The dramatic increase in quantity of information greatly speeded up by Internet has been accompanied by another fundamental development. Imagine water running down a mountain. If the quantity of water keeps continuously increasing, it will find numerous new paths and these paths will keep getting wider. Something similar is happening as the amount of information keeps growing - except these paths are also all connected to each other and they go in all directions; up, down, sideways. Here are some of these new paths which facilitate movement of information between people, listed in no particular order: SMS, forward and redirect function in email clients, mailing lists, Web links, RSS, blogs, social bookmarking, tagging, publishing (as in publishing one¹s playlist on a web site), peer-to-peer networks, Web services, Firewire, Bluetooth. These paths stimulate people to draw information from all kinds of sources into their own space, remix and make it available to others, as well as to collaborate or at least play on a common information platform (Wikipedia, Flickr). Barb Dybwad introduces a nice term 'collaborative remixability' to talk about this process: I think the most interesting aspects of Web 2.0 are new tools that explore the continuum between the personal and the social, and tools that are endowed with a certain flexibility and modularity which enables collaborative remixability--a transformative process in which the information and media we've organized and shared can be recombined and built on to create new forms, concepts, ideas, mashups and services. [More....]
Click through for comments on the historical precedents of remixability and its contemporary status...
Originally posted on Rhizome.org Raw by Lev Manovich