Read & Respond – Week 3

Now that you’ve had a few weeks to get used to blogging and start reading some more established bloggers, let’s take a step back and look at where it all takes place: The Internet. Sparkly, isn’t it? I’ve attached a few supplemental links (and a video!) below that tell you a bit about where it came from and where it’s going.

Briggs this week calls his chapter “advanced blogging,” which is right in line with where you should be by now. You’ve got a few posts under your belts, but you’re wondering where to go from here. In keeping with this week’s history theme, he’s got a good section on where blogs came from, including a shout-out to Dan Gillmor, who’s a strong evangelist for rethinking media-audience communication (have a look through his Twitter feed for evidence of the man’s passion for this subject). Briggs offers up some good tips for getting started, which will be useful for your mission statement assignment (due Thursday!), as well as providing some useful terminology and audience-building tactics.

You might consider reading this week’s links before Briggs because many of them address the pre-Web 2.0 world (these are fairly in-depth, so SKIM). First, there’s this piece from the Internet Society, “A Brief History of the Internet” – it’s a little tech-y, but note the players involved. Likewise, take a glance at these two timelines: How the Internet came to be, and 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.

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?

Remember, your response is due as a comment to this post no later than noon on Monday, Jan. 24.

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16 Responses to Read & Respond – Week 3

  1. jonvickers says:

    I see many similarities between the ‘History of the Internet,’ the development of a successful blog and the development of ‘new’ media toward a potentially bright future. As long as people stop tweeting about what they plan to do after they clip their toenails.

    The internet was realized by many people over a long span of time and no one saw the potential until after the technology existed. We foresaw spaceships and laundry robots, but not the interconnected marketplace of ideas and rampant pornography (Again, we could go either way with this ‘potential’ stuff). The web of the internet was like adding onto a house as you needed more space and your blogging and social media presence must work in much the same way.

    As you read Briggs you see your web of interconnectedness developing through the Advanced Blogging Chapter. As you build an audience and facilitate conversations your blog strengthens and the web grows. Curt Cavin discusses the importance of more content/communication faster. As the blogger reaches out and incorporates more tools (twitter, widgets, etc.) and connects themselves with other bloggers, people and groups, the blog strengthens. This is much like how the various networks of the internet came together to form the web of the internet our blogging and social media use today.

  2. When looking back on everything, it is amazing how the internet developed. Obviously, the internet that we know today was not invented by a single person. I can guarantee that in1957, no one ever thought that the “block processing” system was going to turn into how we use the internet and computers today. It took some of the most intelligent people in the world to build upon each other and the vision of the internet changed countless times, each time bringing us closer and closer to how we see it today.

    The internet went from only being used by a few, select experts to being in every household and used by children. And blogging felt like it was only used by pubescent kids talking about their daily routines at school and the “totally awesome” new shoes they bought.

    But things are changing. Surely, there are still people who are convinced that other really care about how long their shower was, but I can definitely see that things are more journalistic now. People are able to pick something that they are truly interested in and bring insight and useful links and information that others will also care about. The amazing thing about it is that anyone can read it and respond to you and give you even more insight than you could have had on your own.

    Now that we know how the internet has morphed up to this point, the question is, how will it change in the future?

  3. K.Wish. says:

    After filtering through all of the web sites and video on the history of the Internet, I must say, “Wow.” The development of the Internet is one of the best collaborative efforts to date. The Internet’s history is part of what we know it as today.

    No, the Internet is not something invented by a single individual. Yes, a few individuals had similar ideas about packet switching and communication. But, without the collaboration of ideas in the 60s-80s, the Internet would not exist as a public domain as it does today. The Internet we have come to love is still developing because of the countless people dedicated to creating new technologies. Smart phones, which connect us to the Internet, are a relatively new invention but yet we expect this feature as part of our Internet world.

    In it’s essence, the Internet is about collaboration, sharing knowledge. This is exactly what it was created to do, too. Although it was originally created to share knowledge within internal organizations, it has grown to something far beyond that notion. We can talk to people across the world and see their face with little to no interference. We can have our identity stolen through the Internet by purchasing shoes on an unsafe web site. We can do our homework online and not think twice about it. The Internet’s origins, as our readings showed us, set it up for this great success and immense responsibility that it is now.

