Saturday, November 10, 2007

New Book: Internet and Society: Social Theory in the Information Age

A new book by author Christian Fuchs (2008) Internet and Society: Social Theory in the Information Age is out, published by Routledge in their Research Series Information Technology and Society.

In this book, the author develops a theory that shows how Internet has changed society and society shapes the Internet. It discusses the ecology, the economy, the politics, and the culture of transnational informational capitalism.

Topics addressed in the book include: self-organization in nature, self-organization in society, foundations of social theory, theory of capitalism, critical theory in the age of the Internet, transnational informational capitalism, Web 2.0, social software, ecological sustainability and ICTs, informational monopolies, strategies of accumulation related to the Internet, MySpace, YouTube, Wikipedia, Google, Open Source, Free Software, filesharing, knowledge labor, class theory, multitude and Empire (Hardt and Negri), class theory in informational capitalism, gift internet economy, commodity internet economy, gift commodity internet economy, digital divide, eParticipation, digital democracy, democratic theory, information warfare, electronic
surveillance, cyberprotest, the movement for democratic globalization ("anti-globalization"), virtual communities, social networking platforms, cyberstalking, social relations online, individualization and isolation online, Internet addiction, cyberculture, cyberethics, etc.

The book provides foundations for Critical Internet Research / Critical Theory in the age of informational capitalism.

Watch him talk about it in these two little youtube clips:
part 1:



Preface (by Wolfgang Hofkirchner)

1. Introduction

2. Self-Organization and Co-operation

2.1. Characteristics of Self-organizing Systems
2.2. Self-Organization and Dialectical Philosophy
2.3. Self-Organization as Ideology: Hayek’s Theory of Competition
2.4. An Alternative: Self-Organization in Society as Human Co-operation
2.5. Conclusion

3. Society and Dynamic Social Theory

3.1. Anti-Luhmann: Niklas Luhmann’s Revolution in Social Science?
3.2. Humans and Society
3.3. The Self-Organization of Social Systems
3.4. Dialectics and Evolution
3.5. Society as Dynamic System
3.6. Modern Society as Dynamic System
3.6.1. Capital Accumulation and Competition in the Modern Economic System
3.6.2. Capital Accumulation and Competition in the Modern Political System
3.6.3. Capital Accumulation and Competition in the Modern Cultural System
3.6.4. Implications of Competition and Accumulation for the Ecosphere and the Technosphere
3.7. Conclusion

4. The Rise of Transnational Informational Capitalism

4.1. Conceptualizing Contemporary Society
4.2. The Rise of Transnational Informational/Network Capitalism
4.3. Conclusion: Co-operation and Competition in Transnational Network Capitalism

5. Social Internet Dynamics

5.1. The Internet as a Dynamic Techno-Social System
5.2. Web 1.0 as Dynamic Techno-Social System
5.3. The Rise of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0: Communication and Co-operation Online
5.4. Virtual Reality and Cyberspace
5.5. Conclusion

6. Competition and Co-operation in the Informational Ecology

6.1. ICTs and Transport
6.2. A Weightless Economy?
6.3. Virtual Products as a Foundation of a Sustainable Society?
6.4. Conclusion

7. Competition and Co-operation in the Internet Economy

7.1. The “Network Enterprise”: Co-operation as Ideology
7.1.1. Corporations and Team Work
7.1.2. Transnational Corporations: Co-operation for Competition and Profit
7.2. Informational Capitalism: Commodity- or Gift-Economy?
7.2.1. Co-operation in the Internet Economy: Open Source and the Informational Gift Economy
7.2.2. Competition in the Internet Economy: Informational Monopolies
7.2.3. The Gift Commodity Internet Economy: Strategies of Accumulation in Informational Capitalism
7.3. Class Competition in Informational Capitalism
7.3.1. Knowledge Labor as Non-Class
7.3.2. Knowledge Labor as Class
7.4. Conclusion

8. Competition and Co-operation in Online Politics

8.1. Digital Exclusion: Digital Divides
8.2. Digital Inclusion: eParticipation as Grassroots Digital Democracy
8.2.1. Democracy and Participation
8.2.2. eParticipation and 3 Concepts of Digital Democracy Representative Digital Democracy Plebiscitary Digital Democracy eParticipation: Grassroots Digital Democracy
8.3. The Absolute Violence of Competition in the Information Age: Information Warfare
8.3.1. What is War?
8.3.2. War, Technology, and Spatio-Temporal Distanciation
8.3.3. Information War Cognitive Information War: Media Manipulation Communicative Information War Co-operative Information War: Netwar
8.4. Competition by Control: The Rise of Electronic Surveillance
8.4.1. Electronic Surveillance Defined
8.4.2. Electronic Surveillance: Foucault and Orwell
8.4.3. Privacy and Electronic Surveillance after 9/11
8.5. Co-operating Social Movements Online: Cyberprotest
8.5.1. The Self-Organization of Cyberprotest
8.5.2. Cognitive Cyberprotest: Alternative Online-Media
8.5.3. Communicative Cyberprotest: Online Protest Communication
8.5.4. Co-operative Cyberprotest: Online Protest and Electronic Civil Disobedience
8.5.5. Cyberprotest and Rhizomes
8.5.6. Networking Protest for Co-operation: The Movement for Democratic Globalization
8.6. Conclusion

9. Competition and Co-operation in Cyberculture

9.1. Cyberculture Defined
9.2. Virtual Communities
9.2.1. What is a Community?
9.2.2. A Dialectical Notion of Virtual Community
9.2.3. Wikipedia as an Example of Co-operation in a Self-Organizing Virtual Community
9.2.4. Identity in Virtual Community
9.2.5. Mobile Virtual Communities
9.3. Cyberculture: Socialization or Alienation?
9.3.1. Socialized Cyberculture
9.3.2. Alienated Cyberculture
9.3.3. What To Make Of The Results of Cyberculture Studies?
9.4. Conclusion

10. Conclusion


More info on the author:
His discussion Board on Internet+Society issues:

Is web 2.0 undermining knowledge and authority?

While browsing the archive of Canadian broadcaster TV Ontario I found another great streaming video of their "The Agenda" show, this one is about two interesting topics Firstly, the cult of the amateur with gurst Andrew Keen: Is web2.0 undermining knowledge and authority?
And secondly, what the Internet has done to older notions of truth, knowledge and authority. Kind of the same thing, more or less, but in two segments.

The Interview: Andrew Keen
Do we all now worship at the cult of the amateur? Andrew Keen on how Web 2.0 is undermining professionalism, knowledge, and authority.

Guest is Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture. He also writes The Great Seduction, a Blog on media culture and technology. He is CEO of AfterTV, a program available by podcast.

The Debate: The Demise of Authority and Truth
A closer look at what the Internet has done to older notions of truth, knowledge and authority.


Mark Federman is a researcher at the Ontario Insitute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Read his Blog at:

Jennifer Keelan is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. For more information, visit her web page.

Clifford Orwin is professor of Political Science, fellow of St. Michael's College, director of the Program in Political Philosophy and International Affairs at the University of Toronto, and distinguished visiting fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Read his full biography.

Stephen Turner is a political scientist at the University of South Florida. For more information, visit his web page.

Link to episode page:

Link to streaming video of the episode:

The Debate: Is Facebook a Fad?

Canadian broadcaster TV Ontario has a streaming video of their "The Agenda - with Steve Paikin" show online that deals with facebook, the social networking site.
It's called "The Debate: Is Facebook a Fad?" and you can watch it for free online. As it is the second part of the show you will have to go through a segment about the satisfaction and stigma of swearing with Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker.

Episode page:

Streaming video of the show:

Participants of the show are:

- Nancy Baym, a faculty member in Communication Studies at the University of Kansas, and author of Tune In, Log On: Soaps, Fandom, and Online Community.
Read her full biography at

- Mark Evans, a technology reporter, and director of community with PlanetEye Inc.
Read his Blog at:

- Jesse Hirsh, a technology analyst.
His web site is

- Mathew Ingram, he has been writing about business and technology for The Globe and Mail since 1991, and has been a Blogger and columnist for since the site launched in 2000.
Read his Blog: Ingram 2.0.

