In recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of Digital Anthropology, Digital Geography and Digital Sociology as distinctive subdisciplines. However there has been relatively little dialogue between them, least of all with regards to common challenges they respond to and common concerns they share. We feel this absence matters for the subdisciplines themselves but also for […]

There are a wide range of topics I have worked on in the last decade: online communities, digital labour, social movements, social media, academic practice, biography, the sociology of publics, the rise of ‘big data’, graphic social science and programming as-social-science are foremost among them. What they all share is an intersection between digital platforms […]

The philosopher Daniel Little has long been my favourite theory blogger. I was so pleased to read this thoughtful reflection on the scholarly purposes of social media which included a generous endorsement of Social Media for Academics: The appearance of a second edition of Mark Carrigan’s Social Media for Academics is therefore timely. Both young academics — […]

Do you edit an academic journal? Would you like it to have a higher profile and greater impact? Do you need advice on navigating the changing landscape of scholarly publishing? I can help you develop a cost effective and powerful strategy customised to your journal, with a particular expertise in community building and digital engagement. […]

I saw an exhibition at the Scott Polar Museum yesterday which made a passing referencing to ‘wikibombing’ as a practice. In this case there was a concerted project to produce wikipedia entries for female explorers and scientists who were absent from the site. I’m recording it here because it’s a useful phrase I hadn’t heard […]

I’ve written before about the ontological assumptions inherent in the framing of the attention economy. To consider the issue in economic terms tends to imply the fungibility, commensurability and valorisation of attention. There’s much of value here but it easily overlap is the quality of attention, described usefully by Tim Wu on pg 125 of […]

From Suicide pg 163: Reflection only develops when it becomes necessary for it to develop; that is to say, if a certain number of unconsidered ideas and feelings which, until then, had sufficed to govern behaviour, have become ineffectual. At such times, reflection intervenes to fill the void that has been created–but which has not […]

This looks brilliant. If only I could have seen it earlier! Thematic issue in Digital Capitalism   Coordinators: Aitor Jiménez (University of Auckland) & César Rendueles (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) Vol 17 (2) June-December 2020 Teknokultura: Magazine of Digital Culture and Social Movements (Complutense University of Madrid) (https://revistas.ucm.es/index.php/TEKN), indexed in Emerging Sources Citation Index, calls for […]

From Richard Seymour’s wonderful Patreon blog: It was in this context that what Evans calls “communal listening”, in which the Führer’s speeches were broadcast to workplaces and schools each week, worked. They were, yes, propaganda. But they were also a form of entertainment, organising a grotesquely celebrified relationship between leader and followers. They were glamorous, […]

The popular character of this diagnosis, summarised by Tim Wu on pg 6 of his Attention Merchants, poses the question of how we should treat it as common sense, in the Durkheimian tradition of skepticism about received wisdom. How widespread is this? To what extent does it misrepresent the nature of the problem? To what […]

There’s a fascinating connection between this account on Suicide pg 46-47 and what Bourdieu describes as hysteresis and Archer as contextual incongruity: Because of the extreme sensitivity of his nervous system, his ideas and feelings are always in a situation of unstable balance. Because the faintest impressions have an abnormal effect on him, his mental […]

There’s a simple question at the end of Andrew Chadwick’s The Hybrid Media System which rewards serious thought. From pg 288: Today, we might ask whether the average citizen interested in influencing politics but without ambitions for high political office should join a political organization or create a Twitter account and start interacting with others […]

found this quote from Craig Elder, a former senior Conservative comms strategist, fascinating as an account of how ‘the internet’ has ceased to be a siloed technological function and instead become something integrated into the existing communications functions of the party. It’s from Andrew Pickering’s The Hybrid Media System pg 225: Basically the internet used […]

From the forward to Escape from Freedom: The basic entity of the social process is the individual, his desires and fears, his passions and reason, his propensities for good and for evil. To understand the dynamics of the social process we must understand the dynamics of the psychological processes operating within the individual, just as […]

This is a fascinating finding from a report tracking engagement rates for influencers within a number of sectors. This finding from Instagram reflects my hunch the same thing has happened on Twitter. There are a number of reasons that can be invoked here: the commercial imperatives leading to the decline of organic reach, algorithm tweaks […]