toward a definition of "personal cyberinfrastructure"


How’s this for a first kick at the cat? Huge gaps, but I’m trying to avoid writing a 200 page definition full of acronyms and words requiring further definition…

Personally, I’m not a fan of the word “cyberinfrastructure” as it seems to make people glaze over in its made-up-wordness. But, it appears to have some legs. Whatever. I guess the next best thing to having a word that doesn’t suck, is having a crappy word with a half decent definition…

For the purposes of this paper, “personal cyberinfrastructure” will be defined as a customizable, individually managed infrastructure based upon distributed computer, information and communication technology (modified after NSF (2003), page 5.)1. This infrastructure can include commercially hosted services such as Flickr.com or Wordpress.com, but emphasizes personally managed software, usually open source, deployed on available webserver resources. Typically, this infrastructure includes a web server running content management or weblog software to publish content to the public internet.


  1. National Science Foundation. (2003). Revolutionizing Science and Engineering Through Cyberinfrastructure: Report of the National Science Foundation Blue-Ribbon Advisory Panel on Cyberinfrastructure. Retrieved from http://www.nsf.gov/od/oci/reports/CH1.pdf on March 20, 2010. ↩︎

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