- Om Malik, a senior writer for Business 2.0 magazine in San Francisco.
Read his full biography at

You might also be interested in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication's article The Benefits of Facebook "Friends:" Social Capital and College Students' Use of Online Social Network Sites

Friday, November 9, 2007

AUSWEB 2008 - Call for Papers

Call for Submissions - AUSWEB 2008
Australasian World Wide Web Conference

This announcement is the formal call for submissions for AusWeb08.
Since its inception, AusWeb has been the primary forum for Australian developers, computer scientists, educators, industry, government and cultural commentators to discuss the rapidly evolving technologies and usage of the Web. In order to contextualise and broaden this discussion, submissions from authors outside Australia are most welcome. AusWeb provides an informal and supportive environment, with the programme designed to facilitate open discussion and debate.

NOTE: the AusWeb series of conferences does not require exclusive assignment of copyright by authors and full papers are refereed to DEST standards.

Possible Topics
For AusWeb08, we are interested in receiving submissions on all aspects of the Web. The following topics are intended to provide an indication of some of the themes which have been discussed at previous AusWeb Conferences:

*Web languages, standards, formats and protocols
*Web-based collaboration
*Web system design and evaluation
*Open source software
*Application of Web technologies to education and / or training
*Social and / or institutional impacts of Web-based education
*eCommerce / eBusiness strategies and issues
*New products / services / experiences and the Web
*New Media Entertainment and the Web
*The impact of the Web on society and / or government
*Libraries / publishing / open access and the Web
*Sociological / cultural studies of the Web
*The Web as an agent of transformation
*Web security

We are also happy to consider submission proposals that do not fit neatly into the above topics. Please note that as this is a Web conference, the submissions will need to have a strong Web component to them.

Initial Submission
In order to make it as easy as possible to submit to AusWeb08, you may make your initial submission in any of the following formats HTML (preferred) or Text or RTF or Word. You do not have to comply with any particular stylesheet at the initial submission phase. If accepted, you will need to supply the final version of your submission as an HTML formatted document using the AusWeb stylesheet which will be made available from the AusWeb08 server.

Refereed Full Papers
Refereed full papers (3,500 to 5,000 words) are designed to allow the presentation of completed research projects, reports of innovative uses of Web technologies in universities, industry, government and cultural institutions such as libraries, archives, publishers and museums, and case histories. The AusWeb conference series is designed so that refereed full papers are eligible for inclusion in an institution's DEST statistics. This is ensured by
the following practices: The conference is nationally significant, and the promotional material, the speakers and attendees and the program reflect this.

o Papers are independently peer reviewed on the basis of the full paper (rather than just on an abstract) and there will be clear evidence that this is the case, ranging from statements in the promotional material to referees' comments.

o The full paper will be published, not an abstract or digest.

o The proceedings will be available more widely than just to conference delegates on request to the conference office.

Refereeing of papers will be done by members of an expert Review Panel (including international scholars) to DEST refereed conference paper standards using a two-stage double-blind review process. We will try to make this process as quick as possible so that you have as much time as possible to produce the final version of your paper (if accepted). Because the refereeing is double-blind, please ensure that author(s) name(s) or other identifying information, including obvious self-citations, do not appear on your submission to ensure anonymity.__Refereed Full Papers are to be submitted initially to the Program
Chair, Joanna Richardson ( who will then redirect them to specialist track chairs as required. Decisions will be made by the Program Committee after receipt of reviewers reports. Submissions not accepted as Refereed Full Papers may be accepted as Edited Short Papers (see below).

Key Refereed Full Paper Dates
On or before (early submission would be appreciated) 28th January
Full paper decisions: 18th February
Final, formatted papers submitted to the AusWeb server: 3rd March
Papers published on the Web: 17th March
Posters and Edited Short Papers

We are also calling for submissions to our popular Posters stream as either traditional posters, creative 'Web-based posters' or Short Edited papers (research in progress) that the author wants to present and discuss with delegates. The Poster session (usually held on the Monday afternoon of the conference) is designed to showcase the most innovative developments on the Web from Australia and around the world.

Traditional posters are typically in a large display format and designed to allow the presentation of research in progress, demonstrate pre-release software or get feedback from attendees on new ideas. Web-based posters may use social-network technology to spread and communicate their message, but will need some physical presence at AusWeb! Summary details of your poster presentations (around 250 to 500 words) and edited short papers (500 to 1500 words) of work in progress will be published on the Web, in the printed proceedings and on the conference CD-ROM. Poster and short edited paper proposals are to be submitted directly to the Poster Chair, Rod Sims ( Acceptance decisions will be made by the Poster subcommittee.

Key Poster/Short Edited Paper Dates
On for before 11th February (early submissions would be appreciated)
Decisions: 18th February (decision re early submissions will be made within a week of submission)
Final, formatted paper details submitted to the AusWeb server: 3rd March Post Summaries (with links) and Short Edited Papers published on the Web: 17th March
(Late submissions will be considered but will only be published on the Web at the time of the conference.)

Best Poster and Best Paper Awards
It is an AusWeb tradition to acknowledge the best paper at each conference with the Paul Thistlewaite Award. This award consists of a certificate plus a complimentary core registration at the following year's conference. The latter is made possible by our long time sponsor Explain XML Specialists ( and is presented by their CEO Steve Ball. We also offer a Best Poster Award which consists of a certificate and registration for a tutorial or workshop at the following year's conference (compliments of the conference series).

Reputation Economies in Cyberspace Symposium


The Information Society Project at Yale Law School is proud to present Reputation Economies in Cyberspace. The symposium will be held on December 8, 2007 at Yale Law School in New Haven, CT.

This event will bring together representatives from industry, government, and academia to explore themes in online reputation, community-mediated information production, and their implications for democracy and innovation. The symposium is made possible by the generous support of the Microsoft Corporation.

A distinguished group of experts will map out the terrain of reputation economies in four panels: (1) Making Your Name Online; (2) Privacy and Reputation Protection; (3) Reputation and Information Quality; and (4) Ownership of Cyber-Reputation. See below for more detail on each panel; a current list of confirmed speakers is available at the conference website.

Online registration is available now at: There is a $95 registration fee, which includes lunch. Yale students and faculty and members of the press may attend for free. For more information, see:


Panel I: Making Your Name Online

Jack Balkin - Director, Information Society Project and Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment, Yale Law School

Michel Bauwens - Founder, The Foundation for P2P Alternatives
Rishab A. Ghosh - Senior Researcher, United Nations University -MERIT
Auren Hofman - CEO, Rapleaf
Hassan Masum - Senior Research Co-ordinator, McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health
Beth Noveck - Professor of Law and Director, Institute for Information Law and Policy, New York Law School

This panel will discuss the shifts in the reputation economy that we are witnessing, largely the transition from accreditation to participatory, community-based modes of reputation management.

Some of the questions the panel will address include:
What are the new norms for cyber-reputation?
How do these depart from offline models?
How can reputation in one online system be transported to another?
How do SNS and reputation connect?
How do you bootstrap and cash out?

Panel II: Privacy and Reputational Protection

Michael Zimmer - Microsoft Resident Fellow, Information Society Project and Post-Doctoral Associate, Yale Law School

Alessandro Acquisti - Assistant Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy, H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University
Danielle Citron - Assistant Professor of Law, University of Maryland School of Law
William McGeveran - Associate Professor, University of Minnesota Law School
Dan Solove - Associate Professor, George Washington University Law School
Jonathan Zittrain - Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation, Oxford University; Visiting Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies, Harvard Law School

Cyber-reputation management is based on transactions in information that is often sensitive and is always contextual. This brings up many questions about the need to protect one's privacy and reputation within and outside this system.

