Tag: The Content Ecosystem

  • How BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti literally discovered viralityx.

    In Tim Wu’s Attention Merchants pg 276-277 he tells the story of BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti going viral for the first time as a graduate student, as an e-mail exchange with Nike circulated to millions after he forwarded it to a few friends: While goofing off—“ surfing the web” in the vernacular of the time—Peretti went […]

  • Social media as asshole amplification technology, or, the moral psychology of platform architecture

    This is Jaron Lanier’s memorable description of social media in his new book Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. Social media is a technology for asshole amplification. To be clearly seen in the fact that “since social media took off, assholes are having more of a say in the world” (pg 43). His […]

  • 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 our own (inter)actions and how […]

  • Social media as a machinery of dispute amplification

    In TroubleMakers, Leslie Berlin summarises the notion of Class 1 and Class 2 disputes propounded by Bob Taylor, founder and manager of Xerox PARC’s famous Computer Science Laboratory. Part of his renowned capacity to build community within the lab involved turning what might have been destructive disputes into constructive ones. On pg 105 Berlin explains how: […]

  • CfP Symposium Dis/Connection: Conflicts, Activism and Reciprocity Online and Beyond, Sept 27-28, Uppsala University, Sweden

    The Cultural Matters Group at the Department of Sociology, Uppsala University on Sept. 27-28 organizes a symposium called Dis / Connection: Conflicts, Activism and Reciprocity Online and Beyond and we look forward to receiving your papers! Deadline for submissions is June 18, 2018. The symposium focuses on a fundamental aspect of social relationships, namely the […]

  • 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: This minitrack focuses on three […]

  • Workshop: The Turn To AI in Content Moderation and Communication Governance

    Workshop: The turn to artificial intelligence in governing communication online 20.03.2018 | 9:00 – 18:00 ical | gcal Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Französische Straße 9, 10117 Berlin, Germany The technology underlying artificial intelligence research has increasingly found applications in the area of content moderation and communication governance on digital platforms. While the scale […]

  • Content Producers: Incentives, Motivations, and Value Creation18

    This conference looks brilliant! I wish it was slightly nearer: Independent content producers are squeezed between two extremes. On one side are platforms, some of which also create content (Youtube [Google], Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and others), as well as publishing and media firms (Reed-Elsevier, Thomsons, Time-Warner, News Corp and others) that offer content under paywalls, […]

  • 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 sheer beckoning presence. Thus, we […]

  • The uncoupling of transgression from progress

    For a book of only 126 pages, Kill All Normies covers a remarkable amount of ground. Inevitably, the argument is underdeveloped at points and it perhaps offers less empirical detail about the alt-right than it promises, largely restricting its analysis to the study of (relatively) high profile cases and the inferences that can be made […]

  • The rhetoric and reality of user generated content 

    On pg 102 of Jonathan Taplin’s Move Fast and Break Things, he highlights email exchanges between YouTube’s founders, released in a court case, which suggest the invocation of ‘user generated content’ might be a matter of branding rather than a meaningful growth strategy for social media platforms: In another email exchange from 2005, when full-length […]

  • The content density of a cultural producer 

    An interesting snippet on pg 164 of Jonathan Taplin’s Move Fast and Break Things suggests a metric of content density which could be extremely interesting to explore: Digiday looked at the race for what some are calling peak content. What it found was that in 2010 the New York Times, with 1,100 people employed in […]

  • 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 spread of the platform […]

  • 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 sense of curation tied in […]

  • What would a materialist phenomenology of ‘post-truth’ look like?

    That’s the question I’ve been asking myself when reading through two books by Nick Couldry in which he develops a materialist phenomenological approach to understanding social reality. The first is The Mediated Construction of Social Reality (with Andreas Hepp) and the second is Media, Society, World. It’s in the latter book that he considers the […]

  • “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 to act a given way […]

  • 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 context of cultural abundance, selection […]

  • 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 be possible: I’ve been thinking […]

  • 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 German radioaktiv, like the English […]