Friday, March 20, 2009

Call for Applications: UvA New Media MA

The New Media International MA program at UvA has issued a call for applications for students who would like to begin study in Fall 2009.

Please feel free to share with colleagues and friends who may be interested and who would make a valuable contribution to the program.

Direct link to the .pdf of the call for applications:

The International M.A. in New Media & Digital Culture (NMMA) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is accepting applications for the 2009-2010 academic year. The NMMA is a one-year residence program undertaken in English at UvA in the heart of Amsterdam. Students become actively engaged in critical Internet culture, with an emphasis on new media theory and aesthetics, including theoretical materialist traditions and practical information visualization trends. Our permanent faculty are recognized experts in their fields, and committed to their students. The program admits up to forty students per year, classes are no larger than 20 and typically smaller, and the faculty-to-student ratio is 1:8.

The curriculum has two complementary tracks that all students follow:
the theoretical track (New Media Theories and Digital Aesthetics) and the practical-empirical track (Academic Blogging, Digital Research Methods and Information Visualization). The final thesis, a contribution to digital media studies, rounds out the program.

1st Semester: students follow a practical course in academic blogging, led by Internet theorist and tactical media practitioner Geert Lovink.
Their entries generate the internationally noted Masters of Media site, which currently has the high authority ranking of 43 on Technorati ( The concurrent new media theories course focuses on classic texts by innovators from Alan Turing to Tim Berners-Lee. The final first semester class, Digital Research Methods, trains students in new techniques for studying the Internet (

2nd Semester: the student chooses between courses on digital aesthetics or information visualization, the former more theoretically inclined in the traditions of art history and visual culture, and the latter a joint practical-empirical collaboration between designers, programmers and analysts, where the product is an online tool or digital visualization. The course of study concludes with the M.A. thesis, an original analysis that makes a contribution to the field,
undertaken with the close mentorship of a faculty supervisor. The graduation ceremony includes an international symposium with renowned speakers. Graduates of the NMMA have gained an analytical and practical skill-set that enables diverse careers in research and practice-related areas that make use of the Internet, including business, government, NGOs, and creative industries that are evolving with emerging new media. The graduates include Bauke Freiburg, Founder of Fab Channel and Eva Kol, whose MA thesis, Hyves, was published by Kosmos in 2008 and sold over 5000 copies its first year in print.

Student Life
The quality-of-living in Amsterdam ranks among the highest of international capitals. UvA’s competitive tuition (see below) and the ubiquity of spoken English both on and off-campus make the program especially accommodating for foreign students. The city’s many venues, festivals, and other events provide remarkably rich cultural offerings and displays of technological innovation. The program has ties to organizations including PICNIC, the Waag Society, Mediamatic, Virtueel Platform, Netherlands Institute for Media Art, and other cultural institutions. Students attend and blog, twitter or otherwise capture local events, while commenting as well on larger international issues and trends pertaining to new media. The quality of student life is equally to be found in the university’s lively and varied intellectual climate. NMMA students come from North and South America, Africa, and across Europe and from academic and professional backgrounds including journalism, art and design, engineering, marketing, the humanities and social sciences.


Richard Rogers, Professor and Chair. Web Epistemology.
Publications include Information Politics on the Web (MIT, 2004/2005), awarded American Society for Information Science and Technology’s 2005 Best Information Science Book of the Year Award. Founding director of

Geert Lovink, Associate Professor. Critical Internet theory, Tactical Media.
Publications include Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture (Routledge, 2007). Co-founder nettime list (1995 – present); founder, Institute of Network Cultures, 2004.

Jan Simons, Associate Professor. Mobile Culture, Gaming, Film Theory.
Publications include Playing The Waves: Lars von Trier's Game Cinema (U Amsterdam P, 2007). Project Director, Mobile Learning Game Kit, Senior Member, Digital Games research group.

