I was interested by the question posed in the Symposium, “Can a network have a centre, or do we all create our own centres?”, a continuation from the discussion last week. At the beginning of this subject, our class seemed to agree a network has no centre. The reading Galloway Protocol refers to this as a “distributed network”, which more closely resembles a web or mesh than something centrically focussed. But the more I think about it, the more I think there is a centre in a network. And yes, I also think we can create our own centres, as the experience of the network is subjective. What is at the centre of the network will be what matters most to you, and what you see as a pivotal point, perhaps an element that explains or ties everything else together.
In the networked media, I think the centre would generally be the networked media page, where Adrian provides feedback, observations, readings, questions, and some food for thought. As Adrian coordinates the course, is he automatically placed at the upper echelons of the hierarchy. As students, we need to check in on this page regularly. Not only as a point of reference and to gage what Adrian considers to be good work, but because it is specified that we must as part of our assessment. We are given marks for keeping up to date with the networked media blog, we get information about classes here, and it is also where the weeks’ readings are published – another essential element of the subject we need to interact with.
From a more subjective point of view, the centre of my networked media world is my own blog. Without my blog, Adrian’s would hold no meaning for me. I would have no incentive to check in on his page, do the readings or really interact with any of the other blogs. I think this is the same for everyone, your blog is automatically your centre, and the more time you invest in it, the more central it becomes. Similarly, the more time spent strengthening the centre of your network, the more effectively the whole network will function. Stronger links will be formed, tightening the networked media connection and enriching the subject content.