The Web Periodization Project is a research initiative by the Web Ecology Group about Internet trends and phenomena. It examines the interplay between web culture and the worlds of popular culture and mainstream media, and seeks to understand the significance and generative possibilities of individual ideas and practices transmitted through repetition on the web. Although not a perfect distinction, the project differentiates between web and mainstream cultures based on an object’s origin. Mainstream culture primarily originates through long-established distribution infrastructure established generally to generate profit, including television, radio, music, newspapers, and movies. Contrastingly, web culture finds its audience through placement and sharing on the Internet where new platforms and widespread social practices are most useful in explaining large shifts in production of content.
To complement the research, we have developed an interactive timeline of web events associated with our research. The timeline allows any registered user to add or edit items through the web. Any viewer can organize items based on category or date. When a user clicks on an item the timeline pulls up a complete description of the item, a link to a relevant web address, and a navigation system connecting to precursors or descendants of the item. The goal is to provide an accessible and responsive visualization that demonstrates the patterns and connections between recent events in web culture.
View the current timeline here