Some of the questions the panel will address:
How is participation in cyber-reputation systems related to defamation and free speech?
What happens when cyber-reputation spills over into offline activities and relationships like the political process, job applications, or school admissions?
What happens when your second life meets your first?
Requiring divulgence of real name or other personal data. Is opting out possible?
Pending legislation on S495 - data security and privacy

Panel III: Reputational Quality and Information Quality

Laura Forlano - Visiting Fellow, Information Society Project

Urs Gasser - Associate Professor of Law, University of St. Gallen
Ashish Goel - Associate Professor, Management Science and Engineering and Computer Science, Stanford University
Darko Kirovski - Senior Researcher, Microsoft Corporation
Mari Kuraishi - President, Global Giving Foundation
Vipul Ved Prakash - Founder, Cloudmark

Evidently, unlike traditional reputation mechanisms that relied on small group acquaintances and formal accreditation mechanisms, the cyber-reputation economy is heavily mediated by technology. This raises the risk of breaking the delicate checks and balances that are necessary for the system to ensure quality of both the informational outcomes and the participants' reputation. This panel will try to highlight the connections between the way the new systems are built, and the outcome they produce.

Some of the questions the panel will address:
How can we assure quality in online reputation economies?
What is the connections between the system design and the quality information?
How good are the alternative accreditation mechanisms and how easy are they to hijack?
How can employment discrimination law adapt to the realities of online reputation?

Panel IV: Ownership of Cyber-Reputation

Eddan Katz - Executive Director, Information Society
Project and Lecturer-in-Law and Associate Research Scholar, Yale Law School

John Clippinger - Senior Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School
Eric Goldman - Assistant Professor and Director, High Tech Law Institute, Santa Clara University School of Law faculty
Bob Sutor - Vice President Open Source and Standards, IBM Corporation
Mozelle Thompson - Thompson Strategic Consulting; (former FTC Commissioner)
Rebecca Tushnet - Professor, Georgetown University Law Center

The data and information that are collected in online reputation systems are both valuable and powerful. The ability to control this information, store it, process it, access it, and transport it are crucial to the maintenance of the reputation economy. This panel will address the important set of questions that concern the ownership of this information.

Some questions the panel will address:
Who owns one's online reputation? Who owns the metadata?
How portable is online reputation? Should it be transportable from one system to another?
How is reputation connected to the interoperability question? Should we have international standards governing reputation?

Knowledge Workers in the Information Society - new book

New Book: Knowledge Workers in the Information Society
Edited by Catherine McKercher and Vincent Mosco
Lexington Books, 360 pages, ISBN 0-7391-1780-7/978-0-7391-1780-4

Knowledge Workers in the Information Society addresses the changing nature of work, workers, and their organizations in the media, information, and knowledge industries. These knowledge workers include journalists, broadcasters, librarians, filmmakers and animators, government workers, and employees in the telecommunications and high tech sectors. Technological change has become relentless. Corporate concentration has created new pressures to rationalize work and eliminate stages in the labor process.

Globalization and advances in telecommunications have made real the prospect that knowledge work will follow manufacturing labor to parts of the world with low wages, poor working conditions, and little unionization. McKercher and Mosco bring together scholars from numerous disciplines to examine knowledge workers from a genuinely global perspective.

"At last, we have a book that gives knowledge workers back their agency. With analytical clarity and shrewd judgment, McKercher and Mosco have drawn together an impressive range of contributions from around the world that illustrate vividly, in all their complexity, the hard choices that knowledge workers make each day to balance their urge to creativity with their need to scrape a living and defend working conditions. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand knowledge work as it is in the real world, as opposed to the fantasies of policy gurus." (Ursula Huws, Analytica Social and Economic Research)

"This book focuses on the most neglected group in the literature on our information-intensive economy: workers. After authoring several articles on this topic themselves, McKercher and Mosco are to be complimented for advancing this focus by bringing together authors in Europe, North America, and Asia to address the conditions of the diverse work force in the information economy: workers in journalism, film, libraries, telecommunication, digital equipment factories and call centers." (Bella Mody, University of Colorado)

List of Contributors
Enda Brophy, Dean Colby, Wan-Wen Day, Greig de Peuter, Greg Downey, Rob Duffy, Colin T. Fones-Wolf, Elizabeth A. Fones-Wolf, Gregor Gall, Maris L. Hayashi, Helen Johnson, Jyotsna Kapur, Deepa Kumar, Christopher R. Martin, Pere Masip, Catherine McKercher, Lisa McLaughlin, Josep Lluis Mico, Vincent Mosco, Ian Nagy, Vanda Rideout, Michelle Rodino-Colocino, Sid Shniad, Andrew Stevens, John L. Sullivan, James F. Tracy, and Yuezhi Zhao

Thursday, November 8, 2007

NewMediaFest2007 - JavaMuseum netart features


NewMediaFest2007 blog

1st common festival of [NewMediaArtProjectNetwork]:cologne

1 November 2007 - 31 May 2008

is proud to present a bunch of excellent netart features contributed by JavaMuseum - Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art ( a virtual museum dedicated to a specific form of digital art, i.e. "netart" - Internet based art.

Founded in 2000, JavaMuseum, one of the pioneers in the field of netart incorporates via 18 showcases a most comprehensive collection of netart from the years 2000-2004 and is completely re-launched on occasion of NewMediaFest2007, by presenting 5 exhibition components :

featured netart show, entitled:
"Seven Ways for Saying Internet with Net Art"
curated by Elena Giulia Rossi, also curator at National Museum of 21th Century Art - MAXXI Rome/Italy - including the artists Juliet Davis, Reinhald Drouhin, Free Soil (Amy Franceschini, Myriel Milicevic, Nis Rømer, Molleindustria, Santiago Ortiz, C.J.Yeh, Lorenzo Pizzanelli

"a+b =ba? [art+blog=blogart?]"
curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
featuring the artists Randy Adams aka runran (Canada), Tauvydas Bajarkevicius (Lithuania), Raheema Begum (India), Hans Bernhard (Austria), JR Carpenter (Canada), Antony Carriere (USA), Dylan Davies (USA), Ryan Gallagher (USA), Fabian Giles (Mexico), Ellie Harrison (UK), Gita Hashemi (Canada), Jeremy Hight (USA), Juan Patino (Argentina), Alexander Jancijevic (Canada), Richard Jochum (USA), Keith Deverell, Seth Keen, David Wolf (Australia), Kyon (Germany), Yvonne Martinsson (Sweden), Vytautas Michellevicius (Lithuania), Alex Perl (USA), Karla Schuch Brunet (Brazil), Robert Sloon; (USA), Andres Torres (Chile), Michael Szpakowski (UK), Matthew Williamson; (USA), Salvatore Iaconesi (Italy)

"10 Years Netart"
solo show presenting the online work 1997-2007 by the US artist Jody Zellen

net.NET I - 1st edition of netart features
including Adele Prince (UK), J.T.Wine (USA), Carlo Sansolo (Brazil), Les Liens Invisibles (Italy), MEZ (Australia), Konstantia Sofokleous (Cyprus), Katty Vandenberghe and Chris Diedericks (South Africa)

JIP - JavaMuseum Interview Project
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne invites more than 80 professionals in the field of Internet based art for an interview and answering 10 questions in order to contribute to a better understanding of an undervaluated contemporary art genre.

The Netart features by JavaMuseum can be acessed via NewMediaFest2007 interface on but also separately via individual URLs:

7 ways to Internet with Netart -

a+b=ba? -

ne.NET I -

solo Jody Zellen -

JIP - JavaMuseum Interview Project -

NewMediaFest2007 is realized on 2 levels:
1. online in its totality

2. in physical space via cooperations
--> the 1st physical NewMediaFest2007 is launched in the framework of 3rd Digital Art Festival Rosario/Argentina - 15-17 November 2007 more info on

The general festival catalogue can be downloaded as PDF for free

Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship

Nicole Ellison and Danah Boyd have been working for the last year on a special section of JCMC focused on social network sites. The introduction to the issue, which might be of interest to many of you working in this area, is now online.

It is titled "Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship," and has
four sections:

- a usable definition of "social network sites"
- a history of some of the major shifts in the development of SNSs
- a literature review of work done in this space
- a description of the articles included in the special issue

The article is available here:

Please note that not all the pieces are live yet!

