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Cory Doctorow at How the Light Gets In

7 Jun

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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“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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Literature List on Social Media and Politics

13 Aug

I’ve decided to add a literature list to the blog, with some of the most interesting academic books and articles I’ve read over the last year or so. The list includes full bibliographical details and my own keywords for each entry, as well as, in a lot of cases, a quotation or two from the book or article that I found particularly interesting or representative.

I’ll be adding to the list over time, perhaps weekly, as my research goes on. If you think there’s anything missing, please do let me know about it and I’ll add it. Hopefully the list will be a resource to others doing similar research. At the very least it’s proof that I have actually read something and that I’m not just talking out of my arse, which I am as well, but not exclusively.

Facebook censorship (don’t worry, it doesn’t actually work)

26 Apr

At the Unlike Us #3 conference in March, Peter Olsthoorn, the Dutch journalist behind The Power of Facebook, asked who among the some 100 people in the audience likes Facebook. Only 3 or 4 people raised their hands, of which I was one. It wasn’t such a surprise given that Geert Lovink, one of the conference’s organisers and head of the Institute of Network Cultures, took part in Quit Facebook Day back in May 2010.

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Unlike Us #3 conference in Amsterdam, 22nd and 23rd of March

26 Mar

I was lucky enough to attend the Institute of Network Cultures’ Unlike Us #3 conference on Social Media: Design or Decline on Friday and Saturday of last week. I somehow only found out about the conference a couple of days before it took place and so I was very happy that I was able to make it along.

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אם אין אני לי, מי לי? וכשאני לעצמי, מה אני? ואם לא עכשיו, אימתי - ancom jewitch, sad poet

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Dr Paul Reilly

Senior Lecturer in Social Media & Digital Society, University of Sheffield

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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

Alice Mattoni

'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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