Month: July 2015

We have to be critical of ‘openness’ as a concept. But nonetheless I think there’s a reality to openness as an ethos that we shouldn’t forget. This is my favourite articulation of it: When my daughter was born, I became keenly aware of how much stock we mammals put into the copies we make of ourselves (yes, […]

From page 75 of Brad Stone’s excellent book The Everything Store: In early 1998, Bezos was closely involved with a department called Personalization and Community, which was geared toward helping customers discover books, music, and movies they might find interesting. That May, he surveyed what was then Amazon’s Hot 100 bestseller list and had an […]

This is just weird. I can only assume that the EastLovesWest company hires underpaid freelancers to produce content for their blog, who have in turn typed keywords into Google and written an article without ever clicking on any of the links: It seems likely to me that this will become a more common occurrence with […]

Pat Thompson has written a fascinating post reflecting on her use of blogging to record field notes during an ethnographic project at the Tate summer school. She stresses the ethical challenges of such an activity – particularly the need to negotiate consent with participants, including around photos, as well as the need for a framework […]

There’s a great article on the THE, in which Caroline Magennis reflects on the success of the conversation she started recently about being an academic from a less privileged background: What are the challenges of being an academic from a less privileged background? Questions of ‘fitting in’ but also practical issues? — Caroline Magennis (@DrMagennis) July 19, […]

This is a very interesting trend, though one I suspect could lead in some unfortunate directions: Ever been the victim of plagiarism on Twitter—or, dare we say, the shameful purveyor of it? The social network seems to be putting an end to those pirated tweets by cracking down on users who steal jokes to inflate their […]

I’ve struggled to see how Snapchat could be used within higher education. I could imagine why academics might end up using it in an entirely personal capacity, but I found it difficult to imagine how it could be used by them professionally. So it was really interesting to read this interview with Newcastle University’s Social Media […]

That’s the intriguing question which George Veletsianos addresses in this post. He suggest an approach centred around issues and tools: Networked scholarship curricula will need to balance a focus on tools and issues. The teaching of tools could instill future scholars with the abilities to use networked technologies productively. For instance, networked scholars might employ the services […]

Around a year and a half ago, I got very upset with the British Sociological Association when I couldn’t afford to attend a conference for which I’d given a great deal of free labour. I was a month away from handing in my then still very much unfinished PhD thesis, I’d started two new jobs (one […]

Some useful resources: A storify of the hashtag If you don’t have social media, you are no one: How social media enriches conferences for some but risks isolating other The Academic Twitterazzi An idea is a dangerous thing to quarantine Tweeting out loud: ethics, knowledge and social media in academe Some live tweeting policies and […]

In their enthusiasm for the pedagogical uses to which social media can be put, academics sometimes don’t stop to question whether students actually want to interact with them on social media. This is sometimes referred to as ‘the creepy treehouse problem’: requiring students to interact with you on what they perceive as a private platform, or […]

Last week Paul Mason posted a provocative Guardian essay suggesting that the end of capitalism has begun. It’s a precursor to his upcoming book PostCapitalism: A Guide To Our Future which is released in a few days time. I’m looking forward to the book, not least of all because it’s an optimistic counterpoint to the gloomy thought […]

I blogged last week about the micro-politics of noise. I didn’t put a great deal of thought into the use of the qualifier ‘micro’: I recognised a legal framework within which noise is regulated (or not), a structural context which shapes working routines, technological changes which create capacities and tendencies towards noise generation and a […]

Earlier today Tony Blair gave a speech in which he finally took the gloves off. As someone with a growing interest in theorising post-democracy, I found it oddly intriguing. To anyone acquainted with the writing Anthony Giddens was spewing out in the 1990s, it was familiar stuff. Despite the fact his politics would long since have placed him […]