“The Web is basically a web of people. It’s a way that social people interact,” Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the basic software of the Web and is director of the World Wide Web Consortium standards group, said. “Because it’s something we created, we have a duty to make it better.”….The social aspect of the Web–and the Web’s huge impact on society–demands that a field separate from computer science be explored, organizers said. For example, eBay is interesting because it relies on the involvement of millions of people. Similarly, Google used a mathematical algorithm that examines how millions of individuals link to other pages to improve search results.”We want to throw some light on forecasting what these new technologies might lead to in the human sense, in the community sense–and in the business,” said Wendy Hall, a professor of computer science at the University of Southampton.
The web has transformed the way many people work, play and do business.But Sir Tim Berners-Lee told BBC News he feared that, if the way the internet is used is left to develop unchecked, “bad things” could happen. He wants to set up a web science research project to study the social implications of the web’s development.
More on the “Web Science Initiative” from the Read/Write Web.