Picturing the Social Conference

 

This sounds like such a great event. Below the break is the details of a one-day conference on June 20th in Manchester with some really awesome people talking about image sharing and online visual culture. Thanks to the always awesome Mark Carrigan for the heads-up about this one! If you’re not following him I thoroughly recommend that you do!

As the internet becomes increasingly multi-modal, and as an increasingly diverse range of Social Media sites are becoming purposefully heterogeneous, understanding visual culture is so important.

What’s so great about this event, and what I love about Digital Sociology at the moment is it’s really broad in scope. So many fields with so many epistemological stances all want to try and understand the increasingly ubiquitous role of Social Media. We need this diverse input in the field, we need to throw open the doors and try and come at this from a range of perspectives.

I cannot make the day so I’m going to follow along online, but I thought I’d flag it up for all those up north interested in Visual Culture and wanting to look at it from a purposefully broad perspective. More of this sort of thing please!

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Curating identity online. Why do we insist that this is a unique feature of online social interaction?

I’ve been noticing a trend in the discussion of Social Media

In digital research there has been a move towards accepting that the internet is now a mundane and routine part of life, and as such an equal move away from distancing social media and the internet writ large from the rest of everyday life. Most researchers accept that the internet has quickly become routine. Rather than being a sparkly wonder for which we had to schedule time in our day to sit down and literally plug in, it has become accepted, ubiquitous, and demystified.

We have lifted the curtain and found that Oz is just some old white guy.

Research is now accepting that the internet is not a space to escape everyday life but a space in which we continue to project and live everyday life via new modes and new mediums.

However, researchers still seem to want to put some of the sparkle back into the internet; they still want to see it as something special and unique in some way. And in part this is true. The internet offers new possibilities, new ideas, new opportunities, new methods… BUT not everything that happens on the internet is unique and solely found online.

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Theorising Microsoft’s how-old.net Bot; is the internet now Mundane? What happens when things don’t work?

So I read a tweet from @NathanJurgenson earlier that got me thinking a lot about why it is that things that don’t work become popular, and what happens when things online stop working the way they are meant to. The tweet is below:

This immediately triggered a few thoughts for me; firstly, why is it that only things that don’t work become interesting, and secondly how do things become mundane online? The answer for this can be found by looking at Latour’s Actor-Network Theory. Continue reading

Call For Papers #CfP: Data Literacy – what is it and why does it matter? Web Sci 2015 #Websci2015

This sounds great, and I agree, there is a MUCH needed discussion to be had on data literacy. It’s often brushed aside, but like I was discussing earlier here, there is much to be said about access to data, and the implications of data literacy globally. Continue reading

Internet.org and tyranny of freedom

The mirage of free internet offered by Facebook’s Internet.org and Airtel Zero.

Internet.org and Airtel Zero are services that are allowing users in the Global South to have access to the internet in ways that have not previously been possible, but this access comes at a price, as Mahesh Murthy aptly discussed in his blog post shown below (fascinating original here).

What users of these seemingly altruistic ventures are presented with is a carefully selected group of sites; a representation of the internet that is by no means representative of the whole experience.

These projects reveal an interesting act of translation; a selective, consciously curated translation of ‘online reality’ into a new, confined, and restrictive format.

But of course, the old Italian adage “traduttore traditore” , which roughly translated (ironically…) into ‘to translate is to betray’ applies aptly here. We see a translation of online reality into a new medium that has purposefully and consciously chosen to present the online experience in a certain manner which, due to the selective and purposefully limited nature of the venture, ultimately serves as a betrayal of the original experience. Continue reading

Call for papers: Symposium on Trolling and Gender.

This sounds awesome. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend. There’s a lot of work to be done analysing and contextualising trolling.

I’m working on a paper looking at the rise of trolling in ‘anonymous’  apps such as Yik Yak. It’s been a long time since anonymity has been a key aspect of social interaction online, and it’s interesting to see the rise of trolling on these types of ‘anonymous’ sites. My own paper revolves around the implications of Yik Yak and other such sites for the ‘digital panopticon’, and how this leads to a rise in trolling. Who is being viewed? By whom? has the recently discussed synopticon (or even omniopticon!) become clouded? How are the users adjusting behaviours etc.

The call for papers is below. Hopefully I’ll see you there!

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