  4. rdlwvufan says:

    The internet was not developed by just one person (Al Gore). Independent research on this concept led to the need for better communication between groups that were trying to develop a way to connect computers. Several different groups were trying to reach the same end, and by coming together to form a basic structure, information exchange became quicker and easier, so overall progress could be made at a faster rate as well.

    I can’t really explain very well “where” the internet came from, because much of what I read made little sense to me. About the only thing I feel I’ve got a decent handle on is packet switching, and even that might be pushing it. Really, we all have paranoia and the Cold War to thank for the internet’s existence, as these circumstances pushed the research forward even more.

    A lot of what was going on seems primitive now, but advancements were being made all the time. In a span of four years, we went from email being invented and communication limited to computers on the same network, to the development of TCP/IP and Ethernet, which allowed computers on different networks to communicate and the ability to transfer data at much faster rates.

    Looking at the video and seeing the various “ends” being sought by different developers is interesting. The defense aspect of needing more efficient ways to communicate everyday and in times of distress now constitutes a major part of most peoples’ lives. Many people don’t go a single day without being online, and the portability of the internet means a computer is no longer necessary. In fact, I’m posting this response using a smart phone (not really, I don’t even own one). The point is, we all use the internet to communicate regularly with other people, sometimes more than we do in real life.

    Another key aspect that was being researched all along was commerce, which should come as no surprise. Why make the internet if you can’t make money off it? People buy things online all the time now. Some people probably do more shopping online than they do in an actual store.

    What gets lost in all of this is what the creators of the internet had in mind from the start. We tend to think that the ways we use the internet now are contemporary ideas, but that isn’t always the case. Blogging might be an exception to this, but perhaps not. While the actual layout and execution of blogging might be a newer idea, the exchange of ideas and information was always at the heart of why the internet needed to exist. With blogging, we are sharing facts and information with others, while also sharing our own thoughts and opinions. We can take anything that’s real and make it fake, or make up whatever we want and call it the truth. And isn’t that what the internet is all about?

  5. deepafadnis says:

    This weeks reading were very interesting and essential, because I believe that before we enter the whole world of blogging, it is important to understand where it all came from. Just as studying evolution was important to the human kind, the birth and growth of web and then subsequently blogging and new media is enlightening.

    It is evident from the time-line that internet existed long before we actually know it and yet we only became aware of its existence recently. It seems, as though at some point the web completely took charge of publicizing its existence. It is also interesting to read that a Domain name business.com was sold for US$150,000 in 1997 and today, it has come down to $100! The survival stories of websites like Yahoo and Google in many countries show the power of the web.

    Briggs in his book talks about the language that should be used while writing a blog. I find this particular part in the book very interesting because, journalist generally get into technical details and forget that their audience is the common man. Often stories on interest rates or inflation are only understood by bankers or economist. Simplicity of writing is one thing that is to kept in mind while writing a blog. After all internet is for the everybody and not just the scholarly people.

  6. tonicekada says:

    Concerning the links:
    First of all, I would like to address the question about who invented the internet. After reading these articles I don’t beleive that there was any one person who invented the internet. govenment agencies, organizations, experts, and history all took a part on its’ invention. The idea, maybe, was invented by one person, but that was only the beginning with a few short memos written across the galactic network. In actuality, no one really knew what the interent was going to turn into or do for socitey. Plans had to be rewritten over and over just to keep up. The interent is revolutionary.
    These articles are all very “techy.” It was sometimes difficult to understnad what was being said. After reading them I do understand a little bit more. What I took from them was the understanding of teh complexity of the internets nature. It was so complex that its’ plans for invention could not be written out at once. As researchers and experts continued to create the internet they were constantly learning more and more about it, and therefore had to keep regulating, and changing it. The interent was being built as sputnik had been launched, RAND had been created and other events throughout history. I thinks it’s amazing to look back at those times and compare them to now to see what was created. I noticed that the internet relates to my career field. They are both revolutionary. The internet changed society as a whole, so can journalism. And journalism itself is changing…for the better.

