What is the Internet’s future? Originally a research and development-focused network of networks, the Internet has evolved since the early 90s as an engine for commerce and platform for digital media, which is pretty much all media post-digital convergence. As social media emerged to support networks of conversation, sharing, and community, and as the commitment of mindshare shifted from mass media to shared media, marketing interests saw that they needed online strategies to capture attention and drive purchases. The marketing model has become so pervasive, it is influencing online behavior of “civilians” – as Doug Rushkoff noted in the PBS documentary “Generation Like,” “the teen quest for identity and connection has migrated to social media,” and teens are learning to market effectively to each other via social platforms. In all of this, tracking of behavior is pervasive.

Jon Lebkowsky will lead a discussion of this trend, the evolution of Internet as marketplace as well as participatory panopticon.