I left it until the last minute but decided ultimately to submit an abstract to the Association of Internet Researchers conference that is being held in Brisbane this September. The process of writing it was excruciating but very good practice for me nevertheless. Why is thinking/writing so hard?
Here is the abstract I submitted. The topic is on Internet convergence. Any comments would of course be appreciated.
Why Google wants your desktop
Internet search engine company Google recently announced Google desktop, bringing the now familiar browser search engine to users desktops. Desktop platform companies such as Microsoft and Apple have Internet strategies such as .Net, a Windows environment for developing Internet services and .Mac, an integrated Desktop/Internet hosting site offered by Apple.
This paper proposes that the Internet did not develop in isolation but in a process of dynamic and dialectical engagement with other domains of convergence such as the office and the home. Domains such as the office, the home and the Internet operate as sites of convergence that mutually shape each other.
The paper looks at some past and current examples of technological convergence focusing on how the Internet and the office have co-evolved. Drawing on some recent works in the philosophy of container technologies, this paper also develops a notion of convergence that takes into account the environmental context as a force that helps to shape and order entities they contain by bringing them into contact in particular ways.