    As for Briggs:
    This chapter taught me to be passionate about my blog. I learned to really get into it. It’s important to add links, a blogroll, images, videos, ect. It’s all about building your audience. But that’s not as simple as it sounds. You can’t just post on you blog a few times a week and expect people to read it. You have to add personality to it and join the blogging community by writing comments. It’s also important to read other blogs before you write your own in order to learn how to do it. Blogging once was nothing but an online, personal journal. But now it has become something of a “publishing phenomen” that is widely used by news organizations. The point is that media and journalism are always changing. It is important for journalists to be open to change, and grasp on to something to make it big.

  7. Jazz says:

    The history of the internet is lengthy and fragmented, but essential. I won’t even attempt to read the entire timeline. What’s important to glean is the absolute necessity of the medium; though it started as a small military project, it has grown to be central to our lives. And terribly convenient, almost to a fault in some cases.

    Of course, the interconnectivity and grand march of technology means that someone could keep up a blog without actually sitting behind a computer. We’ve given all the freedom in the world to the keenly tech-savvy. Today we strive to make it available to the computer-illiterate. Look at HTML coding. Those in the know created program that made their very job lesser by simplifying the process.

    The internet exists as a bridge between peoples. The undercurrent is the space between engineers and casual users. It will never die. It can only expand and deflate. It disproves the saying “the chain is only is strong as the weakest link.” You need no strength with enough volume, and this chain has more links than the Earth has people.

    As far as specifically blogging, Briggs certainly asks alot of us. Daily blogging and an authoritative voice are a bit much for the burgeoning blogster. However, the tips are on the whole helpful, and I hope to incorporate them to get feedback on my writing. Because who’s fault is it if no one reads my blog? I’d like to blame everyone else, but for every annoying reader there is a genuinely interested one. I have to catch attention.

  8. bostonkid124 says:

    The internet was not invented by one individual, it was created by a group of intelligent researchers or scientists. These people spend countless hours trying to expand on each others idea’s while dealing with all the mistakes that arose as they tried to develop the internet. It’s kind of funny how this all started because we we’re scared of Russian attacks after they launched the Sputnick.
    From what I understood the internet was developed on the idea of packed-switching which was to divide documents or files into smaller “packets” to that the lines wouldn’t interfere and get congested.
    It’s funny because earlier today I was talking to my roommate about how far computers and the internet had come. I remember being young and having to type my papers on a type writer. Then I remember how big of a deal it was that we got a computer and my siblings and I would constantly fight about who’s turn it was to go online. Now-a-days my smart phone can do just about everything my computer can. Though I’m sure the original creators didn’t imagine technology would develop so quickly.
    The goals of the internet when it was created was to connect people and to this day that is still the case. If there is such a thing, we’re beyond well connected, as you can find information at the click of a button or web cam with family across the globe.

  9. coreypreece says:

    After the readings and video, one things that really stood out to me was a notch on Hobbes’ Internet Timeline. The mention of 1957 and Russia’s Sputnik being the reason the U.S. founded and funded ARPA was interesting to me. We often here about how Russia’s first satellite was a ground-breaking moment both in terms of the Cold War and space exploration, however it is rarely if ever connected to the creation of the internet. It’s worth noting that world leaders were enthralled with the idea of going to space (and the moon) but had nary a thought about connecting all corners of the earth via a single mode of communication. Quite frankly, they couldn’t even imagine the idea, creation, and possibilities of the “internet.”

    Clearly no one who first started working to connect computers from coast to coast or create the previously unknown packet-switching theory thought their efforts would led to the modern internet. That’s why I don’t believe you can point to any particular person or entity and say “He or they made the internet.” Granted it was an idea shared by few, but the internet is something created and sustained by many.

    Just like our blogging class today, our facebook, twitter, and email accounts, and the dozens of websites we visit daily, the internet has always had one fundamental purpose – communication. From the original papers outlining the creation of a network, to the creation of email in the 70s, DNS in the 80s, and the introduction of the internet and world-wide-web to the mass public in the 90s, “to communicate” has always been at the heart of the ever-changing face of the internet. To me, the rise of social media has been just as important as any of the technological breakthroughs to create the modern internet. No longer does the average joe have to wait for an email response from a friend or rely on the local news website to update a breaking story, one simply has to log onto Twitter or Facebook to get the quickest and at times most accurate information available. Now the only question remains “what’s next?”

