Published on June 15, 2007
Martin Lindner | ARC Research Studios Austria | Studio eLearning Environments A Global Digital Climate Change The Micromedia Web
“ We’re already seeing changes.
Circulation of information is heating up, at a global scale.
… are melting.
New Deserts …
… are forming,
The number of severe storms is increasing.
Creatures are being forced from their habitat.
Wait a minute … Isn‘t this Just Another Digital Hype ? Is there anything real about this?
Where is the shiny new high-tech ? * * apart from Google , of course. Where are the real new big industries ? * Where is real money made ? *
Where is the impact in the real everyday world?
We are living in a World Made of Signs . And the Web 2.0 forms a new, independent layer of the semiosphere .
It is an ecological phenomenon. Most effects are rather indirect. Like Global Warming, it points to a silent, creeping, and stealthy change .
In order to adapt and survive , institutions, organizations, individuals. all will have to understand it:
So what is Web 2.0 ?
David Weinberger, 2002 Small Pieces Loosely Joined “ The Web is a mess, as organized as an orgy. … a collection of ideas, none longer than can fit on a single screen. … small nuggets pointing to more small nuggets.”
Web 2.0 is a micromedia environment, low-tech, messy, distributed, based on (nearly) ubiquitous computing, predecessor of an upcoming information ecology . made out of microcontent chunks
Web 2.0 is not just about new technologies & applications.
Web 2.0 is not just about new market opportunities.
Web 2.0 is not just about new ways of transmitting new types of media content.
Web 2.0 is not just about people communicating in new social networks.
A new media experience.
Confessions of a Digital Immigrant
From the KAFKA GALAXY into the GOOGLE DOCUVERSE
1980 – 2000: 20 years learning and teaching German Literature, using the PC as a magic typewriter.
1999 / 2000: A Culture Shock A media experience.
1999 / 2000: The Beginnings of the Microcontent Web
Google Blogs, Wikis & Wikiblogs RSS DHTML, XML Texting on Mobile Phones …
A new subject position.
1990s: medium, not media
… morphing into media
“ Media is no longer something we do …
… but something we become part of.”
“ Men are suddenly nomadic gatherers of knowledge, … informed as never before, free from fragmentary specialism as never before – but also involved as never before.” Marshall McLuhan Understanding Media (1964):
The Supermodern Subject ?
In the new digital media environment, the position of the subject seems paradoxical: Marc Augé (1994):
Empowered like never before, inflated like never before, overwhelmed like never before.“ Marc Augé (1994):
“ But the Solution for Information Overload …
… is more information, delivered and experienced in different ways.” David Weinberger (2005)
Subject Position (last millenium)
MICROSOFT OFFICE FILES & DOCUMENTS FIXED-LINE TELEPHONY DESKTOP APPLICATIONS Subject Position (last millenium)
MICROCONTENT discovered in 2001 GOOGLE SHREDDERING MACROCONTENT PC GOING MOBILE MOBILE PHONES EXPLOSION OF THE E-MAIL INBOX 2000/2005: MS Office exploded
MICROCONTENT discovered in 2001 2000/2005: MS Office exploded MULTITASKING ATTENTION DEFICIT TRAIT LIFE INTER-RUPTED
MICROCONTENT discovered in 2001 The Microcontent Office MICROTASKING CONTINUOUS PARTIAL ATTENTION
A New Subject Position
Continuous Partial Attention & Peripheral View
The Micromedia Web
Umair Haque (2005), The New Economy of Media Micromedia, Connected Consumption, and the Snowball Effect
The explosion of digital micromedia puts an end to Mass Media as we know it. www.bubblegeneration.com Umair Haque (2005), The New Economy of Media.
Microchunks result from the “unbundling of traditional media goods” like news, albums, books … www.bubblegeneration.com Umair Haque (2005), The New Economy of Media.
“ Attention costs dominate production costs, because technology ends production, distribution, and retail scarcity: The more a microchunk is consumed the more value is added …” Umair Haque (2005), The New Economy of Media.
Lev Manovich (2000), Macromedia and Micro-media
Lev Manovich (2000), Macromedia and Micro-media “ Media technologies seem typically to move in one direction : ‘more’ . More resolution, better color, better visual fidelity, more bandwidth, more immersion.” www.manovich.net
… but why would people then want to play games on a tiny phone screen? or texting? or moblogging?
Lev Manovich (2000), Macromedia and Micro-media “ While some media forms get richer, others stay purposefully 'poorer.' A more minimalist kind of media, characterized by low resolution, low fidelity, and slow speeds, is born. I call it micro-media .” www.manovich.net
Lev Manovich (2000), Macromedia and Micro-media And it will not go away : “ Given the fact that soon more users worldwide will access the Internet through cell phones than through computers, it will not only successfully compete with macro-media but may even overtake it in popularity.” www.manovich.net
“ Cool Media”: Low definition media for casual attention Marshall McLuhan Understanding Media (1964):
Web 2.0 is made of microcontent
“ We've discovered in the last few years that navigating the web in meme-sized chunks is the natural idiom of the Internet.“ Anil Dash, 2002 Introducing the Microcontent Client
… memes : replicating units of cultural information
self-contained: the smallest unit of meaning / communication that can stand for itself (in the human mind & attention span) 1 Anil Dash‘s microcontent definition (paraphrase): Human processed information
elementary: individually addressable to be easily re-used and re-mixed by human users Anil Dash‘s microcontent definition (paraphrase): Human processed information 2
appropriately formatted … to work as building blocks in different cultural patterns and individual mindsets 3 Anil Dash‘s microcontent definition (paraphrase): Human processed information
self-contained: some relation to object oriented programming, as used e.g. in AJAX and Ruby On Rails development … Anil Dash‘s microcontent definition (paraphrase): Computer processed information 1
elementary individually addressable to be easily re-used and re-mixed by the application 2 Anil Dash‘s microcontent definition (paraphrase): Computer processed information
appropriate format: appropriately formatted for integration in different applications and services – „ platform-agnostic“ „Microcontent is information set free.“ 3 Anil Dash‘s microcontent definition (paraphrase): Computer processed information
Microcontent is a complex feedback phenomenon. It cannot be reduced – neither to software nor to humans.
Microcontent Ecology Cycle drops flow pools clouds
Web 2.0 is about semantic clouds and lifestreams
In micromedia environments, knowledge takes on the form of clouds . (Microcontent being something like small drops of vapor.) “ Personal Info Cloud ” Thomas Vander Wal, 2005 www.vanderwal.net
„ Web 2.0 is a party.“
„… all kinds of information chunks in our digital life take on the form of digital lifestreams …“ “… leaving behind a stream-shaped cyberbody, like an aircraft's contrail , as we go.” David Gelernter, 2000: The Second Coming – A Manifesto
“ We’re falling into [processes] that … imperceptibly deepen, like furrows worn into a stone hallway by the traffic of slippers.” David Weinberger, 2002 Small Pieces Loosely Joined
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