use it as a reference.
After this grounding in the past, let’s take a look at what we’ve built upon that foundation. Consider this trio of links from the SITE readwriteweb(.com): First, that social media is actually social (no!), yet there may be cases where social media should be avoided. Second, social networking might actually be surpassing searches as the dominant use of the Web (but, as they note, it kind of depends on just what you consider YouTube to be).
Finally, let your reading muscles relax and watch this video on just where the Internet came from:
Is the Internet something invented by an individual? Just where did it come from, and in what forms has it existed? How do its origins inform the things we use it for today?
(Also, for the nerds, the graphics used in this video are a new flavor called PICOL icons. They’re an effort to create a standardized electronic sign system, and can be altered by users – a neat idea, if not exactly new.)
Since I’m a little late getting this up, I’m pushing back the response deadline for this week to noon on Tuesday (future responses will still be due Monday). Responses should be around 200 words, and feel free to include links to arguments or evidence on your own blog or elsewhere. Remember to post a response to the comments of this post no later than that deadline.