Yuri Engelhardt, Assistant Professor. Computer modeling and information visualization.
Publications include The Language of Graphics (2002); founder and moderator of InfoDesign (1995-9); co-developer of Future Planet Studies at UvA.

Edward Shanken, Assistant Professor. Digital aesthetics, visual culture.
Publications include Art and Electronic Media (Phaidon, 2009) and Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology and Consciousness (U Cal P, 2003).

Application and Deadline
1 April for Fall 2009. Applicants will be notified around 15 June.
Applications received after 1 April may be considered if places are available. See for details.

More Info & Questions

• International M.A. in New Media & Digital Culture - University of Amsterdam:

• Graduate School for Humanities General Information:

• Tuition and Fees:

• Further general questions? Please write to UvA’s Graduate School of the Humanities, graduateschoolhumanities-fgw “at”

• Specific questions about the curriculum? Please write to Richard Rogers, Chair in New Media & Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam, rogers “at”

Nebula 6.2 call for papers

Call For Papers Issue 19 (6.2), May 5, 2009: 

Nebula 6.1 is now online with unrestricted access at 

The editors now invite submissions for Nebula 6.2.
We encourage submission of academic articles from any discipline, covering any subject or topic, provided that the language used is non-specialist and appeals to a wide audience.    Unlike many academic publications, Nebula is not limited to a specific school, faculty, or subject.   
We are also interested in providing an alternative view to mainstream cultural an political ideologies.   As such, we encourage non-fiction, intellectual writing, that does not follow the generic conventions of academic writing but which demonstrates substantial sophistication and which may be of interest to a broad audience.  We encourage contributors to offer their political readings of a particular social/political or military crisis current in the world.  We are particularly interested in writings that may be deemed marginal or seem to be against the grain of mainstream ideologies.  Our project is to ensure the publication of writing of high calibre that may be rejected by conservative institutions.  Nebula also accepts “free writing” that is not politically motivated, but which may be attuned to various other cultural, social or artistic concerns (including television, film, media or music studies).
Nebula also accepts creative work in any form which can be displayed on the world wide web.  Poetry, graphics, cartoons, short stories are all welcome for consideration.

All claims within academic articles must be evidenced.  We will not accept poorly researched material. We are very intolerant of plagiarism. All submissions must be accompanied by a short letter to the editors which will include some autobiographical information and any institutional affiliations.  Please make all attachments in .doc wherever possible.  Articles and reviews are not limited to any particular referencing style but MUST be consistent throughout each submission.  Contributions intended for Nebula (6.2) must be received by May 5, 2009. Keep in mind that only the most original, well- presented and well thought-out pieces will be considered for publication.  
 Email articles in .doc or equivalent to or, please also include a brief biographical note and a brief CV

Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 8

Microsoft has released a new version of Internet Explorer, adding features meant to speed up common Web surfing tasks and bringing the browser's security measures in line with those of major competitors.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Microsoft's 'Surface' comes to UK

This is a Reuters news video:

After announcing the launch of its table-top multi-touch computer for business customers in 12 European countries, Microsoft gives its Surface computer its London debut.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Games as Transformative Works

The second issue of Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) has just been released at

The March 15, 2009 special issue, entitled "Games as Transformative Works," is edited by Rebecca Carlson and combines TWC's general interest in fan works and fan cultures with a focus on games. Anthropology is the issue's dominant disciplinary approach, but literary and cultural studies also frame the discussion. Although several essays address the role of production, the voices of the fans and the gamers themselves remain ever important.

The Praxis articles address many of the issues that surround computer games: editor Rebecca Carlson, for example, studies the complex position of gaming journalists, who are simultaneously fans and advertisers; Casey O'Donnell looks at the ambiguous role of game producers; and Robertson Allen's study of the use of games in Army recruiting similarly complicates the social role of games and their real life effects. Three other Praxis essays focus on particular games and the communities surrounding them: World of Warcraft (Mark Chen), Kingly Quest (Anastasia Marie Salter), and tabletop role-playing game Exalted (Michael Robert Underwood). Kevin Driscoll and Joshua Diaz focus on fan creativity in their introduction to and explanation of chiptunes.

