barry wellman

barry wellman bw

[toronto, canada]


networked individuaism graphic

into’d to Barry through Howard:

A second major learning from Howard was his reference to Barry Wellman’s networked individualism in his book, Net Smart, p. 57 ish.

p. 195 – barry wellman – networked individualism.. it is easier for individuals to connect with multiple social milieux, with limited involvement in each one, which in turn diminishes the control each milieu exercises over the individual and decreases its commitment to the individual’s welfare. people switch fluidly from network to network, using their communication media to contact the social network needed for each moment..

networked individualism hugely resonating with the app idea and the brain, in\output, et al.. a means to facilitate curiosity/whimsy, the it is me-ness, et al..

re:wire ness – perhaps a way.


find/follow Barry:

link twitter

Barry Wellman, FRSC (born 1942) is a Canadian-American sociologist and is currently the director of NetLab at the Faculty of Information (iSchool) of the University of Toronto. His areas of research are community sociology, the Internet, human-computer interaction and social structure, as manifested in social networks in communities and organizations. His overarching interest is in the paradigm shift from group-centered relations to networked individualism. He has written or co-authored more than 300 articles, chapters, reports and books.

his site:

barry wellman site

his page on uni of toronto:

barry wellman on uni of toronto


Barry and Lee Rainie co-authored networked – published in 2012…


book links to amazon



networked highlights and notes

holy cow – what a great resource.. esp a zoom out picture.. (which is what the web is affording us).. of what networked individualism can afford us.

felt i had ‘read’ Barry by osmosis via Howard.. long ago.. as the basis of our research/experimentation has been with networked individualism. very glad to literally be reading it now. so many highlights linked above.. adding this one now because i don’t quite get it.. distinguishing web from internet:

loc 2503 on ipad kindle..

spirited debate about whether non-web exchanges that run on the internet but not on the web—such as mobile apps, peer-to-peer services, video exchanges, and downloads—would supplant web applications as the dominant form of media and communication exchanges. Wired magazine kicked off the debate with a provocative cover story, “The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet,” laying out a credible scenario where people turn away from the sprawling, browser-based, search-oriented web in their search and content-creation activities toward the more customized world of non-web, mobile apps.

wired article referenced:

web is dead

Two decades after its birth, the World Wide Web is in decline, as simpler, sleeker services — think apps — are less about the searching and more about the getting. Chris Anderson explains how this new paradigm reflects the inevitable course of capitalism. And Michael Wolff explains why the new breed of media titan is forsaking the Web for more promising (and profitable) pastures.

You’ve spent the day on the Internet — but not on the Web. And you are not alone.

This is not a trivial distinction. Over the past few years, one of the most important shifts in the digital world has been the move from the wide-open Web to semiclosed platforms that use the Internet for transport but not the browser for display. It’s driven primarily by the rise of the iPhone model of mobile computing, and it’s a world Google can’t crawl, one where HTML doesn’t rule. And it’s the world that consumers are increasingly choosing, not because they’re rejecting the idea of the Web but because these dedicated platforms often just work better or fit better into their lives (the screen comes to them, they don’t have to go to the screen). The fact that it’s easier for companies to make money on these platforms only cements the trend. Producers and consumers agree: The Web is not the culmination of the digital revolution.


The Web is, after all, just one of many applications that exist on the Internet, which uses the IP and TCP protocols to move packets around. This architecture — not the specific applications built on top of it — is the revolution. Today the content you see in your browser — largely HTML data delivered via the http protocol on port 80 — accounts for less than a quarter of the traffic on the Internet … and it’s shrinking. The applications that account for more of the Internet’s traffic include peer-to-peer file transfers, email, company VPNs, the machine-to-machine communications of APIs, Skype calls,World of Warcraft and other online games, Xbox Live, iTunes, voice-over-IP phones, iChat, and Netflix movie streaming. Many of the newer Net applications are closed, often proprietary, networks.

This was all inevitable. It is the cycle of capitalism. The story of industrial revolutions, after all, is a story of battles over control. A technology is invented, it spreads, a thousand flowers bloom, and then someone finds a way to own it, locking out others. It happens every time.

puke.. monopoly ness

Openness is a wonderful thing in the nonmonetary economy of peer production. But eventually our tolerance for the delirious chaos of infinite competition finds its limits. Much as we love freedom and choice, we also love things that just work, reliably and seamlessly. 

so maybe we work on the sync ni allows..

As Jonathan L. Zittrain puts it in The Future of the Internet — And How to Stop It, “It is a mistake to think of the Web browser as the apex of the PC’s evolution.” Today the Internet hosts countless closed gardens; in a sense, the Web is an exception, not the rule.

When you are young, you have more time than money, and LimeWire is worth the hassle. As you get older, you have more money than time. The iTunes toll is a small price to pay for the simplicity of just getting what you want. The more Facebook becomes part of your life, the more locked in you become. Artificial scarcity is the natural goal of the profit-seeking.

The innovation advantages of an open marketplace outweigh the limited performance advantages of a closed system.

But the Web is a different matter. The marketplace has spoken: When it comes to the applications that run on top of the Net, people are starting to choose quality of service. We wantTweetDeck to organize our Twitter feeds because it’s more convenient than the Twitter Web page. The Google Maps mobile app on our phone works better in the car than the Google Maps Web site on our laptop. And we’d rather lean back to read books with our Kindle or iPad app than lean forward to peer at our desktop browser.

yeah. i need help here…

At the application layer, the open Internet has always been a fiction. It was only because we confused the Web with the Net that we didn’t see it. The rise of machine-to-machine communications — iPhone apps talking to Twitter APIs — is all about control. Every API comes with terms of service, and Twitter,, Google, or any other company can control the use as they will. We are choosing a new form of QoS: custom applications that just work, thanks to cached content and local code. Every time you pick an iPhone app instead of a Web site, you are voting with your finger: A better experience is worth paying for, either in cash or in implicit acceptance of a non-Web standard.

