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.

Wade Rush on Social Networking

Reblogged from is this piece by Wade Rush on the rise of Social Networking:

bq. If there were a competition for "Internet Buzzword of the Year," last year's winner would have been "social networking," as a cohort of companies such as Ryze, Tribe, LinkedIn, Friendster, Spoke, and Visible Path, rolled out new or improved services that let Web users create online mirrors of their circle of real-life acquaintances. The idea was mainly to let users build online profiles that advertised their interests and to help them connect with friends and friends-of-friends around one of those interests -- whether it be finding a job, making a sale, or repairing an old motorcycle.

bq. But with the exception of Friendster and Myspace, the initial response to these services among average Internet users was sluggish. Many users signed up for one or more services, created online profiles, formed connections with a few acquaintances, and drifted away, uncertain about how to use the networks."

Read more here

Submitted by kvarnelis on November 21, 2005 - 6:30pm

An Introduction to Tagging and Folksonomies

Daniel Terdiman's C|Net article 'Tagging' gives Web a Human Meaning is a good introduction to the importance of folksonomies and tagging for anyone looking for such a thing.

Submitted by kvarnelis on November 19, 2005 - 1:40am

Building a Better Boom

In his New York Times article, Building a Better Boom, John Battelle reflects on the similarities and differences between the Internet bubble of the late 1990s and our own time.

Submitted by kvarnelis on November 19, 2005 - 12:50am

Friday Night@The Mountain: The Imaginary 20th Century



Friday, November 18
8 pm
The Mountain Bar
473 Gin Ling Way
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Preview to a vast exhibition and database novel on the seductions of the future from 1893 to 1926 at the Mountain Bar in Chinatown. A journey through the dense megacity of 1900, the imperialist visions that became early science fiction, the first premonitions of “total war,“ techno-therapies for the body of the future. Dozens of illustrations, photographs, sounds, architectural models, and rare early cinema.

Submitted by mtuters on November 17, 2005 - 8:39pm

The Rise of the Object

Reblogging a piece from

A number of pieces have washed in over the transom over the last few days. Even more than postmodernism, Network Culture thrives on the paranoiac construction of connections and this post to has turned into precisely such a venture. Make your own flowchart if this one leads to madness.

First, John Southern sends this piece, Machines and objects to overtake humans on the Internet, on the prediction by the UN's telecommunications agency, the International Telecommunication Unit, that in future decades there will be tens of billions of objects connected to the Internet, leaving human users a distinct second. If the Internet becomes a vast grid capable of metering the world, what use will we put that too? Bruce Sterling is our theorist for this project, suggesting that the result is an informational universe composed of what he calls Spimes.

But where is this all leading to? At BoingBoing Xeni Jardin blogs historian George Dyson's article Turing's Cathedral, a reflection on his visit to Google. In response to a statement by a Google employee that's project of scanning vast libraries of literature is not so much to make the material available for humans but to provide reading material for an AI (Artificial Intelligence). Dyson points out that with the sum of the world's knowledge on the Internet, connections previously unimagined and undreamed of will soon become possible. Is it coincidence that Google is a word coined by a nine year old? Google, on the other hand. denies these rumors. Or at least is sidestepping them.

With all that in mind, as I read Lev Manovich's piece on Remix and Remixability and pondered the self-remixing functions of the Soft Cinema DVD that Lev and Andreas Kratky produced, I wondered if we weren't really looking at yet another case of art acting as a kind of research and development engine or prototyping unit for society at large? In other words, might all of our interest in the possiblities of remix be a dress rehearsal for a world in which somebody else might be doing the remixing?

Submitted by kvarnelis on November 17, 2005 - 6:40pm

Eyebeam reBlogger

eyebeam logo

I may slow down a small bit this next week or so — I'm going to be reblogging over at Eyebeam's reBlog

I made a post that's on point with today's seminar

Submitted by jbleecker on November 17, 2005 - 8:15am

A Compromise of Sorts on Internet Control

The international dispute over the United States Department of Commerce's oversight of ICANN has been resolved... at least for now. Read the New York Times article
on the topic. Lawrence Lessig thinks this is just fine, but others disagree.

Submitted by kvarnelis on November 16, 2005 - 5:33pm

Yahoo embracing social tagging

As this article points out, Yahoo is embracing social tagging in its quest to make its product more relevant. In other thoughts, Marc Pincus suggests that we don't need more more feeds, we need feed editors.

Submitted by kvarnelis on November 15, 2005 - 11:47am

Gates on Web Services

According to a leaked Microsoft memo, Bill Gates is rallying the troops for the sea change that the coming "services wave" will bring. According to the memo, Internet software and services, often referred to as "Web 2.0" will revolutionize the industry. But is it too late for Microsoft?

Submitted by kvarnelis on November 11, 2005 - 11:19pm

Chris Anderson - Resistance is Fertile

Chris Anderson / Long Tail Culture

I blogged notes and commentary from Chris' discussion during the netpublics seminar and shorter notes from his public presentation downstairs.

I'll quote my sort of Talmudic meta-question:

Why do I blog this? The Long(er) Tail is a steamroller meme with lots of resonance and entirely legible in the context of digital dissemination networks. And the netpublics seminar I'm participating in is drawn to the topic of social formations that arise in the context of such dissemination and communication networks. I'm also made profoundly nervous by things that seem to absorb lots of phenomenon into a graph. But there are questions wanting here. For instance, what are the consequences for innovation? How does the Long Tail miss comprehending the circulation of culture? What is the limit of The Long Tail — when does it break down or skid off into the bushes? Where are the ethics of The Long Tail, particularly if it's easy to say that insurgency is The Long Tail of warfare? How can The Long Tail sustain itself when we make the safe assumption that the operators/aggregators at the head will behave selfishly to sustain their enterprises' influence, power and economies? What happens when the head (aggregators) eats the tail - why wouldn't that happen so that aggregators can reap more of the sum of the area below the graph? Finally, why do I get nervous that so much fits into that graph there?

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Submitted by jbleecker on November 10, 2005 - 3:29am