January 4, 2012
Logos from Web 2.0 are caught in the web somewhere between, a NASA image of a nebula, a starry night, clouds, science fiction landscapes of our inner space, the synapses of the brain, the virtual space that is not abstract, imagined or really real.
Web 2.0, is a term coined by Tim O’Reilly in 2004 for a series of conferences on a revivified Internet. O’Reilly (2005) in what is now considered to be his seminal article claimed that, “If Netscape was the standard bearer for Web 1.0, Google is most certainly the standard bearer for Web 2.0 (O’Reilly 2005). He contrasted Web 1.0 with Web 2.0 by citing examples: DoubleClick vs Google AdSense, Ofoto vs Flickr, Britannica Online vs Wikipedia, personal websites vs blogging, domain name speculation vs search engine optimization, page views vs cost per click, publishing vs participation, content management systems vs wikis directories (taxonomy) vs tagging (“folksonomy”) and stickiness vs syndication. The conceptual map his team devised provides a sketch of Web 2.0 showing social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies.
Although some argue that it does not exist as anything more than geek jargon, for this new user, it is a promising and surprising paradigm shift in the Internet and in software development. I began blogging using Web 2.0 freeware in September 2006. Numerous users like myself have access to sophisticated, ever-improving software technologies since the cost of development is shared among enthusiastic nerds and geeks (in a good way). Freeware on Web 2.0 is not proprietary by nature but is capable of generating huge profits because of the viral way in which users share in the development, marketing and growth of the product while improving connectivity and in content in the process.
- the network as platform
- not proprietary by nature
- spans all connected devices
- applications make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform
- deliver software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it (wikis: wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Amazon, ebay, craigslist, and all other other Web 2.0 superstar applications)
- consumes and remixes data from multiple sources, including individual users (users of images in Flickr, Picassa,
- provide own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others (Creative Commons)
- creating network effects through an architecture of participation
- tagging, folksonomies
- blogging, microblogging
- search engine optimization
- semantic web
- social networking sites: Facebook, Google +,
- social network sites: Facebook, myspace, bebo, friendster, hi5, orkut, perfspot, zorpia, netlog, habbo, Google +,
- microblogging: Twitter, Tumblr, posterous, Friendfeed, Plurk
- blog services: WordPress, TypePad, Squarespace, Blogger, MySpace, AOL Journals, Windows Live Spaces, Xanga, LiveJournal
- search engines: www.Google.com, http://www.Yahoo.com, http://www.Bing.com, http://www.Ask.com, http://www.Teoma.com, http://www.DuckDuckGo.com, http://www.Entireweb.com, http://www.blekko.com, http://www.ScrubTheWeb.com, www.Gigablast.com
- Web Browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari
- social bookmarking/discovery sites: CiteUlike, del.icio.us, digg, Google, Newsvine, reddit, StumbleUpon, Connotea, Squidoo, AddThis, ShareThis,
- free image hosting: Flickr, Picasa, Panoramio, TinyPic, WebShots, Imageshack, Photobucket, SeeHere, Snapfish, DeviantART,
- free video hosting: YouTube, Vimeo
- free PowerPoint hosting: SlideShare, Google Docs
- Creative Commons License
- Amazon, craigslist,
- wikis: wikipedia
- maps: Google Earth, Google Maps
- Storify, the Twitter and multi-media curation service
- Software Extensions: from server to platform: Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash player, Microsoft Silverlight, ActiveX, Oracle Java, Quicktime, Windows Media, etc.
- Feeds (Syndication technology): Googlereader, RSS, WordPress, notifies users of content changes.
- Education 2.0
- Goverment 2.0
- Enterprise 2.0
- Health 2.0
- Science 2.0
“Any web application is a cloud application in the sense that it resides in the cloud. Google, Amazon, Facebook, twitter, flickr, and virtually every other Web 2.0 application is a cloud application in this sense. However, it seems to me that people use the term “cloud” more specifically in describing web applications that were formerly delivered locally on a PC, like spreadsheets, word processing, databases, and even email. Thus even though they may reside on the same server farm, people tend to think of gmail or Google docs and spreadsheets as “cloud applications” in a way that they don’t think of Google search or Google maps.This common usage points up a meaningful difference: people tend to think differently about cloud applications when they host individual user data. The prospect of “my” data disappearing or being unavailable is far more alarming than, for example, the disappearance of a service that merely hosts an aggregated view of data that is available elsewhere (say Yahoo! search or Microsoft live maps.) And that, of course, points us squarely back into the center of the Web 2.0 proposition: that users add value to the application by their use of it. Take that away, and you’re a step back in the direction of commodity computing (O’Reilly 2008).”
