Category: Archive

The Practical Order as Pivotal might seem like an odd choice to initiate a reading group on the digital condition, as it makes no reference to digital technology. However it’s been central to my own thinking as someone who has done a lot of theoretical work on social media and its implications for social life. […]

I thought this was a really interesting observation by Jill Abramson on pg 145 of her Merchants of Truth. What other forums are there? The Times ran a definitive investigation of the punishing work culture at Amazon, 23 with grizzly anecdotes about employees crying at their desks and burning out because of the unrelenting pressure […]

From Jill Abramson’s Merchants of Truth pg 386: The “Trump bump” was mostly responsible for its strong financial reports following the election as the paid digital readership began to explode. By the end of the second quarter there were 600,000 new subscriptions, bringing the total number of digital subscribers above two million. In 2017 paid […]

It’s only a month to go until the second edition of Social Media for Academics will be released by Sage. It’s a vastly expanded text with almost 100 new pages of material. I’ve also rewritten the existing content from start to finish. There’s a whole range of topics which have been added: live blogging, developing […]

I’m taking the site offline in the near future. But there’s a PDF available here. It’s a massive (80mb, 5000 page) PDF so it’s a pain to download. Milena, Sadia and myself will be producing a curated version of this at some point next year but it won’t be available for a while.  

From Jill Abramson’s Merchants of Truth pg 281 While the new-media pioneers at BuzzFeed and Upworthy produced LOLs and cultivated trumped-up umbrage over the killing of poor Cecil, a second guard of new-media publishers set out to capture the loyalty of another psychographic swath of America whose disaffection far surpassed mere boredom. The new wave […]

From Jill Abramson’s Merchants of Truth pg 348: One abiding feature was the draconian nondisclosure and nontraditional workplace agreements staffers were required to sign before joining the company, 7 which demanded, “Individuals employed by Vice must be conscious of Vice’s non-traditional environment and comfortable with exposure to and participating in situations that may present themselves […]

Unburn the boat, rebuild the bridge, Reconsecrate the sacrilege, Unspill the milk, decry the tears, Turn back the clock, relive the years Replace the smoke inside the fire, Unite fulfilment with desire, Undo the done, gainsay the said, Revitalise the buried dead, Revoke the penalty and the clause, Reconstitute unwritten laws, Repair the heart, untie […]

I thought this CfP looked really interesting. Thanks Filvos for sharing. CALL FOR BOOK CHAPTERS: Postdigital Humans Maggi Savin-Baden (Editor) The development and use of Postdigital Humans is occurring rapidly, but often in unexpected ways and spaces. This, second book in the Postdigital Science and Education book series, will present research-based chapters which explore approaches to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]