is that of the user the best paradigm to understand online activity at large?

what other paradigms of online activity are there? do human agents behave more as admins or moderators than users?

to be clear: the admin is technically another type of user, but you get what i mean

wikipedia: "Users of computer systems and software products generally lack the technical expertise required to fully understand how they work."

Let's put it like this, using a thought experiment. The offline world suddenly disappears: no cities, no buildings, no bodies, no objects. Human agents are only able to interact through and within current digital interfaces. How human activity would differ? How our understanding of current online activities would differ?

is world-building, understood as building a durable interface with the totality of the real, still possible online?

more fundamentally, is the "online" a world?

again, following Arendt, one could say that a website is a work/object, while a platform is a machine

While acting for her means breaking the "fateful automation of sheer happening". Sounds familiar?

Reminded now that in his reflections on the "automatic society" Stiegler describes a shift from the everyday life to the administered life. Might be the 'Vita Administrativa' (both administering and being administering) the crucial sphere of activity missing in Arendt's model of human practical capacities?

if I were to point out a fundamental paradigm shift of user behavior in terms of interaction with an interface, due to the advent of the corporate web, I'd say that the user was reconfigured as a scroller, and therefore as passive consumer because the interaction is purely mechanical and only accidentally performed manually.

the paradox seems to be that web 2.0 which was supposed to bring MORE interactivity, eventually reduced it

ok, I put some of these notes quickly together on the blog. Main idea: proletarisation of user interaction. Comments welcome!

apropos, Simondon argues that the machine replaces the tool-equipped individual (the worker)

i guess the fundamental question is: can we really consider the web a metamedium?

forgot about Striphas notion of "controlled consumption", which is quite related to the user condition I'd say (source is my thesis)

and now I'm in the rabbit hole of understanding the evolution of AJAX and XMLHttpRequest. Is it true that the "killer app" for the technology was Gmail?

ok, so here's my tentative chronology of XMLHttpRequest/ AJAX:

2000: Microsoft comes up with XMLHttpRequest (the cornerstone of AJAX) and implements it in Outlook Mail:

2002: uses JavaScript to mimic a desktop mail application, using AJAX methodologies:

2004: Google borrows several ideas from Oddpost to create Gmail:

Apparently at the time there was some discomfort with the idea of turning webpages into apps. Where can I find more about this?

this might have been the historical bifurcation moment: "There were two implementations [of Outlook Web Access] that got started, one based on serving up straight web pages as efficiently as possible with straight HTML, and another one that started playing with the cool user interface you could build with DHTML."

Paul Graham in 2005: "Near my house there is a car with a bumper sticker that reads "death before inconvenience." Most people, most of the time, will take whatever choice requires least work. If Web-based software wins, it will be because it's more convenient. And it looks as if it will be, for users and developers both."

atm "The User Condition" magnum opus (which obviously will never see the light) has the following chapters:

- User/Agent
- Multidimensional Agencies
- Hyperlinearity
- Interface Proletarization
- Vita Administrativa

subchapter title: Infinite Scroll and the Paginated Mind

ok, I tried to put together a tentative chronology of this idea of Interface Industrialization, connecting the emergence of web apps, the invention of the infinite scroll, the appearance of syndication and aggregation, the introduction of smartphones and thus the swipe gesture. Spoiler: it ends with a US Senator wanting to ban infinite scroll


@entreprecariat [about the banner of your post] this image reinforce the idea that apple "invented" the touchscreen... but it has been around since the 90's at least:
i'm aware it is not the topic of your essay, just that maybe using this image as a banner is not the best choice :)
thanks for building an history of web interface by the way!

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@frankiezafe hey thanks I'm aware that Apple didn't invent the touchscreen, as it didn't even the mouse either. I chose it because it's a synthetic rendition of the idea of the chronology!

@entreprecariat sorry, my anti-apple condition is stronger that my common sense

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