danah boyd

Microsoft Research

Streams of Content, Limited Attention: The Flow of Information through Social Media
20 minutes, 9.3mb, recorded 2009-11-17
danah boyd

The Internet is quite possibly the most powerful tool ever developed for the spread of information. In no other form or place has such a wealth of data ever been available. But the Web also operates as nothing has before. Online, the spreader of information is often more important than the original producer. The Internet is not a democracy or a meritocracy, and not some great equalizer. What the Web is is a living, breathing, growing entity.

As danah boyd explains, the distinction between Web 1 and 2.0 lies in the way we view the Web and our role within it. Until recently, “sites have been seen as destinations,” and the production of information as “work”. Popularity has been based on stimulation, not value, and we have been mere viewers of the Web. Web 2.0 is “the stream”. In essence, it is the movement from passive to active participation in the Internet. It is the idea that everyone is a part of the “flow”, and it is the future.

danah boyd is a web-researcher. She is a co-director of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, and has written several articles (as well as her undergraduate thesis) on Social Networking, computers, and the internet.


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