Here's the abstract:

Social network sites (SNSs) are increasingly attracting the attention of academic and industry researchers intrigued by their affordances and reach. This special theme section of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication brings together scholarship on these emergent phenomena. In this introductory article, we describe features of SNSs and propose a comprehensive definition. We then present one perspective on the history of such sites, discussing key changes and developments. After briefly summarizing existing scholarship concerning SNSs, we discuss the articles in this special section and conclude with considerations for future research.

"IRL (In Real Life)" comes to DVD!

"IRL (In Real Life)" comes to DVD! One of the first feature documentaries to tackle online communities and the first film about online fans made by fans, the full documentary is now available on DVD for the first time.

"IRL (In Real Life)" is one of the first feature-length documentaries to take on the subject of online communities. IRL is also the first documentary made by fans about fan communities. The film chronicles the life, death and afterlife of an online community called "The Bronze," made up of fans of "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer." The documentary looks at what happens when online friendships move from the Internet into "real life." In their own words, "Bronzers" talk about what lead them to seek out the community, the prejudices and misconceptions they had to face from family and friends about their Internet activities, and the effect the experience had on their lives.

Available through with a suggested retail price of $29.99 (US), the DVD contains the entire feature film as well as a bonus gag reel exclusive to the DVD release, in addition to the promotional trailers and more bonus features. The disc is NTSC, region-free, and can be shipped anywhere in the world.

Stephanie Tuszynski directed and produced the film. In 2003, she began a project about the community, even as the television series which had drawn everyone together was about to come to an end. Traveling across the US and Canada from 2003-2004, she recorded interviews and filmed gatherings. While editing the film, she completed her PhD in American Studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and is currently the Visiting Assistant Professor of Film at the University of Toledo.

The documentary provides an inside look an early time in the growth not just of online fan groups but online communities as a whole, providing a unique perspective on the way our interactions with other people on the Internet have evolved over the last decade.

The film's run-time is 55 minutes, and it features an original score, composed by Jymm Thomas, a member of Darling Violetta, the band that performed the theme for the "Buffy" spin-off "Angel."

"IRL (In Real Life)" DVD Special Features and Disc Contents

The feature documentary has been released on single-layer discs (4:3 aspect ratio) and is presented with Dolby stereo sound. In addition the following special features appear on the disc:

Bonus Features:
Gag Reel
Postcard Montage


In August of 1997, having stumbled across a summer rerun of a tv show with one of the stupidest names ever, I was surfing the Internet for information about the series and for reasons I still can't explain, decided to check out the "interactive" portion of the website. I'd never looked in a discussion forum before, being new to the World Wide Web and believing, as a lot of people did and still do, that those kinds of forums were haunts for hackers and pedophiles. What I encountered that day meant I would never look at online forums the same way again.

The official website for Buffy the Vampire Slayer housed a linear message board called "The Bronze," named after the all-ages club on the show. A close-knit community developed around the linear board; members referred to themselves as "Bronzers." For 5 years, from 1997 until the community was closed in July of 2001, I posted as "DarkLady" in The Bronze. Over and over through the years, when I would "out" myself to someone, a family member or a friend or coworker, I would either get a confused look and a question about axe murderers, or worse, "So, what, you just sit around and talk about Buffy all day?"

Bronzers did indeed discuss Buffy at great length and in obsessive detail. But the fannish discussion existed side by side with large amounts of off-topic conversation, such as talk about other television shows, movies, books, pets, children, politics, religion, etc. Things got heated frequently, and sometimes it was even boring. But through all this talking, the people in the Bronze formed a deep bond with both the community as a whole and with each other. Bronzers traveled to spend time with each other "in real life." Beyond the annual Posting Board Party, held every February in Los Angeles, there were dozens of other annual and spontaneous gatherings all over the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. These gatherings were not about celebrating the television show. They were about celebrating the community.

Bronzers created a community of fans, one with a strong sense of identity which had only a secondary relationship to the television show which had drawn the people together in the first place. Bronzers identified themselves as Bronzers first, and Buffy fans second.

The Bronze died in 2001, but it took the show going off the air, in 2003, for me to start working on a movie about the Bronzer community. I wanted to make some sort of record that this community existed, even though by that time it had started to fade away. I interviewed 25 Bronzers in places from New York City to Los Angeles, Toronto to Houston, and edited the interviews and some other footage together to tell the story those people wanted to tell, about the "life, death and afterlife of an online community."

This isn't a documentary about Fandom, nor is it about all online communities. It's about this one particular group of fans from this one particular place. But at the same time? It really is about Fandom in a way. Anyone who's been involved in a fandom or almost any online group can watch this and be able to identify with the stories being told, because the film isn't about "Buffy" at all. It's really just sharing the story of getting involved in an online community, about stumbling into a group of folks on the Internet and suddenly feeling like you found your people, your home. The one place you felt you absolutely belonged, and that maybe changed your life.

The film isn't all sunshine and puppies. It brings up the unpleasant stuff, the trolls, the controversies. It also talks about "coming out" to family and friends and about the stigma of socializing online. It wouldn't have been honest if it didn't cover those things. But the bottom line, this is a documentary about a fan group that lets the fans themselves tell their story in their own words. And hopefully, it presents a realistic picture of what goes on between people online that will help us all put aside the "axe murderers and child molesters" stereotyping and think about the living human beings behind the avatars and user names, and what it is they are getting out of online social activity that makes it so important to them.

Free Online Access to all SAGE journals until November 30, 2007

SAGE now offers free online access to over 460 SAGE journals until November 30, 2007!

You can register easy at their site and after a few seconds you can access all 460+ SAGE journals and their deep backfiles with over 550,000 articles now online.

Web 2.0 are buzzwords of the moment - so why not try out the new social networking features on SAGE Journals Online during this November trial? These include:

• Connotea
• CiteULike
• Email this article to a friend.

You will find these features to the right of an article’s abstract and they will enable you to share articles of interest with your colleagues quickly and easily.

To take advantage of free online access to over 460 SAGE journals please register here:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award 2008 - Call for Applications


Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award 2008

Sponsored by the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research

The Carl Couch Center issues an annual call for student-authored papers to be considered for Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award. The Couch Center welcomes both theoretical and empirical papers that (1) apply symbolic interactionist approaches to Internet studies, (2) demonstrate interactive relationships between social interaction and communication technologies as advocated by Couch, and/or (3) develop symbolic interactionist concepts in new directions. Papers will be evaluated based on the quality of (1) mastery of Symbolic Interactionist approaches and concepts and Couch’s theses, (2) originality, (3) organization, (4) presentation, and (5) advancement of knowledge.

Evaluation will be administered by a Review Committee of four:

Dr. Mark D. Johns, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
Dr. Lori Kendall, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Annette Markham, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Dr. Dennis Waskul, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Competition is open to graduate or undergraduate students of all disciplines. Works that are published or accepted for publication are not eligible for award consideration. Entries should not exceed 30 pages (approximately 7500 words) in length, including references and appendices. Limit of one entry per student per year.

The top three papers will receive Couch Awards to be presented at the 2008 meeting of the Association of Internet Researchers ( at the IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The top paper will be awarded a certificate and a cash prize of $500 US, runner up will receive a certificate and a cash prize of $300 US, and a third paper will receive a certificate and a cash prize of $100 US. All three authors will be invited to present their work at a session of the AoIR conference, October 15-19, 2008 in Copenhagen.

Those interested should send a copy of their paper, with a 100-word abstract, electronically to Mark D. Johns at

Application deadline is April 28, 2008. Notification of award will be sent by June 16.

Those with questions or comments about Couch Award application, please

Mark D. Johns
Dept. of Communication Studies
Luther College, Decorah, IA 52101 USA
Tel: (563) 387-1347

27th Annual Advertising and Consumer Psychology Conference - Call for Papers


27th Annual Advertising and Consumer Psychology Conference

Get a (Second) Life: Virtual Social Identity and Consumer Behavior

The 27th annual Advertising and Consumer Psychology Conference will be held May 1-2, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The conference is sponsored by the Society for Consumer Psychology (SCP).