    Briggs: Like I mentioned in class the other day, I find myself searching for motivation to write for my blog on a consistent basis. This chapter really preaches the power of consistency, especially for a fledgling blog, and the need to entice and capture readers who visit your blog. Whether it be by adding tags or links or the latest videos regarding a particular topic, there are always ways to make your blog better both for you and your reader. Another thing I liked about Briggs was his notions of making sure the blog writer uses their own voice and thoughts in writing a post…instead of simply rehashing the news with one’s own lingo. I often find the best blogs on the web are those that use timely information and then synthesize and investigate what is being said, what should be said, and what the information really means. Hopefully I will be able to do the same throughout the course of the semester.

  10. ewadd986 says:

    I thought the video was really interesting. I think it’s crazy that the internet and some of the ideas behind it developed out if a necessity to keep up with the Russian space program. It was also interesting to see that the invention of a decentralize network was created because of the nuclear threat posed by Cuba. It’s cool that some of the greatest inventions in the world are sometimes discovered or created by accident and the internet although it was created by just one person, kind of fits into that.
    As far as the readings went I think Briggs talks about a lot of good things for those of us who are interested in getting our blog more hits. I see now why we had to do the blogroll assignment because as Briggs talks about a good blog is conversational and in the world of blogs, it is a good idea to link to other blogs because you won’t always be able to be the one who breaks something first. I think the best tip he gave was to put the reader first. I think the best blogs are the ones that are personable but you have to remember who your audience is first and foremost. Blogs can sometimes turn into more of a diary and if you aren’t writing about stuff that your readers are interested in then they will move onto another site to find the information they are looking for.

  11. capnwinters says:

    The Internet is most certainly not born of an individual. As with most inventions, it was born of iteration after iteration, inexorably grinding forward into new territory day after day. The bedrock of the Web as we know it (TCPs, packet switching, even the term Internet) was cobbled together from entirely separate forays into networking. It was multiple organizations with multiple teams that were responsible for ultimately sparking our Internet, and thus it is impossible to lay the credit at anyone’s feet.

    The Internet began as a twinkle in ARPA’s eye as a Cold War networking measure, designed to function and share info even under the duress of a nuclear assault. From there it saw many different incarnations, which granted it the lovely melange of features which allow it to exist in its current form.

    It’s ironic that the Internet, which began as a Cold War pipe dream, has ballooned to its currently ubiquitous state. I doubt the grim faced men in charge of concocting such top-secret ideas envisioned a network with which which grandmothers around the world could swap knitting tips from thousands of miles away, or order cat toys from a virtual marketplace. They may have never meant the Internet to escape the grasp of its military origins. But luckily for the world, it’s here now.

    And as for Briggs, I agreed with his sentiment that blogging is just the next natural evolution of journalism. His observation that blogging has now removed the barrier to immediacy is a keen one. The audience has never been closer to their journalists, and a wise journalist can capitalize on this fact.

  12. aarongeiger says:

    I guess it’s time to date myself a bit. When I was a little kid I ran a bulletin board. Yes, a BBS. Although I was the child of a working class father, we got a separate phone line installed for the BBS. I think my dad secretly wanted to do this project with me so he could apply his knowledge to his job. I used my modem to call up different BBS sites (2400 baud rate at first, and then 14.4k a year later). They were the original social networks, in my opinion. Most of them served only as a means to trade files and post comments on forums. It was neat to see the Internet develop as I grew up. Even as a BBS ‘sysop’ I learned that networking was crucial: you had to get your BBS name on other boards so other kids would dial up yours. You had to be picky about who you let online, because if there were too many users, they would always get a busy signal! Nowadays we want to get as many users as possible, so it’s interesting to read about Search Engine Optimization. I was able to make some adjustments, such as enabling Googlebots to come assess my pages. I also updated my metadata to help users know exactly what they were getting into when they see the description of the site. Writing an “about” section was very important, too.

  13. To me, it’s really hard to believe the Internet has been around since 1957 in some capacity. I guess that really has to do with members of the field of journalism pushing that the younger generation is better with technology. Though it’s hard to believe, the way it came about is really quite amazing. So many hands were involved. I really love “The History of the Internet” timeline because it’s interactive, but both that and Hobbes’ timeline were very detailed and informative. The fact that the Internet somewhat started through the government is very interesting considering the controversy of Wikileaks right now.

