New Media

Writing Beyond Words- Chapter 4 Section 2

Remixed- Text

“A system that makes an extraordinary range of initially unfiltered content understandable, and that helps the reader recognize what he should trust, and what he should question.” (Lessig).

This system is broken into 3 parts.

The first part of the system is the writing itself. This has evolved from two different things. “The first was obscure to many and the second was the ubiquitous blog”.

Digging deeper into the obscure, means finding Usenet. “This was a distributed messaging system that enabled messages to be passed cheaply among thousands of computers worldwide.”. Usenet was invented at Duke, by two computer scientists; Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis.

The messages ranged from informal to announcements. This became the increasing location for the RW culture.  Once a person realized that it was possible to hit a button and talk to the entire world, the desire to speak to the world was formed.

A lawyer company, Canter & Siegel, decided to push the limits and created spam, by advertising their services. This received many different reactions, some with anger but others took their idea and began to spam as well. Usenet slowly turned into our present day email inbox (because of all the spam mail).

Tim Berners-Lee came to the rescue with the World Wide Web, WWW. He wanted it to be an RW medium, like it is today. At first, the efforts failed. Eventally, Berners-Lee’s dream came true, blogs began at an enormous rate. However, the writing, itself, was RW creative but the audience only experienced RO.

Comments were born as a solution to this problem.


The second layer was added to create order in the blogosphere. It created tagging and ranking systems, this way people could see what they wanted to according to the tags.

The more tags an article has, the more useful and significant the article is. It is also much easier to find.

This also allowed for collaboration.

The significance and importance changes from the original meaning once the audience adds tags.


The third layer of this RW culture for text is less direct.

Tools that attempt to measure the significance of one conversation by counting the link others make.

These three layers work together to provide content. The WWW would be nothing without content.

The WWW/RW Internet is also educational. It shows us things that we do not know. Suck as Lessig, reading a blog with in-depth analysis that included a lot of substance and insight. This is more effective than the TV that he was attempting to watch.

The last part of the RW Internet is editorial, the power of advertising. The advertiser is able to choose where and what they want to advertise as well as if they will or not. If an advertiser does not want to advertise a certain brand, style, or ad; they simply do not have to.

The ending of this section states that instead of hating criticism, you should reward it. Do not feel bad about it. Everyone needs criticism. This helps a person thrive and become more creative. It also helps fix the mistakes.



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