Week 10: Importance and Impacts of Aggregation

The internet is ever-growing, with countless data and information being uploaded every minute. There are messages from your friends, photos from your relatives, articles from five magazines, news from four websites. How are we meant to keep track of it all?

The answer is through the use of aggregators.

Aggregators, as the name suggests, bring content and information together. This is a vital service in relation to the internet because of how vast it is. Aggregators allows us to keep track of things as well as showing us what we’re interested in.

But in a way, aggregators relates to the concepts of archives in that it is an archive of yourself. It can be seen as a form of expression because it’s made up of things that relate to you. A glance at someone’s feeds could tell you a bit about them, just as taking a glance at what magazines and hobbies someones has can.

Aggregators don’t only bring content together, it’s bringing content that you choose to follow, and so it is essentially an expression of yourself. There are different types of aggregators. There are the most obvious ones such as Netvibes, Google Reader (until July 1) and other RSS feeds. These services give allow you to subscribe to websites and shows you when there is new content.

Another type of aggregator are the social media websites such as twitter and facebook. Some other sites that can serve as aggregators are tumblr and reddit. They all bring in content from a range of sources and show it to the user in a relatively easy to digest way.

It reflects our society’s shift to a post-broadcast society, in that the information now revoles around the user and the user’s choice rather than a corporation deciding what the masses gets to see.

Word: Social body


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