    Briggs’ chapter 2 was very inspiring to me as someone who really had no interest in blogs before this class. The most important message I think it send was that really, with a blog, your readers are what drives you. Your audience is something that is so key. Because we have the stats available for viewing, it makes it much more personal, sometimes almost scary. I think that’s just another up the Internet, social media and blogs have on print readers; print readers will never know exactly who is reading their work and won’t get any feedback unless it’s e-mailed. I was really inspired by journalists such as John Cook and Dan Gillmor who took initiative in a time of change and didn’t just sit back and watch – they formed their own future. The idea that people stumbled onto amazing blogs which helped their careers is also really just amazing. My favorite part of all of Briggs’ reading is how optimistic it is. While many people say throughout the chapter how hard it is, how much work they put into it, they’re not running away from it. They’re embracing it. This really is the future.

    We, as journalists, need to start thinking ahead. Yes, Briggs said it right, blogging is the natural evolution, but where do we go from here? When we’re in an ever-changing society because of the Internet, we have to be ahead and figure out how these tools, that are available so easily to us, can be used to bring us closer to our audience and get the necessary information out there.

  14. lindsaycobb says:

    Well for a completely non-technical/computer person, this weeks readings were pretty interesting. A lot of the language (ARPA, DARPA, TCP/IP) was very difficult to understand and then hang on to. I ended up rereading a lot of it to make sure I got what I was reading about.

    What really amazed me that I had never stopped to think about before is not how they created the internet (not a “sciencey” person, so I know I won’t ever really understand it) but how they got it out there to the rest of the world. Nowadays if there is a new idea or invention we can throw it up online and see what everyone thinks. When they were trying to spread word to companies about what this inter-net was no body got what was going on. Even though we weren’t completely sure what the internet would be used for, and back then we had no idea how huge it would really come to be the way it grew so quickly was a testament to its future and how successful it would be.

    I wish I had read the entire second chapter in Briggs before I made my blog. A lot of what he talked about we had already discussed to some degree, but I learned a lot in this chapter. The biggest thing is to use my blog as a journal of my thoughts. We can’t make our blogs like diaries about our lives, but we can journal about our topic and I hadn’t thought of it that way until this chapter. I’ve been having trouble finding time to blog frequently, but now that I’m looking at it in a more casual way I think I will get a lot more done. I’ll still add links and other substance to my blog, but now I know that I don’t want my blog to be one that is very tight laced and professional.

  15. shaymaunz says:

    It’s interesting, isn’t it, how different 2011 is from how it was probably imagined by so many people a half a century ago, even as the Internet was beginning to be developed. Science fiction movies imagined people going to phone booths, made futuristic by the addition of a video camera, as though it was assumed there would never be a time when phone booths weren’t around.

    It’s remarkable, really, how long it took for the Internet to be developed, and what a collaboration it was. For us, the Internet actually seems like a fairly recent development (even though we grew up with computers, I can still remember when my house got its first desktop and dial-up connection), but the Internet had been on its way for many years.

    What is even more interesting is the myriad of uses we’ve found for the Internet. It’s not just for work, but it’s not just for play. Beyond that, we’ve moved out of a time when the Internet was just used to facilitate our real-world activities. Now, people make entire careers out of online endeavors, virtual communities are often more active than any other, we’re social with people we’ve never actually met, and some people spend most of their day trolling blogs and twitter, barely looking up from the computer screen.

    The very fact that we are conducting this class in this way is evidence of how far the Internet has come – and certainly no one in 1957 could have foreseen that it would be used in this way.

  16. Shannon Teets says:

    To me it is difficult to establish a universal definition of the internet, much less actually pin point an exact creator. The creation of the internet was a collaborative effort of many different individuals and advances in technology. There is no one regulator or “president” of the internet, rather the users regulate content and are forced to find problems and solutions on their own. The connections of different networks through the internet allow it to be a continuously evolving entity that has come so far from it’s beginnings and has much space to grow into something more than we are even able to imagine at this point in time.

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