The theme of the conference is Virtual Social Identity and Consumer Behavior. We encourage participation from a broad range of academic researchers and practitioners in such fields as marketing and consumer psychology, computer science, sociology, economics, and communications.

The creation and expression of identity (or of multiple identities) in immersive environments is rapidly transforming consumer behavior – even though at this point in time many mainstream consumers have not even heard of this phenomenon! The largest social networking, Second Life, currently has over 6 million registered users worldwide, while the gaming-oriented site World of Warcraft has close to 9 million users.

Consumers enter CME’s in digital form, as avatars. A user can design his or her avatar by choosing facial features, body types, clothing styles – and even nonhuman forms. These digital representations are socializing with one another in real time, taking virtual university courses, participating in corporate training programs, sharing reactions to new products, and of course shopping.

To date more than 40 RL (real life) companies including GM, Dell, Sony, IBM and Wells Fargo are staking their claim to online real estate in computer-mediated environments (CME’s) such as Second Life, and Entropia Universe. In April 2007 alone, residents of the online “world” Second Life spent approximately $10 million (in real money) on virtual land, products and services. Corporate America’s transition to the virtual world is an attempt to reach and entice the growing flood of consumers occupying these virtual worlds.

Clearly this expanding space will be pivotal in fueling new consumer trends over the next decade. In addition, the parallel growth in spending on advergaming continues to transfigure the online C2C world. Forecasts suggest that sales of branded messages embedded in videogames will reach $733 million by 2010. Eventually, these CME forums may rival traditional, marketer-sponsored E-commerce sites in terms of their influence on consumer decision-making and product adoption.

Despite this huge potential, we know very little about the best way to talk to consumers in these online environments. How will well-established research findings from the offline world transfer to CMEs? For example, can we be sure that our received wisdom regarding the impact of source credibility upon persuasion will readily apply to a situation where a “source” espousing adoption of a new product takes the form of an animated supermodel with exaggerated “attributes” or a bright green demon with fearsome horns?

These new online platforms generate many fascinating research questions for the advertising and consumer psychology community. Here are some:

Avatars, the Self, and Attitude Change

· What does the consumer’s choice of his or her own avatar tell us about self-concept and role identity – especially since visitors often create multiple avatars to “experiment” with different identities?

· How important is it for visitors to be able to customize the avatars they encounter in advertising so that they control the image that speaks to them about its products?

· How effective are avatars as sources of marketing communications?

· What physical dimensions influence the consumer decision-making process when shoppers encounter avatars that represent RL organizations? Should a company’s “spokes-avatar” be modeled after a real person (perhaps the viewer herself)? A celebrity? A fantasy figure?

· How will the explosion in consumer-generated marketing communications now being posted in CMEs (including YouTube, Second Life and elsewhere) influence the process of attitude change and strategic communications decisions?

· How does the phenomenon of “presence” (the term communications researchers use to refer to the level of immersion in a virtual social environment) relate to flow states and high involvement situations documented in consumer research?

Virtual Influence and Decision Making

· What are the implications for information diffusion as consumers increasingly turn to CMEs for information about new products or to read other consumers’ reviews of these products?

· Can consumer researchers construct and populate virtual laboratories that will allow them to simulate RL decision-making contexts and better understand how heuristics, contextual cues, information displays and other variables will impact consumer behavior both offline and online?

· Can avatars’ conversations with one another, either in pairs or in groups, be a valuable starting point for buzz-building and word-of-mouth marketing campaigns?

· How will the growth in CME participation affect social interaction patterns such as dating?

· To what extent do consumers in CMEs participate in risk-taking behavior, and what implications does this have for RL?

· What are the implications for adolescent socialization, or for the ability of children to distinguish reality-based cues from fantasy?

· What are the ethical implications of the increasingly common practice of misrepresentation whereby companies pay individuals to promote their products on websites while masquerading as “ordinary” surfers?

Virtual Culture and Economies

· What is the potential of online prediction markets (like The Hollywood Stock Exchange) to improve researchers’ and practitioners’ ability to forecast consumer trends?

· How will norms regarding social etiquette, cheating, and gift-giving transfer to CMEs?

· What are the implications for cross-cultural consumer behavior as CME residents increasingly are able to interact with fellow avatars (and companies) from around the world?

· How will the integration of avatars on other internet platforms influence consumer behavior on e-commerce websites?

Submissions may be in one of two categories: 1) complete papers or 2) abstracts. Preference for acceptance will be given to papers that provide extensive integration of existing work and/or provide details of a relevant program of research that takes a psychological perspective. Authors of the best papers will be invited to prepare a manuscript for a book to be published by the Society for Consumer Psychology. Complete papers that will be published in the book must be submitted in camera-ready format within 30 days of presentation at the conference. Publication of full papers based upon submitted abstracts is contingent upon satisfactory review of the full paper.

Submissions must be received by December 15, 2007. Papers should be sent to Natalie Wood ( electronically as an attached Word file. All papers will be blind-reviewed, so please submit your manuscript with authors’ names and contact information on a separate cover page. Please limit the manuscript to 30 pages double-spaced (excluding Exhibits) with 1” margins.

Hotel Information
The conference will be held at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia ( Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Philadelphia, the Loews Hotel is steps away from the historic district (Liberty Bell, National Constitution Center), shopping, restaurants and sports arenas. To make reservations, contact the Loews Philadelphia and identify yourself as an attendee of the Advertising and Consumer Psychology Conference to receive the conference hotel rate of $189 per night. Reservations must be made by April 1st, 2008 to receive the conference rate.

For more information about The Society for Consumer Psychology or the Advertising and Consumer Psychology Conference, please see our website at or contact one of the conference chairs:

Michael R. Solomon, Ph.D.
Department of Marketing
Haub School of Business
Saint Joseph’s University
5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia PA 19131
Tel: 610-660-3411
Fax: 610-660-3239

Natalie T. Wood, Ph.D.
Department of Marketing
Haub School of Business
Saint Joseph’s University
5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia PA 19131
Tel: 610-660-3452
Fax: 610-660-3239

Internet User Attention Often Divided

Ads need to resonate across multiple media.

More than eight in 10 Internet users also do some offline activity while online, according to Burst Media.

Burst found that nearly three out of five Internet users watched television while online.

"TV and the Internet have long been multitasking buddies," said Debra Aho Williamson, senior analyst at eMarketer. "It makes sense to create ad messages that resonate across media."

The second most common offline activity for online multitaskers was job-related activities (33.0%), followed by reading a book (31.1%), a magazine or newspaper (29.7%) and talking on a mobile phone (23.6%).

"Keep in mind that many of these activities are not representative of true multitasking," Ms. Williamson said. "It's one thing to go online with the radio playing in the background, but it's all but impossible to read text on a Web page and in a newspaper at the same time. Consumers are switching focus, rather than multitasking."

"Still, anytime your attention is divided, your ability to recall and comprehend ad messages is impacted."

The Web is not the only medium to which consumers are giving divided attention. Music listeners and instant messagers were even more likely than computer users to be juggling media consumption, according to a Bridge Ratings study.

for the full report with graphs and stats click here:

Thesis on Queer Identity in Second Life - free download

The distinction awarded thesis, "Queered Virtuality: The Claiming and Making of Queer Spaces and Bodies in the User-Constructed Synthetic World of Second Life" by Donald Jones is now available via Georgetown University's digital thesis repository.

Link to overview:
Link to thesis:

This study explores how queer space and queer virtual bodies (avatars) are constructed by queer (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning) individuals and groups in the user constructed graphical virtual world of Second Life in order to gain a better understanding of how virtual "cultural space" and identity is created and negotiated through particular spatial practices and interrelations between the user and the avatar body. Through spatial analysis, survey data and user interviews, this study determines that the geographic metaphor of simulated space and endlessly mutable virtual bodies provided by Second Life provides a great sense of pleasure and agency for users.

