Mute Vol 2 #4 - Web 2.0-- Man's best friendster? :: Web 2.0's democratisation of media produces a wealth of new perspectives. Some of those formerly excluded from the public sphere have the chance to make their voices heard. But this wave of participation is as important for business as it is for the newly included. Mute's Web 2.0 special uncovers the work in social networking and, behind the 'dotcommunist' spin, a centralisation of the means of sharing. Texts by Giorgio Agostoni, Olga Goriunova, Dmytri Kleiner & Brian Wyrick and Angela Mitropoulos. Additional articles by Brian Ashton, John Barker, Paul Helliwell and Merijn Oudenampsen
Swarm Forms: On Platforms and Creativity by Olga Guriunova :: Will the 'hive mind' of social networking replace classical forms of knowledge production? Comparing Web 2.0 and small-scale, self-run cultural platforms, Olga Goriunova maintains the possibility for originality in both contexts, while identifying how the same old commercial and institutional pressures still operate.
The Long Tale by Giorgio Agostoni :: Web 2.0 relies heavily on identikit forms of self-representation and sociability. Parallel to the 'authentic', self-promoting personae of MySpace, multi-user virtual worlds such as Second Life (SL) appear to offer a more malleable, playful version of life online. But as the imperatives of commercial exchange penetrate deeper into the networked imagination, is the gap between RL and VR what it used to be? Giorgio Agostoni reverse engineers material from across the net to construct a fictional readymade suspended between self-reinvention and self-management.