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  • Clive 1:55 pm on January 15, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , social media   

    ‘Trust’ in offline/online media 

    Trustworthiness in the Fourth and Fifth Estates by Richard Collins

    International Journal of Communication 2 (2009), 61-86

    • Discusses ‘trust’ in sociological literature and links to discussions of social capital
    • Examines trust and the mainstream media/How trustworthy is the media?
    • Looks at the ways a dialogic, web 2.o media landscape can meet criteria of trustworthyness
    • Gives examples of such media in the UK

    Useful article, good links and bibliography. But doesn’t have the insiders bite of Nick Davies.

  • Clive 3:01 pm on December 9, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , social media   

    Radical Democracy & the Internet Ch 5 

    Chapter 5: Online direct action: Hacktivism and Radical Democracy Tim Jordan

    Difference: between hacktivism and hacking a) hacktivists speak out on politics b) hacktivists connect political action to spheres beyond informational freedoms.

    Jordan identified two trends in hacktivism:

    1. Mass Action hacktivism

    The translation of offline mass protests (especially non-violent direct action) online. Examples:

    a) Electronic Disturbance Theatre.

    One of the elements of my work since the ’80s is what happens to the social space of critique and protest when the physical avenues have been shut down physically and emotionally. This leads to the question of electronic civil disobedience: to what degree can virtual landscapes of critique be used to amplify and route around the lockdown that’s happening at this university? In the best of all worlds, this would also allow a teleportation between data bodies in protest and real bodies in protest.

    Electronic civil disobedience is a fearless space that allows one, nonviolently, to protest in ways that are no longer allowable in real space. This seems to me to become extremely important in our post-contemporary period. To a certain degree, I find that students, because we are in this kind of electro-scape, would be more willing to risk having a voice as a group if that voice is digitally represented (through, for example, MySpace or Facebook).

    From an interview with Prof. Ricardo Dominguez, principal investigator at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology and an assistant professor for UCSD’s visual arts department.)

    b) Electrohippies anti-World Trade Organisation action which broad down the WTO network in Seattle. It did so not by using bots to enact a DDoS attack but by aggregating actual users in flooding the site with requests, hence bringing it down. So it is in the numbers of mass protest that effectiveness is produced, where its symbolic capital is stored – not the technological ‘solution’.

    2. Digital correctness

    Less of an attempt to simulate offline mass direct action online than to assertions of liberty and the rights to an uncensored internet. It’s about beating the censor. Examples are:

    • Peekabooty network is a peer-to-peer network which its developers (a hacking community called the cult of the dead cow) claims will evade all attempts to censor/block traffic (see Guardian report).
    • Torpark – anonymous Web-browser based on Firefox that uses the TOR (The Onion Router) network. It comes pre-configured, requires no installation, can run off a USB memory stick, and leaves no tracks behind in the browser or computer.
    • ScatterChat is a secure instant messaging client designed for non-technical users who require secure and anonymous communications.
    • Camera/Shy enables users to share censored information with their friends by hiding it in plain view as ordinary gif images.

    See http://www.hacktivismo.com/projects/index.php

    Jordan then looks at the antagonisms between the two trends and how they contribute to Laclau and Mouffe’s conception of radical democracy – ie the extent to which both trends extend liberty and equality in relation to the social identities destabilised by capitalims. Conclusion: unclear how their contribution can be evaluated.

  • Clive 10:26 pm on April 29, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: social media,   

    Social media report March 2008 

    Universal McCann
    has released a new report on the impact of social media (such as blogs, social networks, online video) on the media landscape. It surveyed 17,000 Internet users worldwide in March 2008. The report found that
    social media, in particular blogs, are “becoming a more important part of global media consumption for internet users than some traditional media channels.” The report also found that social media is a global
    phenomenon (29 countries were surveyed), although there are cultural differences in how people use it.

    The report states that “video clips, blogs, podcasts, social networks and RSS are all essential components of the online media diet.” Here are some of the key findings:

    • 83% watch video clips, up from 62% in the last study in June 2007
    • 78% read blogs, up from 66%
    • 57% of internet users are now members of a social network
    • RSS consumption is growing rapidly up from 15% to 39%
    • Podcasts are now mainstream digital content, listened to by 48%

    Social networks have been “a key driver for the growth of social media”:

    • 22% of social network users have installed a widget or applications
    • 55% have shared photos
    • 22% have shared their videos
    • 31% have started a blog
    • The world’s biggest social network is MySpace with 32% weekly reach followed by Facebook on 23%

    The report also states that social media is a global phenomenon:

    • Top markets for blogging – China 70% of internet users write a blog, Philippines 66% and Mexico 60%
    • Top markets for social networking – Philippines 83%, Hungary 76% and Poland 76%
    • China is the world’s largest blogging market with 42m bloggers versus 26m in the US

    Those last stats will be an eye opener for many, because the US web tech market gets most of the attention of the blogosphere and mainstream media. But with China having 42m bloggers compared to the US’s 26m, there is large scope for social media to flourish there – even despite China’s political issues with social media.

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