Further, Second Life provides for new opportunities for multiplicities of gender and sexual ideation as well as new categories of queer. In addition, particular spatial practices permeate queer spaces that bind them as a fluidic cultural space connected to the larger queer lifeworld. Also, Second Life is particularly valuable for those who are engaged in questioning or transitional sexual ideation. Finally, Second Life exhibits particular aspects that could be leveraged for political action in the future. This study makes clear the importance of graphical virtual spaces for meaning making for their users and points to the potentialities these spaces have as individuals and groups increasingly use these transgeographical spaces for creation and interaction for work and play in the future.

Web 2.0, teenagers & libraries - Call for Papers

Call for papers: Web 2.0, teenagers & libraries

Call for papers for a special issue of Library Trends devoted to Web 2.0, teenagers and libraries.

This issue will explore the current use of Web 2.0 technologies in libraries which serve teenagers, and consider how services might be developed future to better meet the needs of a teenage audience.

The issue will cover initiatives in all types of libraries serving teenagers: school, public, college, university and other information services. Contributions are welcome from researchers, library/information practitioners and other interested parties. Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):

- Involving teenagers in the design of web 2.0 services
- MySpace, Facebook and other social networking sites
- The use of blogs
- Security and safety issues
- Getting staff - and managers - onboard
- Gaming - does it have a place in libraries?
- Online reading groups
- Podcasting - library tours and other uses
- Web 2.0 approaches to information skills
- Wikis and online communities.

Articles should be between 4,000 and 6,000 words in length. Author guidelines are available at
If you are interested in submitting an article, please email

I am very happy to discuss ideas for contributions. The deadline for submission of full articles is 18th April 2008.

You can download the call for papers at

The Novels of William Gibson - Call for Papers

American Literature Association
19th Annual Conference
May 22-25, 2008
Hyatt Regency San Francisco

Now accepting submissions for “The Novels of William Gibson”, a proposed panel for the 2008 American Literature Association conference.

William Gibson has been credited with launching the cyberpunk genre, as well as with writing the first truly global-realist novel. This panel intends to examine the complexities of Gibson’s oevre in order to situate individual works firmly within the steadily changing socioeconomic and political context his novels aim to represent. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

- Cyberspace, the internet and technoculture
- the effacement of time by space
- postmodern (political) subjectivity
- representations/critiques of consumer capitalism
- (anti-)globalization
- gender (and technology, virtual reality, etc.)
- 9/11
- genre/literary form

Send abstracts of 250-300 words by January 1, 2008 to Mathias Nilges, University of Illinois at Chicago (

British Broadcasting and the World: Changing Perceptions in a Global Context - Call for Papers

Conference Announcement and Call for Papers

British Broadcasting and the World: Changing Perceptions in a Global Context

Department of Humanities
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, UK PR1 2HE
23rd - 25th July 2008

In 20th century British history, during which time the nation attempted to maintain an international presence and influence, British broadcasting had a significant role to play. This has continued into the 21st century. Furthermore we have seen a shift in Anglo-American politics following the 9/11 attacks and a shift in reputation as the conflict in Iraq remains controversial. The 21st century is also an age of digitalisation, and one that is even questioning the future of broadcasting - of television at least - in the context of new media developments and social change.

This three-day conference seeks to explore the status of British broadcasting given the more recent shifts in the international arena. A focal point of the conference will be on news and factual programming, although contributions that concentrate on entertainment may be considered. Contributions from the academic community in Communications, Television Studies, Radio Studies, Journalism and related fields are invited to submit papers. It is hoped that the following areas will be addressed by the conference:

●The BBC's international reputation in the dissemination of news since the recent war in Iraq;

●The status of the World Service in Africa, South-East Asia and the Middle East;

●British broadcasting in the context of EU media cultural policy;

●The history - and current role - of the BFBS radio and television services;

●Audiences' perceptions of British broadcasting as a trustworthy source in former British colonies;

●The reputation of British broadcasting in Australia, Canada and the United States;

●The current level of access to British broadcasting provision outside the UK in relation to competing broadcasters;

●The role of British broadcasting in the promotion of Global English;

●The role of British broadcasting in the dissemination of news with an impact on human rights across the globe.


Abstracts should be no more than 300 words in length, on disc or as an email attachment, listing name, organisation, contact address, telephone and email address, and should include the title of the proposed paper. Abstracts should be submitted by 17 December 2007.

Papers are expected to be 25-30 minutes in length and contributions should be written and presented in English.

All paper presenters will need to register for the conference and pay the registration fee.

Please address all abstracts and enquiries to:
Emma Kelly
Conference Officer
Conference and Events Management Office
University of Central Lancashire, Foster Room 10
Preston PR1 2HE, UK

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Follow the Trend or Make a Difference: The Evolution of Collective Opinions

Fang Wu and Bernardo A. Huberman
Information Dynamics Laboratory, HP Labs


No aspect of the massive participation in content creation that the web enables is more evident than in the countless number of opinions, news and product reviews that are constantly posted on the Internet. Given their importance we have analyzed their temporal evolution in a number of scenarios. We have found that (1) Ignorance of previous views leads to a uniform sampling of the range of opinions among a community. (2) Exposure of previous opinions to potential reviewers induces a trend following process which leads to the expression of increasingly extreme views. (3) When the expression of an opinion is costly and previous views are known, a selection bias softens the extreme views, as people exhibit a tendency to speak out differently from previous opinions. These findings are not only robust but also suggest simple procedures to extract given types of opinions from the population at large.

Download the PDF here:

MySpace Slices Audience for Ad Targeting and Higher CPMs

When it purchased ad tech firm Strategic Data Corporation in February, MySpace publisher Fox Interactive Media promised to capitalize on the mountains of data from user profiles to better segment its audience and refine ad targeting. The firm appears to be on the way to achieving that goal with the expansion of its HyperTargeting platform for display ads. In addition to adding several new audience segments, MySpace plans to launch a self-serve display ad creation and targeting tool for small advertisers soon.

The company expects refined audience segmentation will result in higher CPM rates for display ads. MySpace admits those rates are often low because the social networking site has so much inventory. According to MySpace, the site attracts 60 billion page views each month.

The HyperTargeting system launched in July, allowing 50 trial advertisers such as Procter & Gamble and Ford to target ads to 10 macro-level interest-based user categories such as Personal Finance, Consumer Electronics and Travel, segmented according to information users add to their profiles. Now MySpace is slicing audience interest categories into more than 100 smaller "hyper" segments. Top level segments include about three million users each while sub-segments have around 100,000 users, the company said in a statement.

MySpace analyzes non-personally identifiable information posted by users on their profiles to serve ads only to those users. "The information used for our targeting program is freely-expressed, public, viewable information that users have voluntarily put on their profiles," said the firm in a statement provided to press outlets. In the future, the company expects to develop segments based on preferred MySpace activities and "life stages." The HyperTargeting offering will be made available for targeting non-U.S. users next year.

As information gleaned through social media and from online user behavior is increasingly employed to target advertising, consumer advocates have expressed concern about data security and privacy. A Federal Trade Commission conference last week explored online data tracking and collection, specifically as it relates to the impact of behavioral targeting technologies on consumers. To appease privacy watchdogs and concerned users, MySpace will allow users to opt-out of its ad targeting system by the end of the year.

The social networking site sought to distinguish its interest-based targeting system from behavioral technologies that target ads based on prior online behavior. "Users may visit sites for the purpose of shopping for someone else, work or other reasons, so it is relatively difficult to predict accurately on behavior vs. on self disclosure," the company stated. No MySpace representative was available for further comment.

According to MySpace, its SDC acquisition enabled development of the new targeting system, which was built in-house by Fox Interactive Media's monetization technology group. When it acquired SDC early this year, FIM Chief Revenue Officer Michael Barrett told ClickZ News, "I don't think we would have done this acquisition if we didn't have MySpace." FIM bought SDC to handle the ad management back end for a portion of the display ads on its sites including IGN Entertainment, Rotten Tomatoes and

In conjunction with an online ad industry trade marketing effort, MySpace today also touted its upcoming SelfServe display ad creation tool and targeting platform, intended for small business advertisers. The platform will let users build ads, select geographic, demographic and interest category targets, and pay for CPC-based placements on MySpace. It will also provide ad performance tracking and analytics tools. The system is set to launch by the end of the year.

