The three main points/concepts that Jenkins introduces are media convergence, participatory culture, and collective intelligence.
As Jenkins describes his definition of collective intelligence, it reminds me a lot of the ways Weinberger described “the wisdom of crowds.” Jenkins says, “none of us know everything; each of us knows something; and we can put the pieces together if we pool our resources and combine our skills” (Jenkins 4). To me, the wisdom of crowds is just another way of describing this, and they are essentially the same thing.
The term participatory culture relates a lot to the notion of gatekeepers as was covered in Weinberger as well. As Jenkins explains, “we might now see them as participants who interact with each other according to a new set of rules that none of us fully understands. Not all participants are created equal” (Jenkins 3). As we have discussed in class about gatekeepers, many would normally assume that there are no gatekeepers on the internet, and we can put anything we want on the internet. However the truth is not everyone has all the power in the world when it comes to posting, commenting, and publishing things. In Jenkins’ perspective he is comparing this notion of power and gatekeepers to consumers and corporations on the internet. In ways this does relate to the discussion of power in Weinberger.
As Jenkins’ introduction does deal more with industries, and consumers of those industries directly involved in the world wide web, a few, if not many of Weinberger’s discussions do relate to different aspects here and there.
Songweb <—let me know if that doesn’t work.
When Weinberger states, “The meaning of a particular thing is enabled by the web of implicit meanings we call the world”(170), he is essentially talking about a “web of meaning.”
In other words, objects, songs, poems, etc all have underlying meanings that make it mean what it does to you. Weinberger’s example that he took from German philosopher Martin Heidegger, is the meaning of a hammer. You basically have to imagine as if you had no idea what a hammer was, or what is was used for. You break down all the things that give a hammer meaning.
1. It’s a tool….2. It’s used with nails…3. nails are metal things with a flat top and sharp bottom that hold wood together….4. wood is made from trees…5. Trees grow from the ground…..6. We have to cut down a tree to use its wood….and the list goes on.
Weinberger also explains, “that implicit web of relationships gives the things of our world their meaning” (170). Which is true, all those “leaves of meaning” that came off of one “branch”, (we can use the hammer example) give it meaning, and give it a purpose. This is true in the digital world as well. In the third order of order, the content and metadata are all digital. Things online have webs of meaning too, just like the hammer does. However it is up to the users to make sure each web of meaning for each thing doesn’t get too out of whack making it hard for the next searcher to find what they are looking for. We build our own webs of meaning by tagging, linking, blogging, tweeting, etc.
“We are building this connected miscellany link by link and tag by tag. Its value is in the implicit relationships that turn it into an infrastructure of meaning” (171).
In reading Weinberger, and the web squared, and Web 2.0 articles it is obvious that the wonderful world wide web is more complex than some may imagine. It seems as though the smarter the web gets, the easier of a time we have going along with it. In chapter 5 of Weinberger he explains a lot about tagging, and how it is becoming more common for people to tag websites or certain pages on websites so whoever may be doing a similar search can find what they’re looking for easier. It is interesting how people do this because when someone might think they are helping, they could also be throwing off a search completely. Weinberger uses wikipedia as an example. If you type in a search such as say, Redmond. Which is actually a town on the westside but there are also other Redmonds in the world that are tagged, maybe even Microsoft or other well known companies may be tagged there. This makes the web even more miscellaneous than ever. The crazy thing is even with all the tagging going on it is still fairly simple to find what you’re looking for. All three articles have mentioned how influential us users are to the web, which is very true. We are the drivers of the web, and with all the searching and tagging we do we actually just make the web smarter and smarter. Referring back to the “How Google Works” video, the more miscellaneous the web gets, the harder those google spiders work, and give us what we need to find, EVEN with some ads to go along with it.
As Weinberger describes, there are different ways of slicing up reality. Some people organize their things by lumping them together, and some organize by splitting things up into categories. In my daily life, I have to say I am a little do a little bit of both, but for the most part I would call myself a lumper. With my books, as I described in the last post, I don’t always necessarily split them up I mostly just organize by size however I do have a giant bookshelf in my extra bedroom that is made up of squares, so it is basically set up for me to organize the books into categories. For example one square is text books, one is travel books (I have a ton of those), one is cook books, and so on. Even still I don’t organize into any smaller categories than that. Others might take my books and want to organize them by type of book, and then by author, or title like in a library. Some might organize them by importance. I think the way I organize doesn’t make me lazy, but maybe less OCD about my things. My guess is that people who are more logical minded (left brainers) might be prone to splitting things up into smaller categories, and right brainers like myself will be prone to just lumping things since our brains don’t find the need to look past an organized category and figure out how else it can be categorized. BUT! that’s just a guess.
Some of the main points from the first few chapters of Weinberger are:
Space is shared, and physical objects (or atoms) cannot be in more than one place at one time like things can be in the digital world. To Weinberger, this means that instead of physical objects always having a set place such as silverware, or plates, everything in the digital world is miscellaneous.
Another big point is the way we as humans automatically organize our physical things with out even thinking about it, but when it comes to photos on the computer they are all named DSC….whatever number, and it is pretty much impossible to keep them all super organized unless an individual happens to be really OCD about it.
Thirdly, Weinberger also explains how important the alphabet is, and how “the universal alphabet exists in the very nature of things.” However in the digital world not everything is always alphabetized and organized.
One thing in my life I spend time keeping organized is my books. It might be kind of nerdy, but in bookcases I organize books tallest to smallest, tallest on the left, shortest on the right and if the books are laying flat on a shelf I’ll put the biggest books on the bottom of the pile, and the smallest books on top. To be honest I’m not sure why I do this, I suppose it works for me because when the books are all mixed up they don’t look very neat, and for some reason it bothers me. I guess subconsciously I also somehow know which books of mine are larger than the others so it’s easier for me to find them.
The main idea I found to be important from O’Reilly’s article is the ways in which we all are now talking to the web, and letting it learn about us by barely moving a finger. Meaning of things are now being taught to our computers, iphones, etc. Just by using voice recognition with your smart phone (which I use sometimes when I’m driving) to find out where the nearest pizza place is the phone finds out your location, finds out you like to eat pizza, therefore technically a dominos could find out how many times someone used voice recognition to search for a nearby pizza place and see how often dominos popped up, and then use that data to their advantage.
Something more targeted towards my professional goals is the infinite images technology example from adobe (adobe MAX). The demonstration is not only crazy, but since I’ve been working as a photographer for a few years now, this almost kind of upsets me at first knowing that photos can’t be nice enough to look at as is, and we have to make digital 3D worlds out of them to make them more fascinating, however there can be advantages to this kind of program. I think it could be kind of fun to work for a company that uses this in a marketing sense. For example if I were to go into a restaurant that isn’t really doing so well, but still looks like a great place, and took a bunch of fancy photos of the place, made it look like a cool place to hang out, compiled them into a 3D space, and put it on a website for the restaurant, it could help them out a ton. Especially if the website starts getting a lot of hits in searches for restaurants.
The coolest web application I’ve seen in the past year might be the you tube converter application that lets you upload you tube videos and convert them to MP4, AVI, etc and put them on final cut so you can edit them as you wish. It’s kind of like stealing….a little bit…but its nice when you need a short clip of something you can’t shoot yourself.