One of the concepts that resonates with me is the challenge of offering universal access to these networks. Even free social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter present challenges to access in terms of the haves and have-nots. Free sites still have barriers for those with limited internet or computer access. Those of us lucky enough to have portable devices have distinct advantages over those who do not.
Politics are also at play for access- the control of bandwidth- limiting customers’ usage will have huge consequences in terms of who can afford to download freely. Fighting for the access to this commodity will shape the future of the web. It’s still the Wild West in a lot of ways, with everyone going ahead to stake out their territory, making that incredible Berner-Lee’s topographical map. Benkler chimes in that communities can now spring up free from the constraints of time and space, and does not result in alienation. The participation can lead to a richness in ties. But I don’t think this includes the forgotten ghetto of non-users. Who are those feeling like they are on the other side of the fence, like Marc’s wife in her interview situation with her cane.
But Berners-Lee urges us not to forge ahead unthinkingly in our path to structure our webbing structures- to thoughtfully steer our ship towards a goal to orchestrate a purposeful path for the web.
Tim Berners-Lee conveys that he is just part of the layering of the tapestry- that he added to the existing bricks and mortar already in place. He has that Wikipedian mindset-at first thinking that the web is like a wiki that anyone can edit, but then goes further to urge forward thinking and planning to the unfinished W3 project.
His view of the Web as a body of living intelligence follows the same metaphorical language as the organization as an organism in organizational communications theory. At what point do our tools and constructs become separate entities from the user? Do they go beyond the role of enhancer to have a life of their own? Just as we learn that we shape our tools, to what extent do they shape and influence us?