A Timeline of Selected Events Related to Web 2.0
2011 Web 2.0 Summit
“Once each year, the Web 2.0 Summit brings together 1,000 senior executives from the worlds of technology, media, finance, telecommunications, entertainment, and the Internet. For 2011, our theme is “The Data Frame” – focusing on the impact of data in today’s networked economy. We live in a world clothed in data, and as we interact with it, we create more – data is not only the web’s core resource, it is at once both renewable and boundless.”
“Web 2.0 Expo began eons ago in Internet Years – April of 2007 – in San Francisco. It was the first conference and tradeshow for the rapidly growing ranks of designers and developers, product managers, entrepreneurs, VCs, marketers, and business strategists who embraced the opportunities created by Web 2.0, a term coined at the birth of Web 2.0 Summit (formerly named Web 2.0 Conference), a joint venture between O’Reilly Media , UBM TechWeb, and Federated Media.” Pike, Kaitlin. 2011-12-01. “Long Goodbye to Web 2.0 Expo.”
Alexander, Bryan. Levine, Alan. 2008. “Web 2.0 Storytelling: Emergence of a New Genre.” Educause.
Alexander and Levine (2008) identify two essential features that are useful in distinguishing Web 2.0 projects and platforms from the rest of the web: microcontent and social media.
Boulton, Clint. 2011-10-17. “Web 2.0 Summit: Salesforce.com’s Benioff Praises Oracle, Loves Facebook.” Enterprise Applications News.
“[C]ompanies must “beware the false cloud” Oracle and other virtualization software vendors offer as private clouds that come on disks. True cloud computing, he explained, is hosted, multi-tenant and lives on the Web—not on a disk.”
O’Reilly, Tim. 2007. “What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software.” O’Reilly Media. Communications and Strategies. No. 1, p. 17, First Quarter. Social Science Network Page.
Abstract: “This paper was the first initiative to try to define Web 2.0 and understand its implications for the next generation of software, looking at both design patterns and business modes. Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an architecture of participation, and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences.”
Tim O’Reilly, 2005. “What Is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software”. Uploaded 09/30/2005. Accessed January 6, 2007.
Viewed 25, 070 times since December 5, 2006. Shared frequently through Creative Commons license. Updated 2012
November 27, 2009
Near Roche Miette on the Yellowhead Highway we get stopped by a “sheep-jam”, bighorn-induced traffic congestion  at about the same time that we interrupted a truly engaged activist, peace rider who was cycling to Alaska to raise awareness of climate change. Just after our second sheep-jam where a film crew member also caught in the same traffic jam, pulled over to catch some sleep behind the wheel of a powerful all-terrain vehicle(did he see that many bighorn already?), we stopped to film a pack of wolves. After we booked into a place to stay in Jasper, we drove up to the ski hill at Marmot. A huge raven guided us along the winding road to the lodge. This winter there is a record snow fall to the delight of snowboarders and skiiers. The tasks of downloading the day’s film clips and photos to Picasa, and reading Gadd to name peaks, etc, were again interrupted by Yellowhead wildlife. Wapitii surrounded the hotel attracting amateur photographers to the unbelievably fun shot of a wapiti posing in front of the Wapiti signage.
Later on the same day speechless hits reached 150, 000 perhaps at exactly the same time we were left speechless by the miyat.
Speechless began as the next step from “beached wail” a failed attempt to overcome serious creative blocks . . .
Speechless does not really require the author to write. Web 2.0 platforms are ideally designed for writers who cannot write. At least for writers who cannot write in a straight line. Rhizomic thinkers and learners can allow themselves to “get lost.” All we need to do is to mark the virtual trail with something more solid than breadcrumbs.
Speechless cannot imagine faces or stories of its visitors and would rather that for now at least, that the speechless face be faceless, ageless, genderless, not associated with any institution, or group, or ideology, or demographics . . .
Speechless shares resources using the Creative Commons,
for memory work,
for revisiting histories with an ethical dimension,
for virtual tourists,
for the blogosphere,
for public policy,
Speechless has been a technological tool for mind-mapping . . .
1. See Ben Gadd 2008:408. Gadd explained that the bighorn sheep ovis canadensis, are plentiful in this area and female and young are often sighted here.
He claimed that the mountain named in the 1820s by voyageurs Roche Miette (Miette Rock) probably comes from the Cree word miyat (bighorn sheep). This tangible (very geological) link to the early (fur) trade routes is one way that the nonlinear learner can be pulled in so many directions that only web 2.0 platforms and applications could mind map it.
Gadd also notes a number of commonplace Canadian English misprononciations and/or mispellings of geological formations and place names in the Rocky Mountains with Spanish, French, Irish, Cree, Ojibwa etc origins.
Webliography and Bibliography
Gadd, Ben. 2008. Canadian Rockies: Geology Road Tours. Corax.
