From Top-Down to Network

Autor: Kulawik, Bernd

Veröffentlichungsdatum: 15 Jun 2011 15:01

Zitierbare Links:
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:355-kuge-165-6


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Sprache: Deutsch

Durchschnittliche Beurteilung

Ihre Beurteilung



The internet and also the World Wide Web have been developed to make usage of the advantages of a real network, i.e. a network of communicating aquivalent and self-containing knots. But the structure of both developed into infrastructures of some ›higher priviliged‹ servers as ›sender‹ and a large number of clients or ›receivers‹. This is due to technical restrictions that we are now to overcome in the forthcoming years. At the moment, we are discussing how this infrastructure can be used in the Humanities. Since the development of Wikis started in 1995, more and more interactivity is made available inside this framework of this top-down structure. But recent developments have opened new perspectives to go back to the original structure of really net-working computers being part of a network of ›peers‹. Examples for these developments are online-repositories that can (partly) be accessed to publish data immediately, the technical advancements regarding online access to vast memory space and calculating power; P2P networks for the exchange of data and calculation etc. Usually, these developments are gathered under the metaphors of ›Web. 2.0‹ and the ›cloud‹. – But at the moment, any thinking about the process of exchange and publication of scientific data is limited to the older top-down structures and only does not take into considerations new developments. Therefore, these ideas and customs will be outdated in the very near future, i.e. less than 10 years or so: For instance, it is supposed that central servers will keep the data and will be managed by redactions with higher priviliges than the ›normal users‹ and authors. Instead, I want to argue here, the publication and exchange of data will be done from everybody’s own personal computer, tablet, netbook etc. which will be connected online almost all of the time. Dedicated ›servers‹ will take over the role of an indexing system and a repository for the content of computers that are not online at the moment. This demands a radical new thinking about how and what to publish, how to ›control‹ the published data (if at all!) and how to organise a ›reviewing‹ process. I think, the basic structure of the web as we know it, will change radically into a real network of equal participants with equal rights, where real ›peers‹ will decide about the importance of any contribution. The times when special collectives with special rights (and interests!) decided these questions, will be over soon.


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