MySpace said neither of the new display ad offerings will affect FIM's deal with Google, its exclusive provider of text-based advertising and search partner.

via the always informative

Fairy Tale Film - Call for Papers


Fantastic Voyages, Monstrous Dreams, Wondrous Visions: Cinematic Folklore and Fairy Tale Film

Submissions are invited for an edited collection of essays on fairy tale film. Suitable topics include but are not limited to:

• Intersections between folklore, fantasy, and film theory
• Postmodern and psychoanalytic perspectives on cinematic folklore
• Metamorphosis, enchantment, monstrosity, and abjection in fairy tale film
• Transgender or transbiology in fairy tale film
• The rise in popularity of adult fairy tale films
• The convergence of science fiction and fairy tale fantasy film
• Ethnographic studies of fairy tale film viewers and audiences
• Fairy tale film narratives of Happily-ever-after, the American Dream, utopia, and other cultural discourses
• Discourses of Otherness, (post)coloniality, and Orientalism in fairy tale film
• Fairy tale film as cultural pedagogy, encoding issues of socialization, sexuality, gender, race, and class difference
• Analyses of particular works by fairy tale filmmakers from Georges Méliès and Walt Disney to Tim Burton and Stephen Spielberg
• Global migration of cinematic folklore, cross-cultural translations and transformations
• Genre and generational shifts and remixes in fairy tale film from melodrama and romantic comedy, to science fiction, horror, noir, and action adventure
• Fairy tale motifs in the visual culture of film shorts, TV advertising and music video
• Historic and contemporary perspectives on innovative cinematography and special effects in animated and live-action fairy tale film, from puppetry to Pixar
• Political economy/capitalist relations of production and direction of cinematic folklore
• Relationship of "classic" 19thC fairy tale illustration (from Arthur Rackham, Kay Nielsen, Walter Crane, Edmund Dulac, et al.) and the Disney animation image repertoire to the iconography of contemporary cinematic folklore

Final essays should range in length from 5,000 - 9,000 words. Previously published work, appropriately revised and/or updated, will be considered.

Send 500-word proposals (or completed essays) and a brief c.v. electronically as email attachments to Sidney Eve Matrix ( and Pauline Greenhill
( by 1 January 2008.

Reminder: CSA submission deadline is Nov. 10th


New York City, New York (New York University) May 22-24, 2008

The Cultural Studies Association (U.S.) invites participation in its Sixth Annual Meeting from all areas and on all topics of relevance to Cultural Studies, including but not limited to literature, history, sociology, geography, anthropology, communications, popular culture, cultural theory, queer studies, critical race studies, feminist studies, postcolonial studies, media and film studies, material culture studies, performance and visual arts studies.

The conference this year will feature plenary sessions on New York and Culture, Gender and Sexuality, Law and Minorities. Plenarists include:

- Arlene Davila, New York University, author of Barrio Dreams: Puerto Ricans, Latinos and the Neoliberal City, and Latinos, Inc., The Marketing and Making of a People

- Rosemary Coombe, Law, Communications and Cultural Studies, York University, author of The Cultural Life of Intellectual Properties, and "Legal Claims to Culture in and Against the Market"

- Janet Jacobsen, Columbia, author of Working Alliances and the Politics of Difference: Diversity and Feminist Ethics, and Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance

- Jasbir Puar, Women's and Gender Studies and Geography, Rutgers University, author of "On Torture: Abu Ghraib," and "Queer Times, Queer Assemblages."

- Neil Smith, CUNY Graduate Center, author of American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization, and The Endgame of Globalization.

The conference will continue to host last year's highly successful "salon" panels by major cultural studies journals. Thus far, the following journals plan on hosting a journal salon:

Theory & Event

South Atlantic Quarterly

Boundary 2

Callaloo (special issue on Katrina and New Orleans)

Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies

Positions: East Asia Cultural Critique

Rethinking Marxism

Women & Performance

Radical History Review

Signs (special issue on race/gendered logics of war and terror)

Public Culture

Critical Inquiry

Social Text

All participants in the Sixth Annual meeting must pay registration fees by April 15, 2008, to be listed and participate in the program. See the registration page of the CSA conference website for details about fees at

If you have any questions about procedures for submission or other concerns, please e-mail us at: We welcome proposals in the following four categories:

Proposals for individual papers are due November 10, 2007.

Successful papers will reach several constituencies of the organization and will connect analysis to social, political, economic, or ethical questions.

They should be submitted online below on the conference website:

Successful submission will be acknowledged. If you do not receive an acknowledgment within 24 hours, please resubmit. The acknowledgment will say that your proposal has been "successfully submitted," which does NOT mean your proposal has been accepted.

All paper proposals require:

a. The name, email address, department and institutional affiliation of the author, entered on the website.

b. A 500-word abstract for the 20-minute paper entered on the website.

c. Any needed audio-visual equipment must be noted following the abstract in that space on the site.

Proposals for pre-constituted sessions are due November 10, 2007.

Roundtables are sessions in which panelists offer brief remarks, but the bulk of the session is devoted to discussion among the panelists and audience members. Workshops are similarly devoted primarily to discussion, but they focus on practical problems in such areas as teaching, research, or activism. No paper titles may be included for roundtables or workshops.

Pre-constituted sessions should NOT be submitted on the website, but should be sent to with the words ''Session Proposal'' in the subject line. All proposals will be acknowledged, but please allow at least two business days before inquiring.

All session proposals require:

a. The name, email address, phone number, and department and institutional affiliation of the proposer.

b. The names, email addresses, and department and institutional affiliations of each participant.

c. A 500-word overview of the session, including identifying the type of session (panel, roundtable, workshop) proposed. For paper sessions, also include 500-word abstracts of each of the papers. Paper sessions should have three or four papers.

d. A request for any needed audio-visual equipment. All AV equipment must be requested with the proposal.


A list of divisions is available at Calls for papers and procedures for submission to divisions may be posted on that site. Proposals for divisions should NOT be submitted here or to csaus@pitt.

Proposals for seminars are due November 10, 2007.

Seminars are small-group (maximum 15 individuals) discussion sessions for which participants prepare in advance of the conference. In previous years, preparation has involved shared readings, pre-circulated ''position papers'' by seminar leaders and/or participants, and other forms of pre-conference collaboration. We particularly invite proposals for seminars designed to advance emerging lines of inquiry and research/teaching initiatives within Cultural Studies broadly construed. We also invite seminars designed to generate future collaborations among conference attendees. Once a limited number of seminar topics and leaders are chosen, the seminars will be announced through the CSA's various public e-mail lists on November 1. Participants will contact the seminar leader(s) directly who will then inform the Program Committee who will participate in the seminar after November 20.

All seminar proposals require:

a. A 500-word overview of the topic designed to attract participants and clear instructions about how the seminar will work, including details about what advanced preparation will be required of seminar participants.

b. The name, email address, phone number, mailing address, and departmental and institutional affiliation of the leader(s) proposing the seminar.

c. A brief bio or one page CV of the leader(s) proposing the seminar.

d. A request for any needed audio-visual equipment. All AV equipment must be requested with the proposal. Since seminars typically involve discussion of previously circulated papers, such requests must be explained.

Seminar proposals should be sent to:

Bruce Burgett, Professor and Interim Director, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington Bothell

Those interested in participating in (rather than leading) a seminar should consult the list of seminars and the instructions for signing up for them, available at after November 20, 2007. Deadline to sign up will be December 15, 2007.

Twenty First Century Teenager: Media Representation, Theory and Policy

Twenty First Century Teenager: Media Representation, Theory and Policy

A conference hosted by the Association for Research in Popular Fictions

10th-12th July,2008 Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds

TV drama, young adult fiction, music, art, citizenship agenda, documentary, photography, journalism, pedagogy, youth culture, social exclusion, child poverty, curriculum and literacy, sub-culture, new media, disability, teen audiences, magazines/comics, juvenile delinquency, beauty and lifestyle, pop and politics, internet cultures, texting and social ritual, teen nights and street culture, ASBOs and Hoodies, comparative studies.