Even in the face of this downward spiral, the despairing have hoped. But then came the recession, and the panic button got pushed. Finally, after years of experimentation, content companies came to a disturbing conclusion: The Web did not work. It would never bring in the bucks. And so they began looking for a new model, one that leveraged the power of the Internet without the value-destroying side effects of the Web. And they found Steve Jobs, who — rumor had it — was working on a new tablet device.

how we define – works?

This has been a fundamental and aching disconnect: There was no sublime integration of content and systems, of experience and functionality — no clever, subtle, Machiavellian overarching design able to create that codependent relationship between audience, producer, and marketer.

whoa. guess so. ed has surely blinded us. as it was created to do.

In the media world, this has taken the form of a shift from ad-supported free content to freemium— free samples as marketing for paid services — with an emphasis on the “premium” part. On the Web, average CPMs (the price of ads per thousand impressions) in key content categories such as news are falling, not rising, because user-generated pages are flooding Facebook and other sites. The assumption had been that once the market matured, big companies would be able to reverse the hollowing-out trend of analog dollars turning into digital pennies. Sadly that hasn’t been the case for most on the Web, and by the looks of it there’s no light at the end of that tunnel.

The Web won’t take the sequestering of its commercial space easily. The defenders of the unfettered Web have their hopes set on HTML5 — the latest version of Web-building code that offers applike flexibility — as an open way to satisfy the desire for quality of service. If a standard Web browser can act like an app, offering the sort of clean interface and seamless interactivity that iPad users want, perhaps users will resist the trend to the paid, closed, and proprietary. But the business forces lining up behind closed platforms are big and getting bigger. This is seen by many as a battle for the soul of the digital frontier.

But what is actually emerging is not quite the bleak future of the Internet that Zittrain envisioned. It is only the future of the commercial content side of the digital economy. Ecommerce continues to thrive on the Web, and no company is going to shut its Web site as an information resource. More important, the great virtue of today’s Web is that so much of it is noncommercial. The wide-open Web of peer production, the so-called generative Web where everyone is free to create what they want, continues to thrive, driven by the nonmonetary incentives of expression, attention, reputation, and the like. But the notion of the Web as the ultimate marketplace for digital delivery is now in doubt.

The Internet is the real revolution, as important as electricity; what we do with it is still evolving. As it moved from your desktop to your pocket, the nature of the Net changed. The delirious chaos of the open Web was an adolescent phase subsidized by industrial giants groping their way in a new world. Now they’re doing what industrialists do best — finding choke points. And by the looks of it, we’re loving it.

While Google may have controlled traffic and sales, Apple controls the content itself. Indeed, it retains absolute approval rights over all third-party applications. Apple controls the look and feel and experience. And, what’s more, it controls both the content-delivery system (iTunes) and the devices (iPods, iPhones, and iPads) through which that content is consumed.

to me – it’s the same story.. elephant in the room for adhd – assuming school is natural. elephant in room for web – assuming money market is natural. science of people. systemic money less ness et al.

we’re trying to fix problems that were created in man made boxes.. which is ok.. but we’re assuming the box isn’t man made.. not ok.

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notes after reading adhd post:

in ignorance.. just from reading his post.. seems to be missing that huge elephant..

Since taking stimulants, he had become increasingly moody and irritable, especially when he had to do schoolwork
With regular use of the lithium, William’s functioning improved on every level. Instances of forgetting his homework at school or in his backpack became rare.
how can you tell when you’ve got him in that fake environment
we’re just not listening to the person. we think we are.. but it’s always under our pre conceived notions of a natural/safe environment. perhaps need to try rat park ness.
– – — – –
love me them rabbit holes.. networked individualism ..
back to book:
Ad hoc communities are created in an instant, thanks to mobile communications. Technology analyst Howard Rheingold gave birth to the idea that “smart mobs” are a hallmark of this new age. Groups no longer require centralized decision making and top-down information flows to gather information that allows group members to act in a coordinated fashion. This information is now distributed and conveyed by group members contacting each other when they have the urge.
fitting with convos in rhizo14 about gatherings/course/campfire. and reminds me of my first encounter w/Howard.. – who’s together in a space..
place-based connections turning into person-based connections:
They understand from the beginning that the initial time and place for the meeting are approximate and changeable. They are more careless about arriving at the proper time and they fuss less about knowing the proper place ahead of time. Sociologist Bernie Hogan calls this “soft time” and “soft location.” It is part of networked individuals’ shift from place-based connections to person-based connections, with “a flexible lifestyle of instant exchange and constant updates.
This is a more spontaneous and human way to be in touch with others.
24/7 ness


Barry Wellman (@barrywellman)
9/1/13 7:00 AM
Printing an updating Wikipedia.


saturday, april 21, 2012

barry wellman

George Siemens (@gsiemens)
4/14/12 8:26 PM
Reaching waaay back to 2001: Computer Networks As Social Networks bylove his networked individualism.. first read about it in howard’s net smartand whoa – his site looks like instagrok –
on twitter community  via courosa
the tech to aid us back to us.. via networked individualism
wear able ness