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.

web 2.0

about web 2.0

Web 2.0 is a paradigm for the World Wide Web in which the Web ceases to be merely a large number of pages to surf, and instead becomes a platform of its own that replaces desktop-based computing applications. Proponents of Web 2.0, such as Tim O'Reilly, believe that processing and aggregation of data from other sources are increasingly important in the Web.

In its use of Drupal, a Content Management System that also serves as Social Software for the group and beyond, the netPublics site is an early Web 2.0 site.

Just How Much Has the Internet Really Changed?

A note of caution about the networked publics revolution is sounded by Directgov, the UK's new one-stop government portal in a survey released on March 6. According to the survey, which of course would seem to validate the site's strategy of consolidating “public services all in one place,

Submitted by kvarnelis on March 7, 2006 - 12:26pm

you gonna pay for that im?

How much will *you* pay for IM? AOL is betting that at least the corporate world will cough up money for "pro" IM capabilities. A partnership with WebEx gives them IM with video, security, conferencing, etc. Time will tell if people will pay for it, and whether the competition (Yahoo, Google, MS) respond in-kind.

more @ ZD Net

Submitted by todd on February 21, 2006 - 5:10pm Y.ah.oo!

Web 2.0 mania continues as Yahoo buys

Read about it here.

Submitted by kvarnelis on December 10, 2005 - 5:10am

Mike Liebhold Lecture: The Geospatial Web and Mobile Service Ecologies Video

This is a video of Mike Liebhold's lecture on the Geospatial Web at the Annenberg Center for Communication.

Submitted by kvarnelis on November 23, 2005 - 1:59pm


A couple of months ago, Stowe Boyd at Corante reviewed Writely, a free collaborative web-based word processor compatible with Microsoft Word. Many of Stowe's criticisms (such as the Firefox funkiness...even new versions of Safari work well enough) have been addressed and I was delighted that my various collaborators who had previously largely shrunk from on-line collaborative writing eagerly embraced Writely immediately.

Writely could still be more wiki like. Why should our documents wind up so disparate? Why can't they be more easily linked together? Collaboration needs some work although it is the first thing on their list after Thanksgiving. But Writely has strong promise for such a new product and could give services like Socialtext a run for their money. In any event, Writely is worth a look for any project requiring networked, collaborative writing.

There's an interview with the people behind writely at Emily Chang's ehub, a blog on Web 2.0 applications that's worth visiting as well. The main page, which I'm adding to my RSS feeds, is here.

Submitted by kvarnelis on November 22, 2005 - 1:06am

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

Flowing with Flock?

Net browsing used to be mostly about just surfing site after site for information. But in the last few years, people have also used the Internet to be networked to each other as well as to produce and share things within [w:networks]. Flock, the latest open source [w:Web 2.0] browser that has just been launched (still in developer preview version, though), seeks to address this new social phenomenon.

Submitted by mlim on November 8, 2005 - 12:17pm

what if I don't want it?

Very interesting piece on web 2.0 and the issues involved in relinquishing control of your applications to someone else:

Web 2.0 and the drive-by upgrade by Fraser Speirs -- Overnight someone sneaked into my office and upgraded an application on my computer....

There are a number of issues on the table here. Besides someone else determining what "version" software you're running, there is the other problem of needing the network to work. This is a problem I have with wikis and blogs, and why I've done quite a bit of playing around with trying to "sync" mySQL databases. Yuck. VooDooPad is a great local wiki solution, but is weak on the network side...but at least I can work when I'm off the grid.

Submitted by todd on October 24, 2005 - 4:31pm

Mash-up ecologies: the case of google-maps

With “A Journey to a Thousand Maps Begins With an Open Code

Submitted by fbar on October 20, 2005 - 11:33am