What is InC?InC is the Innovative Communication research Group at the IT University of Copenhagen. It focuses on
- design and development of interactive technologies in the contexts of prior and emerging cultures of information
- advanced and innovative communication trends
- historical and rhetorical methods of innovation
Category Archives: Social software
For those interested in critical perspectives on technology and also interested in web 2.0 I will recommend the latest issue of First Monday. I have an article in the issue titled Loser Generated Content – from participation to exploitation. The abstract is:
In this article some of the critical aspects of Web 2.0 are mapped in relation to labor and the production of user generated content. For many years the Internet was considered an apt technology for subversion of capitalism by the Italian post-Marxists. What we have witnessed, however, is that the Internet functions as a double-edged sword; the infrastructure does foster democracy, participation, joy, creativity and sometimes creates zones of piracy. But, at the same time, it has become evident how this same infrastructure also enables companies easily to piggyback on user generated content. Different historical and contemporary examples are provided to map how the architecture of participation sometimes turns into an architecture of exploitation.
The special issue is edited by Michael Zimmer and collects different articles with critical perspectives on web 2.0.
This is the first time I publish in an online free access journal and to tell you the truth, this is what I will do from now on. It has been very interesting and rewarding on a personal level to follow how the blogosphere have talked about our articles. I’ve just found out today that Howard Rheingold have included my article in the syllabus for his spring course on Virtual Communities/Social Media – that kind of makes me glad since I like Rheingold’s work.
You can find all the articles here.
As a researcher in the INC group, I have closely been following the Danish Election Parliament election campaign, which culminates tomorrow, Tuesday November 13th, election day. With the aid of an hardworking assistant and in co-operation with the Danish blogportal Overskrift.dk, this friday we discovered that at this election campaign, it looks like 250 out of 808 candidates running for parliament have started (or continued) blogging – and there have also been quite a lot of activity on places like YouTube, Facebook and Myspace. So it looks like “social software” functionalities have really been taken into use this year which also marks a breakthrough in terms of the amount of money the political parties have spent on online campaigning. These facts have in themselves generated quite a lot of media attention which means that as researcher I have myself tried new forms of communicating to the public, through appearance on web-tv, more precisely DR Update for which I was interviewed about my
impressions of the campaign together with the blog editor of Politiken, Kim Elmose. Also for this first time I participated in a podcast, as part of the site Beocast’s weekly podcasts.
Regarding the innovative part of the politicians’ and political parties communication online, my survey of the content so far indicates that politicians still tend to be somewhat monologic in the way they think about their online communication; and users have not been that eager to enter into dialogue with the politicians either, perhaps because they experience that the politicians are “absent present” most places. Read a more thorough analysis of the experience of the online election campaign up to now at my Danish blog called Walgblog.
In relation to all this, last thursday, I was informed that Nordforsk have granted a group of Nordic researchers and me funding to start a network and project on Political Culture Online in the Nordic Culture – it is not just in Denmark that the use of online media in politics is changing radically this year. I look much forward to discussing the data from this election campaign with them when we meet up in January!
I finally got a new phone, so I’ve started using Imity, an application that uses bluetooth to connect you with people that are near that you either know or do not know. And it works! Yesterday I was eating tapas at Atame with a friend of mine, suddenly the persons sitting next to us asks ”Søren Mørk?” and it turns out to be Christian Dalager and Trine Rahbek whom I’ve never met before. I’ve been reading Dalagers blog for some time and strangely enough I just added him as a contact on flickr yesterday morning, and then we end up at the same tapas bar that evening and because of imity, we ended up talking and having fun for a couple of hours together.
This is a wonderful example of a technology that mixes what goes on in your online life with your offline presence; it truly takes the social networking online offline. Most online activities have relations to offline things and the other way around, which is why we should not distinguish so much between on and offline.
yes that’s right – you are the person of the year 2006 – you as in blogger, moblogger, vlogger, social networker. Read the article here.
Good news for everyone doing research in social networking :
“Friend-what?” you might be asking, but it’s true: Red Herring is reporting that Friendster, the ill-fated social networking that (I think) started it all, has been granted a patent on social networks. Following a great tradition of painstakingly clear patent language, Friendster owns the patent for a “system, method, and apparatus for connecting users in an online computer system based on their relationships within social networks”.
Whether Friendster will use the time-tested ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, take em to court’ strategy is yet to be seen, but to their credit: they apparently applied for the patent (issued June 27 of 2006) way back in the day, before they fell from their perch. (Via the social software blog)
Now that the patent is out we don’t have to spend time anymore defining what system, method, apparatus, user, online, relationships and social networks are – its all in the patent!
UPDATE: The complete program is now online, find it here
On October the 6th Aalborg University has a seminar on
web2.0. Søren will be giving a talk with the above titel, and the abstract is here:
Are blogs the savior of modern democracy or are they the biggest attempt till date to flatten our culture with superstitious narcissistic babblings? Are moblogs and videoblogs the liberation of consumers in a process of making them into content producers or are we witnessing an overflow of reality TV addicts gone crazy in exposing themselves online? Are social networking sites the rise of globalized friendships making the world more coherent or are they just narrowing the scope of people to only being interested in their closed circle of friends? Are users the new designers in a strategic employment of user driven innovation or should we rather talk about loser driven innovation? Are we witnessing the break down of the public and private?
Are we asking the right questions to address the social software and web2.0 movement? In this talk I will give an account of social software, from both a personal and academic perspective. What kind of questions should we ask? How do these technologies provoke our concepts in academia and culture more generally?
Expect more questions, personal confessions, theoretical babblings and a few answers.
Not surprisingly I do not think we are asking the right questions, the above questions only continue the AlphaGeek and AlphaGeist dichotomy. So how and what should we ask? I’ll try to come with suggestions in the weeks to come.
Michael Zimmer from New York University and Mikkel Holm Sørensen from Actics are speaking as well so should be really interesting