Real Web History

There’s been precious little documentation of the real cultural impact that the social web has had, particularly in its earliest years. So it’s exciting when people in academia who are researching those topics share their findings.

I was sent a set of links this morning that I haven’t had a chance to read over myself yet, but for future reference, I thought they are worth sharing and recording.

  • Blogging for Engines (PDF) by Anne Helmond. “The increasingly symbiotic relationship between the blogger, blog software and blog engines needs to be addressed in order to be able to describe a current account of blogging.”
  • The Algorithmization of the Hyperlink, from Anne Helmond. “This study looks at the history of the hyperlink from a medium-specific perspective by analyzing the technical reconfiguration of the hyperlink by engines and platforms over time.”
  • Where do bloggers blog? by Anne Helmond in First Monday. “The blogosphere has played an instrumental role in the transition and the evolution of linking technologies and practices. This research traces and maps historical changes in the Dutch blogosphere and the interconnections between blogs, which — traditionally considered — turn a set of blogs into a blogosphere.”
  • The web as exception: The rise of new media publishing cultures by M.P. Stevenson. “This dissertation offers a history of web exceptionalism – or the notion that the web is a source of

radical change and that it is inherently different from its ‘mass’ and ‘mainstream’ media predecessors – as well as its role in various innovations in web publishing.”

Can’t wait to sit down and read them all!