Are we aggregating aggregation?

"Artificial intelligences will become the keepers of the digital sphere" (Dodson, 2009)

“Artificial intelligences will become the keepers of the digital sphere” (Dodson, 2009)

If you think we are living in a fast paced world, its online counterpart is moving even faster. It is an online revolution which is exponentially growing and there has been an estimate that nearly 4.6 BILLION webpages exist (WorldWideWebSize, 2013). With the constant construction of platforms and applications that meets our problems, our cultivation practices of distributing and aggregating information are leading to all sorts of new and developed social forms. Is this ideal situation really what it seems like though? Or is mankind aggregating the existence and development of the internet.

“You’re living the stream, adding to it, consuming it, redirecting it” (Guillaud, 2010)

Aggregation, Publishing and Distribution ideas all seamlessly entwine with each other as the basis of this Publics and Publishing course. During the course, we have also been involved in a production of information aggregation, synthesising ideas, thoughts and opinions into our publishing spheres. It is probably embedded as first nature and characteristics of Gen Y users. To be constantly adding new information and contributing to these 4.6 billion pages online, is a form of personalisation through aggregation. But is this really an advantageous contribution to the Internet?

“At a time when obstacles to distribution are collapsing, the act of distribution become much less important than the act of consumption” (Guillaud, 2010)

Guillaud continues to explore the reworking of the distribution structures in internet technologies. Not only are there new forms of these distribution methods in the internet, but a new form of cultural structure in information aggregation has also emerged. With the possibility of Web 2.0, we have established a new form of culture through these social media aggregation platforms. Taking for example,Twitter, would the possibility of trolls and keyboard warriors have existed 10 years ago? Or maybe the formation of Instagram. Man’s creation to satisfy our burning vanity to show off our #duckfaces and that 5 star meal on that luxurious paradise island holiday (which should really be spent away from all forms of technology).  Although we are living, breathing and contributing to the formation of digital information and spheres, I personally think that we are heading towards plateau in the significance of information distribution.


“We have reached a point where that separation no longer exists, as once-precious data tend toward low value ubiquity” (Dodson, 2009)

Forms of social media aggregation and distribution


Publishing, Aggregation and distribution may be able to coexist but there will be many unsolvable effects that will soon come with the new way we choose to deliver and share information. Unless of course we again create new social forms that will answer these problems… it is a never-ending cycle. To the left is a briefing of our social media forms. What are your views with these social forms being the calling to all our problems?



  1. Dodson, W 2009 “Dawn of the Systems Age”,, accessed 21 May 2013.

  2. Guillaud, H 2010 “What is implied by living in a world of flow?”,, accessed 21 May 2013.

  3. Hayes, G 2008 “The Social Media Campaign”,, accessed 21 May 2013.

  4. Kunder,M 2013 “The Size of the World Wide Web (The Internet),, accessed 21 May 2013.


We are all ubiquitous. It sounds like an amazing super power to possess but being ubiquitous is present in all factors of our lives, it is intrinsically linked to our digitalised world. Without the omnipresence of computers there would be no possible form to support our existing civilisation , there would be no form of effective communication, economy or even forms of distribution.

 “Shows us the ubiquitous wireless connectivity of our lives,”(Murphie, 2013)

Ubiquity is a correlative term to online publishing thanks to the power of the internet. Your personal identity can span across to several others, that being a Facebook user, an Instagram user, an online banking profile, a personal blogger, an online shopping buyer and even an online dating site user.

Internet of Everything will provide richer experiences, new capabilities, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and nations (Johnston, 2012)

These days, the control of information publishing is at the tip of our hands, it has increased mobility and also cyber spatiality. While you could be purchasing something from a Japanese boutique shop on one tab, you could be all the way in Hawaii booking your next trip in another. This is simply the ubiquitous power that the Internet Age has given us.

“The web enables infinite distribution of content without any special effort or infrastructure (Zawodny, 2004)

RRS feeds

RSS feeds: The possibility of ubiquity

However the ubiquitous nature of the internet also has its downfalls. Where you as a user could have a copious amount of presence on one site, other sites suffer to make prominence. The possibility of ubiquity of the internet would be through the way in which RSS allows users to access information and sources in their own time. Zawodny describes this as a sense of freedom to access whatever data that you like which is rare for companies to grant you. It empowers us with a sense of ownership that in hand “helps builds some of the most loyal, passionate and vocal supporters…some of them will put your data to work in ways you never dreamed of” (Zawodny, 2004). That in reference to the successful companies and programs such as Bill Gate’s Microsoft, that was becoming ubiquitous and powerful.

In comparison, Google’s presence has becoming increasingly more ubiquitous mirroring the past of Gate’s Microsoft. Google has taken the advantage of opened and cross platformed technologies. First it was the humble Google search, to the RSS feeding Google Reader, dominating the Android phone platform and now even creating the “next big thing” with the Google glass.

“Allows Google to capitalize on a future dominated by people using multiple devices and operating systems (Mott, 2013)

Mott further elaborates and questions the intention of Google, referring its ubiquitous presence in our community not to something that is philanthropic. “Google isn’t some beneficent magician that builds wonderful products and improves the Web without expecting anything in return” (Mott,2013). His warning about confusing Google’s ubiquity for openness can be read further on this link “Don’t confuse Google’s ubiquity for openness”.

In hindsight, being ubiquitous  is probably a trait that every company and person would want to possess (also because sounds like an amazing superpower to have). The Ubiquitous power is in the palm of your hands, or if all else fail I will leave you with the video below, Mozilla’s Ubiquity extension.  (Yes, there is a program out there for this too, not a surprising resort for people living in the 21st century, #first world problems).


  1. Johnston, J 2012, “How The ‘Internet of Everything’ Will Transform the World,, accessed 13th May 2013
  2. Mott, D 2013, “Don’t confuse Google’s ubiquity for openness”, accessed 13th of May 2013
  3. [Lecture slides] Murphie, A 2013, “Visual, perception, politics”, lecture notes distributed in ARTS2090 at the University of New South Wales, on 13 May 2013,
  4.  [Video] Yanzilme, 2008, “Ubiquity Demo”,, accessed 13th of May 2013
  5. Zawodny, J 2004, “Ubiquity in the Internet Age,, accessed 13th May 2013.