What has happened to the way we use or read the Internet? In ten years we have miles of "Favorites/Bookmarks" that we go to, or forget about. We have sites that we visit after retyping the location into our browsers day after day even when its content hasn't changed from the day before.
In ten years our reading of the Internet, and arguably our reading of emails too has largely been linear.
Things have changed this year. The Weblog, Wikipedia, del.icio.us, gmail, flickr, bloglines, etc. It's as if the the texture of the Internet has changed. This new feel provides us with a new angle, a new view, a new prespective. We find that we are organizing what we're reading on the Internet to be more spacial than linear.
Radical change of direction Edit
Instead of trying to weed through endless Google searches, scrolling through piles of bookmarks, reviewing disjointed email replies and forwards, and going to sites and not finding new content, we are now able to have content come to us.
Remediating hypertext Edit
Interestingly, despite this radical change of direction, we have not sacrificed hypertext links or the ability to use software available to all. What we have gained is the ability to share more and decide how to share information.
We can share and annotate our favorites, we can write articles like this one and welcome other to add and edit it, we can share images view emails as conversations instead of singular notes.
Amazingly we have done this without either a huge expense or the necessity of acquiring mountains of abstract esoteric technical knowledge.
Expanding our freedom to create content Edit
This change of direction not only represents a change in the way we are reading the Internet, it also renews our freedom to create content in an age of rapidly increasing concentration of wealth, capital resources and government authority.
Ditch Microsoft Edit
So how do make this possible? First we need to ditch Microsoft Internet Explorer because it's holding us back. It doesn't read the codes that are being written to make these things happen, doesn't allow users to do "Tabbed Viewing" and doesn't work well with News Feeds and secure sites. Infact its security woes makes people justifibly uneasy about doing anything new with the Internet or much less on their own computers at home.
Also ditching Hotmail (another MS product) is also a good idea too. Google's expanding email portal provides us with a fine example of how we can read the Internet in a spacial manner free of spam.
Evaluation needed Edit
Second we need to evaulate what we do on the Internet. Are there sites we go to for news that we would rather have send to us to look at on ONE page ONLY when the content is renewed?
What about those bookmakrks? Are willing to share them? Are we willing to have them organized in such a way we can always get to the same ones? What if we culd attach comments to them so they read like the close readings we want our students to do?
Knowledge and community Edit
And what about our own knowledge base? Are we willing to lay out our research in a format that can stream out easily to other disciplines and connect with the knowledge base of larger communities.
More personal manipulation Edit
For the literally linear person these suggestion could seem nightmarish. On the otherhand we have an opportunity to radically alter the way we read the Internet by making it more personal in our view and manipulation of the data we collect from it.