In a world where we have access to an abundance of information it is interesting to learn just how vital the Internet has become in our daily lives. In particularly the search engine Google.
Last Friday for a brief period of 5 minutes the Internet’s largest search engine remained useless. Incredibly during the outage web analyst’s estimated that 40% of global traffic was lost in the 300 seconds Google was down.
GoSquare developer Simon Tabor was quoted saying “this staggering drop in usage just proves how reliant we are on Google”. If there is something we don’t know we use the decentralised network of the Internet (and in particularly Google) to inform, entertain and broaden our knowledge and experience.
Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Indiana states “In the world of knowledge and information work the dominant presence of Internet and other networked media cannot be ignored” (2006, pg.12) . Whether you are simply searching for a YouTube video to learn how to change a car tyre or researching for an academic paper, knowledge is knowledge, no matter how complex the activity.
This again relates back to the notion of the flow of information. No longer do we live in an era reliant on industrial work whereby work is to the rhythm of machines. We live in era where knowledge work is set by the flow of information.
Bradwell affirms the change between the industrial and knowledge work sectors stating, “Knowledge-based services grew 177 per cent between 1995 and 2005, compared with 52 per cent for non-knowledge-based services” (2008, pg.25). A dramatic trend that has continued to strengthen as International economies become intertwined, technologies become faster and networks become further decentralised.
We have moved away from an industrial age of which was once built on strength, dexterities and entities and transcended into an information age that is reliant on the concepts of power, creativity and relationships.
In an interview at the G8 Innovation Conference, British Prime Minister David Cameron stated in reference to the Digital Britain Report; “More than any time in history our world is being shaped by innovation, new ideas, new technologies and new companies. This is the story of the global economy… A global race is underway and it is waiting for absolutely no one.”
These innovative ideas have seen the creation of monolithic platforms that have forever changed the world. Dueze proclaims “The most successful businesses on the internet – like eBay, Yahoo, Google, and Amazon – share one fundamental characteristic: the product these companies deliver is connectivity, bringing people together to trade, communicate, interact and exchange knowledge, information, goods, and services” (2008, pg.36).
As the debate concerning censorship and governmental control of the Internet continues to put pressure on users, the whole argument supported by world leaders feels like an oxymoron. On one hand governments want us all to embrace the digital age, convergence and the knowledge economy. On the other, they (governments) want us all to adhere to their policies that effectively abolish creativity and network construction.
In a recent post I was all for the censorship of the Internet. After this weeks week’s readings and lecture I am not so sure.
What are your thoughts regarding the industrial vs. information debate? Comment below or tweet me at @fluke_aus.
Bradwell, P & Reeves, R 2008, Network Citizens, Power & Responsibility at Work, accessed, UOW DIGC202 Moodle site
Deuze, M 2006, Liquid Life, Convergence Culture and Media Work, accessed 21/08/13, UOW DIGC202 Moodle site
2nd Year Media & Communication & Commerce Student @UOW
Majoring in Digital Communication & Marketing