2015 marks 10 years since the publication of “What Is Web 2.0?”, Tim O’Reilly’s influential declaration of Web 2.0’s practical and conceptual underpinnings. In the intervening years, the popularity of Web 2.0 as a descriptive term has waxed and waned. At the same time, however, the platforms, principles, and ideologies that ushered in the Web 2.0 Era have only grown in their relevance: concerns over labor and social production have persisted in, for example, critical discussions of personal data ownership or the “sharing economy;” questions of exploitation and dominance are increasingly pressing in the face of the power and reach exhibited by companies like Google, Facebook, or Twitter; as knowledge platforms like Wikipedia have flourished, so have concerns over diminished critical-thinking skills and the monopolization of knowledge; and, finally, critical attention to the (often tenuous) relationship between democracy and participatory platforms remains vital to understanding the power of social media tools for facilitating social and political protest at the same time as it enables new opportunities for surveillance and political repression. In addition, while social networking sites and tools have provided unparalleled opportunities to connect, communicate, and share, they’ve also given rise to problems of identity management, cyberbullying, revenge porn, and (sometimes cruel) practices of trolling.
Under various guises, Web 2.0 has retained an ability to expand social, political, and economic opportunity while at the same time fostering resistance and controversy in its reach and ideological commitments.
In 2008, First Monday published a special issue on “Critical Perspectives on Web 2.0” bringing together a diverse group of scholars to “expose, explore and explain the ideological meanings and the social, political, and ethical implications of Web 2.0”. These contributions addressed issues of labor, privacy, exploitation, and broader conceptual and practical implications of participatory platforms and social production online.
In light of Web 2.0’s continued relevance and impact, we are pleased to edit a new special issue of First Monday – A Decade of Web 2.0: Reflections, Critical Perspectives, and Beyond – that aims to update and extend previous critical assessments of online social and participatory platforms and practices.
We seek submissions from a broad array of disciplines and perspectives representing a diverse collection topics, including, but not limited to:
- identity and pseudonymity
- algorithms and the filter bubble
- exercise of power and protest
- social media and democracy
- privacy and data flows
- memes and virality
- labor and exploitation
- commodification and corporatization
- content production and appropriation
- cyberbullying and online harassment
- law and regulatory interventions
- social data and research ethics
In addition, we especially encourage submissions that examine the above (or other) issues as they intersect with issues of race, gender, sexuality, disability, or socioeconomic status.
- Extended Abstracts Due: September 1, 2015
- Feedback from Editors: October 1, 2015
- Full Submissions Due: February 1, 2016
- Peer Review Feedback: April 1, 2016
- Final Submissions Due: May 15, 2016
- Issue Appears: June 2016
Authors are requested to submit an extended abstract of 400-500 words to DecadeOfWeb20@gmail.com for review by the editors. Selected authors will be invited to submit a full paper for the special issue, which will then undergo formal external peer-review. Final submissions must follow the Author Guidelines  for First Monday.
- Dr. Michael Zimmer, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Dr. Anna Lauren Hoffmann, School of Information, University of California, Berkeley