From September 2005 to June 2006 a team of thirteen scholars at the The University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for Communication explored how new and maturing networking technologies are transforming the way in which we interact with content, media sources, other individuals and groups, and the world that surrounds us.
This site documents the process and the results.
So, what does it mean that yahoo has wrapped del.icio.us into its media cocktail?
While I wouldn't presume to have any special insight into what it means when del.icio.us and the other properties are mixed in the same stew, I might suggest that del.icio.us is, when you invert it, a rich database of individual's (and groups, I supposed) self-authored descriptions of their interests, activities, projects — the whole thing.
Turning this into a way to create useful indices to people for a variety of purposes seems most obvious. Knee jerk purpose says advertising, but I'm betting that clever heads will find a host of more promising kinds of ways to create vibrant enhancements to existing social formations and ways in which culture is circulated amongst networked publics.
More than tagging pages on the web — tagging "my stuff" in the world is still something TBD. Through del.icio.us, I can provide indices through taxonomies and folksonomies to things that are of interest to me, or related to a project. Some inferences can be made about my personality, or the things in which I am engaged. But that's a degree removed from an explicit articulation of who I am, what I have, what I want to get rid of, what I want to share, what I need, etc. Think of what a distributed MySpaces might look like, without the hassle of having to manage yet another social software application.
[via Russell Beattie's Notebook]