The network society paradigm evolved over time from technological phenomena, the personal computer and BBS-es “birthed the peoples internet” (Mitew 2017). Many developments occurred from this, including the World Wide Web being invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989.
Berners-Lee explained that it was “more of a social creation than a technical one” and that the design was for social effect – “to help people work together” (1999). I believe the World Wide Web is a key distributed network if you look at it from a network topology perspective. It paved the way for many other distributed networks to be created as so many of them wouldn’t exist without the World Wide Web, and some even reside on it.
This is well known by Berners-Lee, as he is an advocate for free information sharing. In a 2014 TED talk he discussed that he isn’t happy with certain developments occurring on the Web during its near 30 year life. The corporate centralization of social media platforms and filter bubbles are among things he feels are taking away from what the Web is meant to be.
He ended this talk with a call to action, he wanted 2014 and beyond to be a time of “crowdsourcing a magna-carta for the web“. Making the web the way we want it to be.
Tim Berners-Lee regarding the World Wide Web (Original Remediation)
Mitew, T 2017, ‘A Global Nervous System: From the telegraph to cyberspace’, Prezi, 21 July, viewed 9 August 2018, <https://prezi.com/eusqmz4sm614/understanding-the-network-society-paradigm/>.
Berners-Lee, T 1999, ‘Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by its inventor’, Harper, New York City.
TED 2014, ‘Tim Berners-Lee: A Magna Carta for the web‘, online video, 18 August, viewed 12 August 2018, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCplocVemjo>.
Header Image Source: NASA