[iDC] Against Web 2.0

Marc Lafia marc at marclafia.net
Fri May 26 18:22:25 EDT 2006

If we might for a moment let us go back a few weeks to our discussion of the
Manovich talk - and how Web 1 Web 2 (does it matter)- has informed and
mirrors this idea of a distributed aesthetic through the notion of new kinds
of internal differentiation and distribution in cultural objects. This both
from an authorial as well as a readerly point of view.

What is this 'participatory turn in culture that is noteworthy...  What
constitutes the art of engagement with regard to quotidian uses of open
access environments like wikis and blogs?'

Is not this same engagement informing the production and consumption of
objects of the everyday?

Where as Manovich sees this new engagement in depth (as in depth of field)
in the single frome and mono-time - I see the contemporary moment as
poly-temporal, distributed, iterative, responsive, multiple, lateral,
all-at-once, nonlinear and with an entirely different use of sound and voice
- in turn giving us a very different sense of the event of presence.

With this said I would be curious if the list would be up for writing a real
time alternative to Lev - to Bourriaud's Post Production, to Web 2
enumerating any and all things that concern putting on the now.

Perhaps a 100 statements, claims. No longer that 2 lines.

1. The moment is always now.

Marc Lafia  

> David Weinberger, blogging philosopher and author of ³Small Pieces
> Loosely Joined² said in a recent interview:
> ³some of the talk about Web 2.0 makes me want to point back to Clue
> Train Manifesto. The only part of the Web 2.0 stuff that I have a
> reaction to is when Web 2.0 people say- now at last the Web is for users
> and users have a voice. And I want to say: NO, back from the very
> beginning what drove people onto the net was not so that people can shop
> at Amazon. Weblogs and all that have made it way, way easier but the Web
> has always been about voice and conversation."
> <http://www.whak.com/off/?202>
> I agree. Online sociality is old: It goes back to the beginnings of the
> Internet. You don't have to be a media historian to understand that.
> Online sociality is new: It has reached a new level of participation, in
> some cases even interaction. Today, sociality online is empowered by
> easier-to-use tools, broader access to bandwidth and technology as well
> as a deeper familiarity with the tools.
> When I first came to the United States, I met Annette Michelson,
> professor for cinema studies, in her New York University office. She
> asked me why I decided to move to the US. A bit tongue-in-cheek, I
> responded that I did not come for the American Dream. I remember it like
> today: her eyes turned dark, then a moment of silence, ... then she
> raised her voice: "Don't you even MENTION the American Dream
> to me. It does not exist."
> Russell Shaw's in his recent Zdnet article "Web 2.0? It does not exist"
> does not argue that Web 2.0 does not exist just like Michelson surely
> did not doubt that there are people who follow the American Dream.
> Russell Shaw just turns his back to the suggestion that there is a
> rebirth of the Web.
> <http://blogs.zdnet.com/ip-telephony/?p=805>
> Wikipedia states about Web 2.0 as "a social phenomenon referring to an
> approach to creating and distributing Web content itself, characterized
> by open communication, decentralization of authority, freedom to share
> and re-use." The encyclopedia continues by characterizing Web 2.0 as "a
> more organized and categorized content, with a more developed
> deep-linking web architecture." They also refer to a "shift in economic
> value of the web, potentially equaling that of the dot com boom of the
> late 1990s." The term Web 2.0 is yet another fraudulent bubble designed
> to trick investors with pretended newness. It's just like McDonald's
> re-stacking their greasy beef layers to sell an entirely new product
> every 6 month. I'm not at all suggesting, however, that the phenomenon
> behind the term Web 2.0 is corrupt.
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0>
> The term is attributed to corporate "futureneer" Tim O'Reilly who
> convened a Web 2.0 Conference in 2005. (White male faces dominated this
> conference just like other O¹Reilly events.) The Wikipedia DEF for the
> term Web 2.0 links it to what some people see as a second phase of
> development of the World Wide Web.
> <http://www.whak.com/off/?203>
> <http://www.web2con.com/>
> Other terms kicking around include groupware and the term social
> software that was mainly used in the early 1990s. It stood for people
> connecting or collaborating through networked communication
> technologies. 
> Howard Rheingold referred to sociable web media as
> ³cooperation-enhancing technologies.² Cooperation, in contrast, is a
> less intensive form of working together in which participants account
> for gain or loss individually. Contributors have individual goals. While
> collaboration is a risky, intensive form of working together with a
> common goal. The gain or loss is shared among all. The term sociable web
> media is surrounded by this discourse. Edward Barrett, lecturer in the
> MIT Writing Program introduced the term "sociomedia" in the book of the
> same title. Judith Donath wrote on Sociable Media for The Encyclopedia
> of Human-Computer Interaction.
> <http://smg.media.mit.edu/>
> <http://www.whak.com/off/?204>
> <http://smg.media.mit.edu/papers/Donath/SociableMedia.encyclopedia.pdf>
> The term "sociable media" is used by the MIT Sociable Media Group, for
> example. They define ³sociable media² as engagement with issues of
> identity and society in a networked society. "Sociable," for me, means
> approachable. Webster defines "sociable" as " a) being inclined to seek
> or enjoy companionship and b) marked by or conducive to friendliness or
> pleasant social relations." A sociable online environment is open to
> contributions. But that does not mean that it is social, that is has a
> community of participants. Opening a room does not mean that people will
> come to party. "Sociable" alludes to the possibility of sociality. I use
> the term sociable web media.
> Next time you hear Web 2.0 feel the sour aftertaste.
> References:
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