Chapter 1: Engineering Sociality in a Culture of Connectivity. The Culture of Connectivity, Jose Van Dijck

In this chapter of his book The Culture of Connectivity, Jose Van Dijck explores the technical, social, economic and cultural perspectives surrounding the rise of social media.

When Web 2.0 first introduced social media, people saw the potential to “nurture connection, build communities and advance democracy” and many platforms embrace this spirit when they made the web more social. Many people like the Alvin’s that the author describes in detail as an average middle-class family in 2012, began to move their networking to online spaces. Companies began to pick up on this and connectivity evolved into a valuable resource for them and they realized the profit potential for obtaining peoples personal data.

The World Wide Web came to be in 1991and formed the basis of online networks with weblogs and email servers. Later Web 2.0 was introduced, and it became more interactive and fostered more two-way connections. Users moved everyday interactions online, and these web platforms now “provided a customized space” and platforms became more service oriented. In the beginning these platforms were mostly focused on community initiatives, colleges students etc. Van Dijck also explained that now with social media common acts are now formal inscriptions and have more long lasting and stronger effects, therefore forever altering and blurring the line between public and private communication. Furthermore, these online environments have become so a part of our lives that in the case of Google it has become a verb that is an everyday routine, with Skyping and Tweeting following close behind.

He goes on to describe the differences in social media sites, for example SNSs are social network sites for interpersonal contact (individuals or groups) such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ etc. A second category is UGC user generation content support creativity such as YouTube. A third is TMS trading and marketing sites, which are aimed at exchanging products like Etsy or eBay or Amazon and finally PGS, play and game sites likes sims and angry birds and Farmville.  He explains that there are no sharp boundaries between various platforms types which I found interesting and began to think about the success of apps and if collaboration between all of the different types makes an app more desirable and popular?

One thought on “Chapter 1: Engineering Sociality in a Culture of Connectivity. The Culture of Connectivity, Jose Van Dijck

  1. When thinking about the development of the world wide web and all of these sites that you referenced, it’s easy to see it all as a blur– as someone who grew up with technology, it felt like technology becoming more advanced and integrated within my daily life was just a part of me growing up. Your question about the connectivity of apps is interesting, and it leads me to wonder what would have happened if some of the apps that we use constantly would have been invented in a different order, or not at all. What tiny detail, such as being able to share an article from google onto a facebook page, greatly impacted the way that we perceive the internet?

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