January 18, 2009
In an article (2008-07) entitled “Web science: an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the Web” published in Association of Computing Machinery’s journal Communications Hendler, Shadbolt, Hall, Berners-Lee and Weitzner bemoaned the fact that the Web was under-researched and recommended a systems approach to enhance understanding of the Web itself and its continuing social impact, model the Web as a whole and improve engineering of the future Web (Hendler et al 2008-07).
Internet studies focus mainly on technological and monetization aspects. Even the semantic web is geared towards search engine optimization as a market tool.
This illustration, hosted on Flickr, was featured on the cover of the July 2008 edition of Association of Computing Machinery (ACM)‘s Communications magazine. It accompanies the Hendler et al article (2008-07). Generative artist Marius Watz  uses programming languages to create graphics like these: Communications of the ACM 51.7 – Story spread & “Communications of the ACM 51.7 – Cover image”. Art direction was by Andrij Borys Associates.
(Thank you to Watz for use of his images.)
Watz explained, “I don’t explicitly use the rhizome as a model, but many of my forms are based on emergent growth and the interaction between agents governed by simple rules. My interest tends towards the aesthetic rather than the academic, so I generally use whatever models produce interesting behavior.”
Watz’ images resonated with what I have been attempting to do with slow world technologies such as Adobe Photoshop where I combine layers of images of neurons, as a rhizomic metaphor, with constellations of nodes on the Internet placed manually. This process is really an attempt to represent an object that is static which is not the case with the Internet (or the brain’s neurons and synapses). In a sense I am attempting to visualize my own use of the Internet, particularly the emerging semantic web where we redefine older terms and invent new ones to describe what is being done in the name of the Internet in 2009. It is a form of cartography or decalcomania using the trope of the rhizome. Deleuze and Guattari (1987:12) remind us that “a rhizome is not amenable to any structural or generative model. It is a stranger to any idea of genetic axis or deep structure.”
Conversations on this ontology of knowledge management is being indexed under numerous categories, tags, ethnoclassifications, folksonomy, taxonomy . . .
My motivation for seeking out rhizomic metaphors comes from the work of French philosophers in the 1960s such as Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze who, through their politicized philosophy of difference, developed concepts of consciousness or mind and new forms of thought, writing, subjectivity that are useful for understanding the non-linear, open-ended space of the Internet.
Philosopher Gilles Deleuze and clinical psychoanalyst, Felix Guattari co-authored Anti-Oedipus (1972 ) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980 ). They proposed an “art of living” that embraces hypertextual and hypermedia processes.
Like Nick Lilly, “I hoped that the “primary tropes used by Deleuze and Guattari (the rhizome and tree: rhizomatic knowing/being and arborescent knowing/being) would provide me with a way of getting at key differences between a print-literate consciousness and a e-literate consciousness”. So in my own digitages I sought out images from life sciences as templates to create my own customized rhizomic cartography. They are intended as complex visualizations and are highly subjective. Because they are developed slowly as layers, they are in a way unending and constantly changing.
Arborescent knowing/being is represented in tree diagrams that are genealogical whereas rhizomes are anti-genealogical (Deleuze and Guattari 1987:21). “We should stop believing in trees, roots and radicles. They’ve made us suffer too much (Deleuze and Guattari 1987:15).”
“The tree comes to symbolize the distinction between subject and object, between signifier and signified, encompassing the whole of dualistic logic through its branching patterns, through its definitions of set pathways between root and branch (Clinton 2003).”
In A Thousand Plateaus (1980) Deleuze and Guattari challenged modern beliefs in hierarchy, identity, subjectivity and representation. and promoted principles of difference and multiplicity in theory, politics, and everyday life (Best and Kellner 1991).
However, Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the virtual defies representation as a visual image and must be imagined as a field of dynamic forces. Even generative software-based visuals like those employed by Marius Watz  cannot visualize that which will not just be but is constantly becoming something else, as it the case of the Internet.
Deleuze and Guattari are concerned with complexity theory, scientific research into self-organizing material systems. In their early work they focused on a materialist study and intervention of self-organizing material systems – systems without hierarchies resulting in a de-centered rhizomic network which (Protevi 2001-11:2). called empirical geophilosophy. According to Protevi (2001-11:2) their empirical geo-philosophy has an explicit political dimension in which they examined hierarchical systems where one body is dominated or domesticated by another, stereotyped reactions are implanted, exploitative procedures developed and implemented and territories are formed. In contrast, Deleuze and Guattari summoned a new earth with new relationships to the creative potential of material systems to form de-territorialized de-centred rhizomic systems where free bodies are formed with multiple, shifting and increasingly intense internal and external connections.
