Have you ever re-blogged a photo on Tumblr, re-tweeted on Twitter, or shared an article or photo on Facebook? Where did it come from? Who uploaded it? People are sharing what they find on the internet with like-minded people because they want to show others what they find. Do you share?
As a child you are taught (well, hopefully) that sharing is good manners and then in turn you will share your toys with your friends. So therefore, the internet is just one big toy we are sharing. The idea of sharing what we know and find with others can be referred to as a network. In Afterword, Why networks matter (2004), Manuel Castells reflects on our society as being a “networked society,” made up of many different paths on which information travels to get to intended recipients. We are all connected somehow, technology connects many by the way of the internet. We can experience events in real time, as opposed to much slower forms such as a telegram and other forms of dead media.
Castells’ chapter is a complex and informative piece of writing, and it is challenging to comprehend. Although he used elaborate academic language, I noticed he started a sentence with the word ‘but.’ This surprised me as the it came across as a very intellectual article and deserved a thorough edit.
The article has an open access license which is allowing the article to be accessible free of charge on the internet, with the intention of circulating the work while not affecting the ownership of the content. A prime example of a networked society. Someone says, “I have an idea”, they write it down, it gets circulated, others learn, some people are pushed to think and therefore learn from what they read (all the DIGC202 students who read Castells’ chapter!) and so it goes on.
Reflecting on what I have learnt this past week has been a learning curve for me and has given me an opportunity to see the internet as not just a tool for information but something that will continue teaching me. Our networked society enables us to continue this learning.