Criteria for an Activist Social Media Platform

10 Jun The space in Islington Mill used for the hackathon

Last weekend I attended the Unlocking Ideas hackathon run by the People’s History Museum and the Working Class Movement Library, both based in Manchester. The 24 hour hackathon took place in the incredible Islington Mill artist space in Salford. I’d never been to a hackathon before and wasn’t sure what to expect. With little or no technical skills in terms of computing I was worried that I’d be out of my depth and unable to contribute to what was going on. Thankfully this wasn’t the case.

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Cory Doctorow at How the Light Gets In

7 Jun Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/doctorow/3906188203/in/photostream/ License

I spent some time last week in Wales, taking in the incredible landscapes and countryside but mainly making my first pilgrimage to the Mecca of books and literature that is Hay-on-Wye. As well as attending the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts, I also attend a couple of talks at the How the Light Gets In festival of philosophy which runs parallel to the literature festival.

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Book Review: ‘Social Media. A Critical Introduction’ by Christian Fuchs

30 May

A version of this review is forthcoming in Anarchist Studies. More information on and sample chapters from the book are available at Christian Fuchs’ website.

 

In his Social Media. A Critical Introduction, Christian Fuchs sets out to provide an account of social media that draws on a Marxist understanding of economic exploitation and class. He does so by highlighting the political economy at work when we use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube and shows that in the case of these mainstream examples of social media they both mirror the power structures of capitalist society (according more influence to more economically powerful actors) (e.g. 190-2) and exploit the data that’s provided to them by users for free.

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The Cybernetics of Occupy

21 May

I was re-reading a few chapters of Stafford Beer’s The Brain of the Firm the other day and I had what I think amounts to a breakthrough in my research on organisational cybernetics, social media and social movements. I say breakthrough; it wasn’t a brilliant insight by any stretch of the imagination but it did give me a solution to a problem I’d been concerned with for a while.

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#WhatisAnarchistStudies

18 May

This is a short video I recorded on the meaning of Anarchist Studies and the prefigurative relationship between activism and academia. The video is part of a virtual issue of the journal Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies, edited by Duane Rousselle. The full issue, available online, includes contributions from Ruth Kinna, Jacques Ranciere, Jamie Heckert, Nathan Jun, Jesse Cohn, Michelle Campbell and others, all answering the question, ‘What is Anarchist Studies?’

Academia: A Club for White Boys

15 May

Liam Barrington-Bush, who spoke at the CPPE last year on anarchism and management, was recently invited to participate in a panel discussion by CharityComms on brand management in the digital era. After discovering that the panel would be exclusively made up of white men, and discussions with his Twitter followers and Facebook friends, Liam decided to back out of the panel, arguing that the panel sets the tone for the event and the field that white men are the accepted experts.

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“Community”, student ratings and academic popularity contests

11 Mar

Last week’s episode of the TV sitcom “Community” was not only one of the series’ high points but also had a very real and unfunny warning for modern universities.

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Dr Paul Reilly

Lecturer in Media and Communication, University of Leicester

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'If you give Frodo Baggins a mobile phone, then the story of The Lord of the Rings becomes much shorter' - Paul Mason

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'If you give Frodo Baggins a mobile phone, then the story of The Lord of the Rings becomes much shorter' - Paul Mason

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'If you give Frodo Baggins a mobile phone, then the story of The Lord of the Rings becomes much shorter' - Paul Mason

'If you give Frodo Baggins a mobile phone, then the story of The Lord of the Rings becomes much shorter' - Paul Mason

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'If you give Frodo Baggins a mobile phone, then the story of The Lord of the Rings becomes much shorter' - Paul Mason

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