This week’s reading provides a look into what one person thought of the web in its early stages in the early 2000s. It comes off as very relatable, since the prologue consists of a person being shown something new, which is told in a narrative style. The article itself, isn’t over analytical, and instead uses examples of stories and explanations that are explained in lay terms, which also comes off as funny at times. The first chapter explores the web as an unexplored land, in which every user is using it in a different way with different expectations, and outcomes. He provides stories of his own adventures on the web consisting of looking for a quilt on e-bay, looking at another person’s quirky profile, and recounting another young man’s actions which landed him in trouble. Weinburger, uses these examples to illustrate his point of everyone creating a “new” identity online by meeting others, using different services, using such a variety of tools, and meeting different people from various areas of the globe. Thus, fulfilling the title of his work, a variety of loosely connected different interactions, transactions, and experiences that occur on the web that come to form our web persona and change the way we socialize.
The second chapter serves to paint the picture of what the web actually is. There are two examples of what the web is, the first one consists of looking down on multiple layers that show the connections between technical portions of the web. On the other hand, the second description provides a more spatial comparison to that of a map of the world. It joins together areas that share similarities and demonstrates online searches, which he emphasizes. He later draws comparison between searches in person and online. He states the idea that the web is spatial, which forms the mental image of us navigating through a sort of “shopping mall” of products and ideas so that we can get information. He also really emphasizes the notion of “visiting” places on the web, even if we are not actually moving to those places. The web, in his eyes, also allows us to participate act in ways that we would not be able to in a traditional sense. Moreover, the web allows us to visit a multitude of other sites that we may like through hyperlinks which ties back to the notion of the web being lonely connected pieces. All in all, this was a very neat way to look back on the web before some of us were even born, which also allows us to see how far we’ve come and how some norms and functions of the internet were viewed upon on in their infancy.
I believe that my artifact, Youtube, relates to the reading in the sense that we can create a new identity for ourselves, while also reffering to the author’s method of explaining the web where it is a place that is spatial where we can see items that we like close to us. Moreover, by interacting with them, we are recommended other things that may suite our taste. It relates to my first point since. this video streaming platform took a step forward by allowing a higher degree of interactivity than just a profile online. Users can create channel and look for videos that they may enjoy or even create content, thus reinventing themselves into a new identity which may not be accepted by their in-person peers. Furthermore, anyone could make comments on these videos which could lead to meeting new like-minded people. The second point relates to the book in that Youtube recommends many other videos that we may like, ultimately putting us “closer” to creators we like, and giving us a chance to discover other content creators that have similar interests. This artifact reveals that people during this time wanted to do more than share short videos, or pictures on the net. Instead, they sought to create bigger content whether it be a vlog or a play though. Those who create this form of content also desired to provide services and entertainment, while at the same time the users wanted an escape or a simple pastime when things get slow in their daily lives. As an avid user of this platform (I am currently listing to music on it right now!!), I look back at the beginnings, such as the first Youtube video, and think how far the site has come. The small idea of a website where people could make and share videos, has branched off to so many genres, where you can look at videos ranging from DIY’s to horror game walkthroughs to sponsored advertisements. It has become a platform of entertainment for some, an outlet to express oneself, and a source of news which to others may be hard to come by. I use Youtube, mainly for entertainment, but writing about it as my artifact and reflecting on all of the other uses has really made me realize the values that this website holds. Overall, I think that Youtube has helped us from curing boredom to assisting us in an foreign tasks; and therefore we should be grateful on how it has developed in less than two decades it has been alive.
By Brandon Rojas
Blog Post 2 9/2/21