Scanning Topics on the Internet
The Internet has a profound influence on the way information and issues are generated, filtered and distributed in society. Professional experts (like, for example, librarians or journalists) still provide “gatekeeping” and the filtering of information, but two new mechanisms are gaining in importance: Firstly, non-professional “produsers” of the Web 2.0 produce, spread, rate, filter and comment on a variety of topics. Secondly, software code, with its inscribed principles and algorithms, frames the selection, presentation and distribution of information.
A report for the ZDF (Second German Television) describes these developments and its underlying mechanisms, discussing the consequences for the emergence, distribution and monitoring of information, news and issues. It helps to assess current developments in online-based information management and to decide which instruments might be transferred to the (organisational as well as editorial) activity of the ZDF.
Particular attention was paid to three areas:
- automated news aggregators (e.g. Google News, digg.com),
- innovative forms of content classification (“tagging”/”folksonomies”),
- monitoring the flow of information in the blogosphere.
The project was concluded in August 2008.
Schmidt, J.; Frees, B.; Fisch, M. (2009): Themenscan im Web 2.0. Neue Öffentlichkeiten in Weblogs und Social-News-Plattformen [Scanning Topics in Web 2.0. New Public Spheres in Weblogs and Social News Platforms]. In: Media-Perspektiven [Media Perspectives], 2, 2009, pp. 50-59.
"Enzyklopädien des 21. Jahrhunderts" [Encyclopedias of the 21st Century], lecture by J.-H. Schmidt at the conference "Im Netz der Dienstleistungen" [In the Net of Service Offerings] at the University of Trier on 4 December 2008.