A Novel on the Possible Dark Side of Web 2.0

About ten years ago, the largest sites on the web, as well as the people who make up the population of the internet, truly started to adopt a community-based internet. The web 2.0 philosophy has come far since the first discussions of transforming the internet were underway. It has morphed the internet into a web of social media and massively large tech companies like Google and Facebook.

These social media and web-service platforms are the means through which users interact with one another and have a presence on the web. Social media and other similar web 2.0 ideas are still moving forward very fast, and the web is changing along with them.

However, Rob Williams at Policy Mic has written a recent review of a book that explores the future of the online world as the development of the social internet goes in a certain direction. It doesn’t look to be an ideal situation.

The book is called The Circle, by Dave Eggers, and should be on the book shelf of everyone who enjoys reading about the future of tech, social media, or communication and identity in general. Rob describes the book stating that it’s “set in the not-too-distant future” and that the “story takes us inside a shiny-happy California-based media corporation called the Circle,” which has come to dominate the internet as the most powerful tech company, even more so than Google today.

The book continues to explore the cultural and social changes that would occur from a highly centralized, data-driven social network for the world’s population. It’s not a dystopian novel, but Eggers does provide some criticism of the types of social connections created and admired by people online.

If that sounds interesting to you, be sure to read Rob’s article at Policy Mic. It’s certainly a novel that will force you think about the pros and cons of continuing to support social and communal web based online networks and social media.

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