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What is platform literacy?

In the last couple of years, I’ve found myself returning repeatedly to the idea of platform literacy. By this I mean a capacity to understand how platforms shape the action which takes place through them, sometimes in observable and explicit ways but usually in unobservable and implicit ones. It concerns […]

CfP HICSS-52 (2019) minitrack: Social Movements, Collective Action and Social Technologies

CALL FOR PAPERS: 52nd HICSS 2019, Maui, Hawaii January 8-11, 2019 – Maui, Hawaii SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, COLLECTIVE ACTION AND SOCIAL TECHNOLOGIES MINITRACK in the Digital and Social Media Track URL: http://hicss.hawaii.edu/tracks-52/digital-and-social-media/ Submission Deadline: June 15, 2018 | 11:59 pm HST Notification of Acceptance/Rejection: August 17, 2018 ****************************************************** CfP HICSS-52 (2019) minitrack: […]

The lost lure of abundance

There’s an interesting extract on pg 52-53 of Infinite Distraction, by Dominic Pettman, discussing the seductions of abundance under conditions of scarcity: Those readers old enough to remember what it was like to live before the Internet will recall the strange phenomenon where the general noosphere seduced us by its […]

The dark future of mediatization

In the last year, Facebook Live has been plagued by occasional headlines reporting on shocking instances of violence being streamed through the platform. The sporadic quality of these reports easily creates an impression that this is exception. There have always been violent crimes, right? Therefore it stands to reason that […]

The precursors to curation

While many see the term ‘curation’ as modish and vague, I see it as an important concept to make sense of how we can orientate ourselves within a changing cultural landscape. However I can sympathise with the thrust of these objections, in so far as they take issue with a […]

“I was being a complete asshole to people for nothing more than scoring points to look good inside an echo chamber”

A really fascinating discussion between Kristi Winters and The Wooly Bumblebee (HT Philip Moriarty). The latter’s experience could be seen as a model for de-radicalisation in the more toxic spaces within social media. An important reminder that platform incentives might encourage this behaviour but they don’t necessitate it. Furthermore, just because someone has come […]

In defence of ‘curation’

The term ‘curation’ has got a bad press in recent years. Or rather the use of the term beyond the art world has. To a certain extent I understand this but I nonetheless always feel the need to defend the term. There are a few reasons for this: In a […]

Persistance, Searchability and Incivility

This essay on ‘the cult of cruelty’ has some interesting points to make about the role of what danah boyd calls persistence and searchability in facilitating incivility online. It makes it possible to trawl through someone’s activity, enabling a degree of engagement with choices and representations that would not otherwise […]

Fuck virality, I want my ideas to be radioactive

There’s a fascinating footnote in Radio Benjamin, loc 395-410, discussing Adorno’s description of Benjamin’s ideas as ‘radioactive’: The full sentence reads, “Everything which fell under the scrutiny of his words was transformed, as though it had become radioactive,” … Although Adorno’s metaphor uses a different register of boundary crossing, the […]

Donald Trump: Everyday Tactics of Post-Truth

In The Making of Donald Trump, David Johnston identifies the tactics used by Trump to deflect inquiries into his many shady dealings and questionable decisions. Sometimes this is a matter of outright threats, with an enthusiasm for litigation (1,900 suits as plaintiffs)  coupled with an explicitly articulated philosophy of vengeance proving a […]