Please send an abstract of 200-300 words by December 15th 2007 to
Nickianne Moody,
Convenor ARPF, MCCA,
Liverpool John Moores University,
Dean Walters Building,
St James Road,
L1 7BR
Fax 0151 6431980

Google Dials Into the Cell Phone Market

Confirming its long-rumored foray into the mobile market, Google said Monday it is developing a free cell phone software package so the Internet search leader can more easily peddle ads and services to people who aren't in front of a PC.
This video won't play in feedreaders, please visit the site to watch it.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Machinima event in London

Bloodspell: The rise of machinima
Viewing and panel

22 November 2007
5.15 - 8.30pm
London Metropolitan University Graduate Centre
166-220 Holloway Road
London, N7 8DB

Bloodspell is the world's first feature-length machinima, and it is licensed under a Creative Commons a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. Bloodspell is a Fantasy story "of a world where men and women carry magic in their blood, and spilling it can unleash terrible power."

This event is organised by the London Metropolitan Business School and the Open Rights Group (special thanks to Michael Holloway and Fernando Barrio for putting the event together). For those new to the topic, "machinima", in very basic form, involves the use of software that has been designed to create video-games to produce films with their own script and narrative. The word “machinima” was coined some time ago by Hugh Hancock, who also wrote and directed Bloodspell.

The evening will start with Hugh Hancock introducing the concept of machinima and the movie, to be followed by a viewing of Bloodspell. After the viewing a panel will address the issues raised by the film to then open the floor for discussion. The panel includes:

Professor Lilian Edwards, Director of the Institute for Law and the Web
at Southampton (ILAWS) of Southampton University

- Holly Ayllet, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at London Metropolitan University and Managing Editor of Vertigo Magazine.

- Ian Brown, Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute of Oxford University

- Andres Guadamuz, Co-Director of SCRIPT, the Centre for Research in IP and Technology Law at The University of Edinburgh.



Related sites:

ENISA Position Paper : Security Issues and Recommendations for Online Social Networks

Social Networking is like a ‘digital cocktail party’: a powerful mixture of human social instincts and web 2.0 technology which is revolutionising the Internet. In this position paper, ENISA emphasises the many benefits of Social Networking but identifies 14 important threats. This leads to 17 recommendations on how Social Networking can be made safer.

Download the PDF(454 kB) here:

M/C Journal 'error' Issue Now Available

M/C - Media and Culture is proud to present issue five in volume ten of

M/C Journal

'error' - Edited by Mark Nunes

In an age of information, utopia takes the form of an error-free world of efficient processing and clean transmission. Signals reproduce. Codes replicate. Communication crosses channels uncorrupted and pure. But something slips away or refuses to compute. Replication falters, introducing variance; the process wobbles, introducing deviation. Signal and noise merge and reverse.

Error marks the errant, the erratic - a heading that leads us astray. Is there not, then, something seductive in error as it draws us off our path of intention, interrupting the course of goals, objectives, and outcomes and pulling us toward the unintended and unforeseen?

Six Sigma black belts revive the Taylorist dream of absolute efficiency, streamlined processes, and waste-free production. And what could be more efficient than a system that provides a response before a query is formed, as commercial websites now aim to provide consumers with purchase suggestions based on a well-worn, algorithmic path of profiles and predictable results? But what happens when error occurs? What happens when the algorithm returns an errant result, leading the user off this path from source to receiver? "Noise" and "error" refuse to signify, and as such, they threaten to disrupt the cybernetic regime of efficiency and maximum performance. Error marks a rupture of signification that lays bare the dispersive and dissipative structures of an informatic society.

The aberrant marks a similar moment, a deviation that is decidedly off the path, an error in gender and generation. Every mutation marks an "error" in reproduction - and every production that is not a reproduction is erratic, "off the mark." Outliers - the statistical abject - are "throw-aways", errant events that occur out of field and out of genre. Yet it is the materially and informatically abject form that, by ceasing to signify within a system, marks an opening, a poiesis. This asignifying poetics of "noise," marked by these moments of errant information, simultaneously refuses and exceeds the cybernetic imperative to communicate.

The "error" issue focusses on the situation of noise, aberration, errancy, deviation, and mutation in a culture increasingly dominated by principles of maximum efficiency and maximum control. As we increasingly define politics as polling, networks as social, and bodies as information complexes, what is the meaning - or the refusal to mean - marked by error?

Feature Article
"Revealing Errors"
- Benjamin Mako Hill

Benjamin Mako Hill explores how media theorists would benefit from closer attention to errors as "under-appreciated and under-utilised in their ability to reveal technology around us." By allowing errors to communicate, he argues, we gain a perspective that makes invisible technologies all the more visible. As such, error provides a productive moment for both interpretive and critical interventions.


"Information, Noise and et al.'s "maintenance of social solidarity-instance 5""
- Su Ballard

"Error, the Unforeseen, and the Emergent: The Error and Interactive Media Art"
- Tim Barker

"Stock Images, Filler Content and the Ambiguous Corporate Message"
- Christopher Grant Ward

""Error: No Such Entry": Haunted Ethnographies of Online Archives"
- Adi Kuntsman

"Bad Avatar!: Griefing in Virtual Worlds"
- Kimberly Gregson

"Amazon Noir: Piracy, Distribution, Control'
- Michael Dieter

"Artificial Intelligence: Media Illiteracy and the SonicJihad Debacle in Congress"
- Elizabeth Losh

"The Emergence of Audience as Victims: The Issue of Trust in an Era of Phone Scandals"
- Yasmin Ibrahim

'"Have You Tried Not Being a Mutant?": Genetic Mutation and the Acquisition of Extra-ordinary Ability'
- Martin Mantle


Further M/C Journal issues scheduled for 2007 to 2009:

'vote': article deadline 19 October 2007, release date 12 December 2007
'citizen': article deadline 18 January 2008, release date 12 March 2008
'equal': article deadline 7 March 2008, release date 7 May 2008
'able'; article deadline 2 May 2008, release date 2 June 2008
'publish': article deadline 27 June 2008, release date 27 August 2008
'country': article deadline 22 August 2008, release date 22 October 2008
'recover': article deadline 10 October 2008, release date 10 December 2008
'still': article deadline 16 January 2009, release date 11 March 2009
M/C Journal 10.5 is now online:
Previous issues of M/C Journal on various topics are also still available.
Visit all four M/C publications at
All contributors are available for media contacts:

Scientific Utopias Panel - Call for Papers

Call for Papers for the Panel ""Scientific Utopias: revisiting the political in literature, cinema and the arts in the technological age",

included in the:
11th Internacional Conference of ISSEI (International Society for the Study of European Ideas)"Language and the Scientific Imagination"
Held at University of Helsinki
28 July – 2 August 2008

Call for Papers:
Panel Title: "Scientific Utopias: revisiting the political in literature, cinema and the arts in the technological age"

Send 200-word abstracts to
Jose R. Prado (e-mail:
Deadline for submission of abstracts: June, 1st, 2008

Political art / literature and technology have commonly been associated in a number of ways, either as criticism of the dehumanization produced by technology, or to support the idea of progress and optimism about human development.

Political writers in general have adopted the genre of scientific utopias/dystopias as a means to comment on the present and put forward proposals for the future. Such “pseudo”-scientific approaches have become the symbolic battleground for writes to contest grand narratives and hegemonic discourses about reality whose sole function would be to perpetuate the status quo.

In that sense, we are interested in how the political and the arts have allied with groundbreaking forms of experiment related to moments of change in the canon, as well as the socio-cultural context. As it were, the artistic / literary medium is balanced by the scientific one as a way of combining objectivity through the subjectivity of art: to put it otherwise, to provide the grounds for a dialogue between “the doing of science” and “the telling of literature and the Arts” with the ultimate aim of achieving performativity.

This workshop invites proposals that explore the various ways in which political art and literature have resorted to science and technology in an attempt to reactivate the social and cultural debate, while renegotiating the relations between art, science and culture.