We talked about many different things on Day 2, and our talk was quite complicated. However, when we asked our computing machinery to address only IG-specific words and phrases, interesting structures emerged:
The keyword Internet was associated with other words and phrases in Day 2. It was interesting to see that several geographical references were present, as was the development discourse and many non-IG, non-technical words too. Judging by the highest number of associates for the abbreviation IGF, it seems as if the IGF talk is beginning to be about itself: involvement, outcome, NETmundial, IG, forum, scenario, stakeholder group, appointments, businesses, general assembly, technical aspect, administration, organization, active, IG issue, leader, etc.
After inspecting the associations for Internet Governance, a similar pattern emerged; the strongest associates were IG issue, governance process, W3C, involvement, forum, IGF, organisation, IG research, scenario, internal, outcome, parliament, stakeholder group, etc.
During the IGF2014 Opening Session, the word with the highest association with the word Internet was: people, followed by developing, and broadband access.
In other words, ‘IGF talk’ and ‘IG talk’ are becoming somewhat self-referential, encompassing highly associated and highly specific words and phrases, while ‘Internet talk’ is more referential, encompassing associations with somewhat simpler, more concrete words and phrases.
The two – IGF/IG discourse and Internet discourse – must go together. Moreover, they must fit. That is what the IGF, as a discussion forum, is meant to be about: allowing participants to exercise abstract schemas, specific knowledge, complex policy-related concepts, and the finesse of diplomatic language, while never making them lose sight of the real, referential world of the Internet and information society needs and developments.
For the preliminary report, see: Maps, spaces, and phylogenetic trees of the Internet governance ecosystem - preliminary report
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