Andrew Murphie on Tue, 13 Oct 2009 05:30:09 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> FCJ new issue—"Web 2.0: before, during and after the event"—the Fibreculture Journal issue 14—online now



The Fibreculture Journal is affiliated with the Open Humanities Press -

The Fibreculture Journal is a peer reviewed international journal that encourages critical and speculative interventions in the debate and discussions concerning information and communication technologies and their policy frameworks, network cultures and their informational logic, new media forms and their deployment, and the possibilities of socio-technical invention and sustainability. The Fibreculture Journal encourages submissions that extend research into critical and investigative networked theories, knowledges and practices.


Web 2.0: before, during and after the event
An issue of the Fibreculture Journal critically exploring the ontogenesis of Web 2.0

Issue Editors: Anna Munster (College of Fine Arts, UNSW, Sydney) and Andrew Murphie (School of English, Media and Performing Arts, UNSW, Sydney)

Refereed Articles

Dreams of a New Medium
Aden Evens

Beyond the 'Networked Public Sphere': Politics, Participation and Technics in Web 2.0
Ben Roberts

Between Promise and Practice: Web 2.0, Intercultural Dialogue and Digital Scholarship
Ien Ang and Nayantara Pothen

Mapping Commercial Web 2.0 Worlds: Towards a New Critical Ontogenesis
Ganaele Langlois, Fenwick McKelvey, Greg Elmer, and Kenneth Werbin

Contexts and Provocations

The Digital Given: 10 Web 2.0 Theses
Geert Lovink, Ned Rossiter and Ippolita

Co-creation and the new industrial paradigm of peer production
Michel Bauwens

'Web 2.0' as a new context for artistic practices
Juan Martin Prada


>From the Editorial (

web 2.0 is a doing word.

Although Tim O'Reilly famously declared in 2005 that 'Web 2.0 is not a technology, it is an attitude', in 2009 it's clear he's grammatically incorrect (O'Reilly, 2005). Web 2.0 is not an "is", or not only this. Web 2.0 is also a verb or, as they taught us in primary school, it's a doing word. Here's a list of some web 2.0 things to do: apping, blogging, mapping, mashing, geocaching, tagging, searching, shopping, sharing, socialising and wikkiing. And the list goes on. Yet as the list goes on it becomes apparent that part of what web 2.0 does, while doing all the things on this list and more, is colonise everything in the network. It seems that there is no part of networked thought, activity or life that is not now web 2.0. To draw up another kind of list, a list of 'things' that have been done over by web 2.0, we find: Gov 2.0, Identity 2.0, XHTML™ 2.0, Classroom 2.0, and publish2 ...and the list goes on. Anything can become or be 2.0 as long as it demonstrates or is affiliated with a certain set of qualities. A list of typical Qualities 2.0 might look something like this: dynamic, participatory, engaged, interoperable, user-centred, open, collectively intelligent and so on. Clearly an 'attitude' can go a long way.

What, then, do we call something that sits somewhere between doing, being and qualifying? That systematises, indexes and categorises, on the one hand, and yet, on the other, willfully overruns categories and enthusiastically keeps adding to its own lists of things, activities and characteristics? That is poised between what has just happened (web 1.0) and what will be about to happen in a minute, soon, or later (web 3.0, the semantic web, next web)? That seems ineffable, not quite there (attitude) yet is also everywhere (lists, lists and more lists)?

In light of the strange space and odd temporal dimension it inhabits, it seems appropriate to call web 2.0 an 'event'. Something has certainly happened to the web as we knew it circa 2001 and that something is both a new technical infrastructure for online ICTs – what is now referred to as 'an architecture of participation' (O'Reilly, 2004) – and a change in attitude, a change in the ways we think about doing, communicating and inhabiting networks. The web 2.0 event moves the technical infrastructure of networks even closer to the transitive, to the nature of event itself. Events are things that happen to things, aren't they? Perhaps not, especially when we are dealing with phenomena that are truly dynamic, where change, hence unpredictability and fuzziness, is their immanent modality. When we start to flesh out what the event 'web 2.0' comprises, it is not some thing (a technology, an attitude) happening to some thing (web 1.0, information-based networks) already existing. Rather, with its dynamic apping of education for example, web 2.0 as event also opens up the question of the event itself: when and where is it?

In this issue of FCJ, Web 2.0: before, during and after the event, we are as much interested in opening up a space for thinking how networked events might look, feel and impart themselves as we are in adding to critical thinking about particular web 2.0 phenomena. We want to put forward a proposition that goes something like this: web to the nth dimension could be a contemporary and collective movement, an event in research and thought creation, and web 2.0 might just be a version, one extended duration within that larger movement. By this, we mean that critical thinking, researching and writing about networks has entered the space and time of a phenomenal, explosive and singular event, web to the 'n'. We want to think with/in this milieu. Web 2.0 may only be part of that broader movement in thought but it certainly presents an opportunity, perhaps a vital and critical one, to both grasp, and pause during, the event that is networked thinking. Thinking right now about web 2.0, thinking about it in critical and inventive ways, as the essays published in this issue do, is part of participating with this broader event—and of thinking networked events beyond the buzz of the immediacy of new apps, social media or service platforms.


Forthcoming Issues of FCJ: November, 2009—Remix; early 2010—Counterplay

"Take me to the operator, I want to ask some questions" - Barbara Morgenstern

"A traveller, who has lost his way, should not ask, Where am I? What he really wants to know is, Where are the other places" - Alfred North Whitehead

"I thought I had reached port; but I seemed to be cast back again into the open sea" (Deleuze and Guattari, after Leibniz)

Andrew Murphie - Associate Professor
School of English, Media and Performing Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 2052
Editor - The Fibreculture Journal>

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