The Architectural Columns of the Internet

November 6, 2009

More recently, our class was asked to split into groups and form a visualization that depicted an overarching concept of interactive media and the World Wide Web.

Although most of us had thought of similar general concepts, such as choice and control or design and function, our group focused on one aspect that we feel was of high importance.

Value is a huge factor and large portion of the Internet’s foundation. Any type of prosumer will not visit a website or even go onto the Internet if it wasn’t considered valuable. This idea can be tied into the communication theory of uses and gratification.

The following layout describes, in depth, the details of our visualization that portrays the importance of value and its connection to interactive media.

Visualization – Architectural Columns


The six different types of prosumers: Creators, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators, Critics and Inactives, are structurally important when it comes to the architecture of the Internet.  We felt that they uphold and formed the value of the content that is presented online.

To visually depict this, there are six columns that are each labeled as one of the prosumer types. These columns then connect and support the top of the structure (or triangle) that would be labeled as Value.  The space or section between the columns and triangle will contain overarching concepts that relate to that particular prosumer.

For example:

Creators (Column) and its relation to the Value (Triangle)

– Content is determined by the creator

– Usability, Design and Function – determined in part by creators

– Control – making content, crafting presentation


Joiners (Column) and its relation to Value (Triangle)

– Content is seen as something to bookmark or be a part of

– Connectivity- they want to be a part of it

– Choice- decided to join


Critics (Column) and its relation to the Value (Triangle)

– Feedback- to make it more valuable

– Choice – decide to voice opinion, participate in discussion

– Connectivity – feel like contributing to site, part of the content


Collectors (Column) and its relation to the Value (Triangle)

-Quantity over quality – amassing content for value

-Choice – choosing which to “collect”

-Attachment/connection to the pieces by having them in a “collection”


Spectators (column) and its relation to the Value (Triangle)

-Choice – choosing to “watch and learn”

-Time – time spent watching gives value, done passively w/ little effort (doesn’t require large time investment)

-Silent participation – connecting vicariously through others


Inactives (column) and its relation to the Value (Triangle)

-Choice – ultimate choice, choose to reject, not participate at all

-Learning why adds value – why inactive to change to an active prosumer

-Can diminish value if number is too great, not enough “adding value”


Creators Joiners Critics Collectors Spectators Inactives
Content Content Content(Feedback)
Choice Choice Choice Choice Choice
Control Control over collection (Quantity over quality) Can negatively impact value
Connectivity Connectivity Connectivity Connect (vicariously)
Usability, design, function Learning Why

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