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susanjacobson in jou55online

The Evolution of the Web

DISCLAIMER: All histories are told by somebody and for some reason. This is my version of the history of the Web. Other teachers may emphasize other aspects of the story.

Vannevar Bush

  • Director of the Office of Scientific Research during World War 2
  • Was responsible for overseeing research efforts in conjunction with building the atomic bomb.
  • Published As We May Think in 1945.
  • Bush’s Problem: “There is a growing mountain of research”
  • “…our methods of transmitting and reviewing the results of research…are totally inadequate for their purpose.”
  • Bush’s insight: Our methods of indexing data - alphabetically or numerically - do not parallel the human mind, which works by association.

    Bush’s Solution: The Memex

  • The Memex would contain all information.
  • Everyone would have one.
  • Users can select pieces of text, comment on them, and link text and commentary into meaningful sequences.
  • The sequences can be published to anyone or everyone.

    Ted Nelson

  • In 1965 he coined the term “hypertext,” which he defined as “non-sequential writing”
  • He developed a hypertext system called “Xanadu”
  • Some of Nelson’s ideas helped create the World Wide Web
  • http stands for hypertext markup language

    Nelson’s Xanadu

  • Global system
  • Saved all versions of every document
  • People could modify documents at will
  • Included a system of “transcopyright” that allowed authors to share copyrighted material
  • Included a system of micropayments that would allow individuals to use copyrighted works for very low cost (pennies per use)
  • Micropayments are being seriously reconsidered today by YouTube and other sites

    A Short History of The Internet by Bruce Sterling
  • The Internet started out as a Defense Dept. project DARPANet
  • The DOD wanted a network that could withstand nuclear war
  • Sterling’s colorful story is available online here:

    The (old) Telephone Network

  • A Centralized network is easy to destroy
  • Take out the central switching office and the entire network is rendered

    A Packet-Switched Network (the Internet)

  • Decentralized network
  • Every computer on the network is a node, and may route messages toward their destination
  • Destroy one part of the network, and the rest still works

    The Birth of the Web
  • Tim Berners-Lee developed it 1980-1989 at CERN (Centre Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire) in Switzerland.
  • Based on the ideas of Bush & Nelson.
  • First working model in 1990.
  • Designed to let physicists share data files.
  • Marc Andreesen develops first browser - Mosaic - in 1993. In 1994 forms Netscape.

    The Growth of the Web

    The Growth of the Web

    Top 100 global Web sites as of Tuesday, February 20
    Source: http://alexa.com/site/ds/top_sites?ts_mode=global&lang=none

    Traditional Media vs. Web

    Old Media New Media
    Geographically Constrained Distance Insensitive
    Hierarchical Flattened
    Unidirectional Interactive
    Space/Time Constraints Fewer Constraints
    Professional Communicators Amateur/Non-Professional
    High Access Costs Low Access Costs
    General Interest Customized Information
    Mass Audience Nice Audience
    Linear Content Nonlinear Content
    Fixed Format Flexible Format

    Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0
    The term Web 2.0, or the next generation of the Web, was popularized by Tim O’Reilly in his article What is Web 2.0?

    Web 1.0 Web 2.0
    DoubleClick AdSense
    Britannnica Online Wikipedia
    Personal Web Sites Blogs
    Domain Name Speculation Search Engine Optimization
    Directories (taxonomy) Tagging (folksonomy)
    Stickiness Syndication

    Doubleclick vs. Adsense
  • DoubleClick sells ads by matching mass media publishers to big advertisers.
  • DoubleClick ads include banners and “click to close” animations that are designed to force consumers to pay attention.
  • Adsense embeds links to advertisers in the context of other tasks the user is doing - like conducting a Google search or reading e-mail.
  • Adsense ads are much less intrusive
  • Almost any Web site can host adsense (including LiveJournal)
  • Philosophy of the long tail: Hundreds of small niche-interest Web sites are more valuable than any one mass media site for advertisers

    Doubleclick Ad

    Adsense Ad

    Britannica Online vs Wikipedia
  • Subscription vs. Free
  • Expert Opinion vs Collective Wisdom
  • Occasionally updated vs continuously updated
  • Closed vs Open

    Domain Name Speculation vs Search Engine Optimization
  • Domain name speculation refers to the practice of purchasing potentially popular or easy-to remember URLs with the hope of reselling them later for a higher price
  • Search Engine Optimization refers to the ability to get your Web site to score “high” on a Google (or other search engine) search.
  • With RSS, the cross-distribution of Web content is also a factor

    Directories vs Tagging
  • The first Web search engines were mostly directories. Yahoo was the first most popular
  • Directories require that someone (a professional staff) categorize Web sites properly.
  • Tagging refers to the practice of users creating keyword tags for their own content
  • YouTube, LiveJournal, Wikipedia and many other “Web 2.0” sites use tagging

    Stickiness vs. Syndication
  • Stickiness is the concept that value is created when a user comes to your Web site and stays there for as long as possible.
  • Syndication</b> is the concept that that value is created when material from your Web site is cross-posted and redistributed all over the Web.
  • RSS is the technology that enables syndication. Blogs and podcasts most famously use RSS, but now most regularly updated Webssites do as well.

    Amazingly Fun Web 2.0 YouTube Video

    Technology Optimists
  • The Internet fosters democracy of communication - everyone has a voice
  • The Internet will take away problems associated with media conglomeration
  • The Internet enables communication in multiple modalities
  • The Internet overcomes time and space, allowing people from all social and geographic locations to work together.

    Technology Pessimists
  • The Internet fosters a “digital divide”
  • Writing skills will deteriorate
  • People will spend more time with computers, less time with others
  • The dividing line between reality and fantasy will become blurred.
  • The Internet fosters anonymity - you don’t know who you are dealing with
  • Comments

    July 2007

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