Category: Archive

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. […]

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 […]

The sustainability implications of 5G are increasingly recognised, as this overview from GSMA makes clear. Note that this is the industry’s own trade body rather than a pressure group external to it: Energy is becoming even more important due to climate change and sustainability considerations. The potential increase in data traffic (up to 1,000 times […]

From Rana Foroohar‘s Don’t Be Evil pg 245-246. It’s interesting to read this in light of quite how much Uber burned trying (and failing) to break into the Chinese market: As many Googlers have told me, China is considered the world’s petri dish for digital technology. Even as it’s become more repressive, it’s become more tech saturated. China […]

On pg 258-259 of her Don’t Be Evil, Rana Foroohar poses a question which will become more urgent with each passing year, binding political economy and digital governance together in a way which will define the fabric of social life: Is digital innovation best suited to an environment of decentralization, in which many firms in […]

From Rana Foroohar‘s Don’t Be Evil pg 208: At the very least, Facebook, Google, Amazon, and the other systemically important platforms should be forced to disclose political advertising in the same way that television, print, and radio firms do. When in the financial markets, they should be forced to stay in their own sandbox the […]

Now I’ve made my escape from Twitter I’m doing more long form writing: Social Media for Academics 2 A series of short videos introducing the book  An article for LSE Impact blog about Why I’ve Left the Twittering Machine An article for LSE Impact blog about the dangers of academic celebrity A guest post for […]

In The Platform Society Jose Van Dijck, Thomas Poell and Martijn De Waal develop “a comprehensive view of a connective world where platforms have penetrated to the heart of societies – affecting institutions, economic transactions, and social and cultural practices – hence forcing governments and states to adjust their legal and democratic structures”. This penetration […]

I’m going to be thinking about this section from the (superb) Convivial Society for the rest of the day: Ivan Illich, whose work has played an important role in shaping my own thinking about technology, was not one for measured critiques or timid incrementalism. He targeted not only the usual culprits in his critique of […]

My activist career began with the campaign against the Iraq war in 2002/2003 when I was a teenager. What political agency I have formed against the backdrop of a New Labour quasi-hegemony which made parliamentary politics seem turgid while nonetheless providing, in combination with being born into steep upward mobility, what I realise in retrospect […]

I’ve written in the past about the Great Disruptive Project engaged in by firms like Uber, seeking change in the world in a way which expresses a moral vision, albeit often somewhat inchoately. This is something which emanates from the founders and plays a crucial role in establishing their charismatic authority and to varying degrees […]

This is a fascinating observation by Andrew Chadwick on pg 114-115 of The Hybrid Media System concerning Wikileak’s strategic agency with regards to the circulation of data, recognising that ‘information might want to be free’ but the sheer fact of its freedom is insufficient to bring about an effect in the world. As he notes […]

So this is why we try? We bet it all on hopeless? And swim against the tide ’til until our every bone is broken A sinking ship is still a ship, no captain has spoke the obit ‘Til the crew is flew, crow’s nest slips silent beneath the ocean We set sail without an anchor, […]

In the last few days, I’ve been gripped by a feature of Doom for Nintendo Switch. There are classic levels hidden throughout the game, waiting to be discovered in unlikely locations in each of the maps. What I can’t get over is how they exist as junctures between two game worlds, inviting the player to step into […]

The man, instead of seeking a kind of narcissistic exaltation in his mate, would discover in love a way of getting outside himself, of tackling problems other than his own. With all the twaddle that has been written about the splendour of such generosity, why not give the man his chance to participate in such […]

From Andrew Chadwick’s The Hybrid Media System pg 149: The Obama campaign was, in the words of Jon Carson, its national field director, a “highly structured, accountable system …. ” “Despite this decentralized system” he says, “I knew every single morning how many phone calls had been made, how many doors had been knocked, where, […]

I’m saving this account from Andrew Chadwick’s The Hybrid Media System because I want to come back to it later. From pg 185: I chose these interviewees because I wanted to “sample” a range of different political and media settings: those associated with formal organizations but also those working in nonorganizational settings, or settings whose […]

It is based in large part upon what we might term “live ethnography”: close, real-time, observation and logging of a wide range of newspaper, broadcast, and online material, including citizen opinion expressed and coordinated through online social network sites. Andrew Chadwick’s The Hybrid Media System pg 71

I understand the allure which MOOCs can have for those inspired by the idea. Why relegate people to second tier tuition at regional universities when the best teachers in the world could teach everyone remotely at little cost? There are many problems with this vision but one that’s little remarked upon is the question of […]