Deleuze and Guattari’s distinguish between virtual and actual wherein the virtual is the threshold where behaviours change and the actual refers to constituted bodies with elementary particles with observable properties and (even predictable) traits, tendencies and patterns of behaviour (or aggregated results of simple behaviors) which can be consciously recognised and therefore represented. The virtual refers to potential transformations or transcendence of material systems and elude represented as their properties of bodies, entities, singularities evade conscious recognition. Virtual singularities are irreducible, self-differentiating entities whose properties are emergent not static (Deleuze and Guattari 1968, 196?). They shape shift with increasingly intense internal and external connections. While it sounds chaotic, it isn’t as the virtual realm has regional ontologies which provide its own taxonomy and systems of categorization.
1. Generative artist Marius Watz works with generative software-based visuals (therefore he is a generative artist). In an interview he described generative works as open systems that unlike machines or paintings, are not finished. “Generative works are ”open“ in the sense that the artist does not completely control the process, but allows other factors (whether randomness, external sensory output or user interaction) to affect the output. It is of course possible to create ”closed“ deterministic works, but most generative artists enjoy the aspect of giving up a certain amount of control (digitaltools).”
He is based in New York and Oslo, after 5 years in Berlin. “Generative art is an art practice where the artist creates a system, typically a piece of software, which is either used to create a work of art or constitutes a work of art in itself. Generative art describes a method or strategy, rather than a specific style or medium of work. The form of Generative Art that most people are aware of is software-based visual abstract art, with artists like C.E.B.Reas, Lia, Jared Tarbell etc. being the most visible exponents. This work is abstract, visually complex and non-representational. Typically, it will be purely digitally generated, with no ”natural“ origin” (digitaltools).”
2. Rhizome as a metaphor for the emergence system, the Internet:
“The rhizome is an anti-genealogy ( (Deleuze and Guattari 1987:11).
“[The rhizome] is a short-term memory, or antimemory. The rhizome operates by variation, expansion, conquest, capture, offshoots. . . . the rhizome is an acentered, nonhierarchical, nonsignifying system without a General and without an organizing memory or central automaton, defined solely by a circulation of states (Deleuze and Guattari 1987:21).”
“A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo. The tree is filiation, but the rhizome is alliance, uniquely alliance. The tree imposes the verb ‘to be,’ but the fabric of the rhizome is the conjunction, ‘and . . . and . . . and.’ This conjunction carries enough force to shake and uproot the verb ‘to be’ (Deleuze and Guattari 1987:25).”
“Principles of connection and heterogeneity: any point of a rhizome can be connected to anything other, and must be (Deleuze and Guattari 1987:7).”
“Principle of multiplicity. . . . Multiplicities are rhizomatic, and expose arborescent pseudomultiplicities for what they are. . . . A multiplicity has neither subject nor object, only determinations, magnitudes, and dimensions that cannot increase in number without the multiplicity changing in nature (Deleuze and Guattari 1987:8).”
“Principle of asignifying rupture: against the oversignifying breaks separating structures or cutting across a single structure. A rhizome may be broken, shattered at a given spot, but it will start up again on one of its old lines, or on new lines (Deleuze and Guattari 1987:9).”
“Principle of cartography and decalcomania: a rhizome is not amenable to any structural or generative model. It is a stranger to any idea of genetic axis or deep structure (Deleuze and Guattari 1987:12).”
Webliography and Bibliography
Watz, Marius. 2008-07. “Communications of the ACM 51.7.” Communications. Association of Computing Machinery: Advancing Computing as a Science and a Profession.
Best, Stephen; Kellner, Douglas. 1991. “Chapter 3: Deleuze and Guattari: Schizos, Nomads, Rhizomes.” Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations. Columbia University.
Call, Lewis. 1998. “Hypertext and the Postmodern Pedagogy of the Enlightenment.” The Journal of the Association for History and Computing. 1:1.http://mcel.pacificu.edu/history/jahcI1/Call/hypertext.html
Clinton, Dan. 2003. Annotation: Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. “Rhizome,” in A Thousand Plateaus. Theories of Media. Winter 2003.
Deleuze, Gilles; Guattari, Felix. 1972 . Anti-Oedipus.
Deleuze, Gilles; Guattari, Felix. 1980. Mille Plateaux.
Deleuze, Gilles; Guattari, Felix. 1987. Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Derrida, Jacques. 1976. Of Grammatology. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Guattari, Felix; Deleuze, Gilles. 1968 . Trans. Paul Patton. Difference and Repetition.New York: Columbia University Press. Review by Alex Scott.
Guattari, Felix; Deleuze, Gilles. 196? The Logic of Sense.
Hendler, James; Shadbolt, Nigel; Hall, Wendy; Berners-Lee, Tim; Weitzner, Daniel. 2008-07. “Web science: an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the Web.” Communications. Association of Computing Machinery: Advancing Computing as a Science and a Profession.
Protevi, John. 2001-11. The Geophilosophies of Deleuze and Guattari. Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers (SEDAAG).