What does it mean to speak of a digital condition? How can we describe, explain and understand our digital condition? What is it, that we are trying to come to terms with? Where exactly does ‘the problem’ of technology lie? Beginning in October 2019 we will embark on an experimental discussion group centred around those […]

The Goods Yard, Kings Cross, London, UK 10:13PM, December 3rd, 2026 He tapped forlornly at the phone. It had been a while since it last offered a response. Since that comforting weight had pulsated through his hands, offering out a range of haptic possibilities which his body would instinctively know how to grasp for. It […]

Viral marketing for the real world Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Contemporary Visual Culture and the Acceleration of Identity Formation/Dissolution Applied sociology in virtual worlds Nativism and nature: rethinking biological invasion Historical role-playing in virtual worlds: VRML in the history curriculum and beyond Teacher’s LAB : a platform for teacher learning The Wandering Eye: an on-line collaboration […]

A few creepy extracts from Jill Abramson’s Merchants of Truth about the office culture at BuzzFeed. The pursuit of virality has been gamified, with these ostentatiously fun undertakings matched by an underlying threat that those who can’t reach these standards won’t survive at the company in the longer term. In light of this we should […]

I thought this was an interesting extract from Jill Abramson’s Merchants of Truth about the rise of Vice. Limiting their circulation was a deliberate strategy to facilitate its expansion in the longer term, enabling them to side step some of the pressures they would have been subject to if they had dived headfirst into growth. […]

Many of the leading figures in contemporary Silicon Valley are those who survived the fall out from the earlier crash. Thiel made his fortune by co-founding the online payments platform Paypal, acting as CEO until its sale to eBay. He subsequently founded Clarium Capital (a hedge fund), Founders Fund (a venture capital firm) and Palantir […]

It’s important to grasp how much the development cycle for apps and platforms differs from that of software from a previous era. The typical app will go through a far higher number of iterations than a comparable piece of software would have in a pre-smart phone era. There are numerous reasons for this ranging from […]

Originally a 2003 book by financial journalist Michael Lewis, the 2011 film with Brad Pitt tells the story of the Oakland Athletics’ 2002 season. Struggling with fewer resources than his competitors and lacking the resources to replace star players who have been poached, general manager Billy Breane embraces data analytics to assemble “an island of […]

From Zizi Papacharissi’s A Private Sphere pg 68: Meyrowitz (1986) described this as the ability of electronic media to remove, or at least rearrange, boundaries between public and private spaces, affecting our lives not so much through content, but rather “by changing the ‘situational geography’ of social life” (p. 6). In the seminal No Sense […]

This is an interesting reflection from Jean Burgess and Joshua Green in the second edition of YouTube. I think this defence of the platform as an object is really important and this is something I want to expand up on in upcoming writing. From pg 13: But at the time, writing a whole book about […]

I recently co-authored a paper with Mark Johnson and Tom Brock about the moral economy of celebrity streamer on Twitch. We attempt to understand how the aspiration for celebrity, the imperative to be seen, reflects the broader conditions in which the aspirant streamers make their way through the world: More broadly than the phenomenon of […]

If I understand this notion from Zizi Papacharissi correctly*, it captures something important about social media. These platforms create an experience of expansiveness which doesn’t hook into the social world in a significant way. It’s a free-wheeling expansiveness, to use a term from Roy Bhaskar’s critique of Richard Rorty, a trick of perspective which affects […]

I co-organised an unusual conference last week. Thinking on the Move hosted 11 sociological walks over two days, leading from a room at Goldsmiths College where we began and ended each day. I went on an infrastructural walk around Bermondsey, a digital mapping walk in Nunhead cemetery, a blindfolded sensory walk around New Cross and a […]

Call for Video Entries for the 3rd Urban Audiovisual Festival, with the theme “City and Night”. The Urban Audiovisual Festival – UAF emerges as a place for discussion and dialogue between professionals who work on urban life. This scientific meeting aims to promote the production of quality and the dissemination of the audio-visual work carried […]

THIS IS THE PLACE (full version) written and performed by Tony Walsh for Forever Manchester This is the place in the North West of England It’s ace, it’s the best and the songs that we sing From the stands, from our bands set the whole planet shaking Our inventions are legends! There’s nowt we can’t […]

I can’t go on My head has grown too heavy I need that song Those trusty chords could pull me through And early on They saw the warning signs and symptoms all day long Wonder how far from you we’ll fall We were always waiting We were always waiting We were always waiting for something […]

From Judith Butler’s Notes Towards a Performative Theory of Assembly, from pg 17: Asserting that a group of people is still existing, taking up space and obdurately living, is already an expressive action, a politically significant event, and that can happen wordlessly in the course of an unpredictable and transitory gathering. Another “effective” result of […]

The familiar repertoires of scholarly interaction are called into question by the emergence of social media. One way to grasp their routine character is to consider notable exceptions in which networks, projects and fields emerged in unfamiliar and exceptional ways. Pickering’s (2010) accounts of the emergence of British cybernetics provides a fascinating example of this, […]

The travel of academics is achingly prominent on Twitter and Instagram, projecting an alluring collective image of globetrotting intellectualism even if many of the individuals contributing to it would resist this connotation. Users of these platforms are exposed to far more details of where there colleagues are going and what they are doing than was […]