In both our symposium and class this week we began to discuss the nuts and bolts that make up the networked system that we currently experience online. Referring to the internet as a somewhat ‘ecology’, Adrian compared network literacy to that of a natural ecosystem, both of which function as a united structure despite the many individual and quite separate parts that are present. Furthering his analogy, Adrian continued to compare the two on their similar characteristics, as although both a naturally existing ecosystem and the artificial form of the internet both lack a controlling centre, it is through this lack of a centre that enables both representations of an ‘ecology’ to intercommunicate in complex ways, irrespective of size or scale.
It is this concept that I believe most accurately represents the functioning of network literacy as although not every piece of data is connected to each other, no one piece of data stands alone. With this subject now bringing to draw to an end with the end of semester creeping closer and closer, I feel I hold a much great comprehension of how network literacy works now that we have gone further than the theoretical and the practical perspectives and into the structural. Through both discussions and the practical work induing weekly posts through this blog, I understand now Adrian has always stressed the difference between computer literacy and network literacy.
Class discussions this week then fastened my grasp on network literacy even further as we talked about the ‘nodes’ that refer to the connection points between different websites. It is then the number of incoming links to a certain node that determines how high up in a search a website will be. Although there are no nodes that are more or less important in the actual networked system of the internet, some sites such as Wikipedia or Youtube are seen as more prominent than other websites due to their large amount of incoming links from various locations across the web as apposed to a small time blog on cupcakes that may only receive links about baking.