A toe dipped into Media Re:Public

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People talk alot about our age of ‘information overload’. That’s how I’m feeling right now. Berkman have gathered together such an astonishing collection of internet eggheads (meant in a good way – as Richard Sambrook said yesterday, these are the people you’ll have in your RSS reader if you follow new media developments) at this one day ‘participatory media’ conference that I imagine it’ll take a while to digest what’s happening here today. In other words, blogging real time just ain’t gonna work.
Still, I’ll drop in a few highlights so far (what the hell):

From Manuel Castells (already perhaps one of the most legendary new media thinkers):
- Contemporary politics “is fundamentally media politics”. The media don’t have the power but they are the field of power
- The current transformation of the media is transforming and will transform politics
- Commercial organisations are in the business of turning freedom into a commodity on the net
- Rupert Murdoch is the best at doing this [according to MC]

From David Weinberger (author of Cluetrain and Everything is Miscellaneous):
- Alot of ways or ‘frames’ by which people look at internet are flawed, e.g. as an ‘ecosystem’, as a ‘pro-am revolution’, or as simply an ‘information flow’
- Another way – also flawed but very helpful right now, is ‘abundance’
- And “if abundance of bad stuff is frightening, abundance of good stuff is terrifying”
- Working out how we navigate – i.e. via metadata – is going to be the real question and the real struggle

From John Kelly (project to analyse the blogosphere – from Columbia Journalism School)
I’m not even going to start to describe John Kelly’s dot charts. You need to see them, or rather you need to stare at them for a long time, before working out what’s going on (and they’re worth staring at).
Just to pick one out. He’s mapped an amazing multicoloured dot chart of Iran’s blogosphere that shows: secularist / independent bloggers outnumber conservatives. The second biggest community of bloggers blog about poetry.

I’ll pause there and keep trying to listen and digest.

Written by Martin Moore

March 28th, 2008 at 6:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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