The Symposium section looks back and forward: pieces include Will Brooker's recollection of early computer games of the 1980s and what specific effects these games had on a particular generation; Thien-bao Thuc Phi's powerful analysis and personal response to the depiction of Asians in computer games; and Braxton Soderman's meditation on fan labor and fan activities in various online computer games. Several essays focus directly on fan responses and productions, such as Rebecca Bryant's account of the way players have rejected and circumvented recent Dungeons & Dragons updates; Amanda Odom's look at the sensory experiences of live-action role playing; Joe Bisz's description of player productivity in card collecting; and Julia Beck and Frauke Herrling's provocative suggestion that reads role-playing game characters through the lens of fan fiction criticism.

The issue also features interviews with Paul Marino, cofounder and executive producer of Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences (AMAS); Doris Rusch, gaming scholar and video game designer; business professor Tony Driscoll; and Diane E. Levin, professor of early childhood education.

The third issue of TWC will feature more general submissions and is scheduled for release on September 15, 2009. No. 4 is slated to be a special issue on the WB television show Supernatural, "Saving People, Hunting Things," guest edited by Catherine Tosenberger, and will appear on March 15, 2010 (call for papers available here

TWC has also just issued a call for papers for a special historical issue, "Fan Works and Fan Communities in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," slated for spring 2011, guest edited by Nancy Reagin and Anne Rubenstein (call for papers available here

MeCCSA Postgraduate Conference (July '09, UK) - Call for Papers

2009 Annual MeCCSA Postgraduate Conference

The Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association Postgraduate Network invites submission of abstracts for its Annual Postgraduate Conference to be held:

Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th July 2009 at Bangor University, Wales.

This interdisciplinary conference welcomes papers on topics relevant to any area of media, communication, and cultural studies. The conference is organised by postgraduate students and it is designed for Masters and PhD students, as well as early years postdoctoral researchers.

Presentations may take the form of papers, readings, performances, posters, films and multimedia presentations. Panel proposals with up to four papers are also welcome.

Please email abstracts of 200 words (for 20 minute presentations), by 27th March to:

The abstract should include:

• Your name, contact details, institutional affiliation and year of study;

• Title and topic of research, including method(s) used;

• Up to five key words, which will help the reviewers classify your proposal;

• Technical requirements for the presentation.

27th MARCH 2009
Bangor University Conference Page:

YouTube Hits 100 Million

What does passing the 100-million-monthly-views milestone mean for YouTube, the online video content space and online video advertising?

According to comScore, YouTube received more than 100 million unique visits in January, making it again the most widely viewed video service in the US.

The next four most-viewed video sites were Fox Interactive Media properties, Yahoo! sites, Microsoft sites and AOL, followed by the hard-charging Hulu.

YouTube owes much of its growth to the users who generate the majority of content on the site. eMarketer estimates that 9.1% of Internet users, or 18.1 million people, will create user-generated videos in 2009.

Despite this enthusiasm, YouTube has yet to fully realize its revenue potential.

“Even though YouTube continues to gain the most online video viewers, it barely monetizes those billions of monthly streams,” said David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer. “That underpeformance continues to leave the door open for its competition to take in more of the still-growing video ad revenue pie.”

There are still gains to be made in the online video portal space.

For the full article with graphs and stats click here.

The Internet Is Getting Gray

The Internet is a young person's world, but in key activities, such as e-mail, search and travel, older Americans are showing they can hold their own.

More older Americans are going online than ever.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, from 2005 to 2008, the largest jump in adoption of Internet usage was by users ages 70 and older. Internet penetration among people ages 70 to 74 increased by 19 percentage points from 2005 to 2008. For people 75 and older, the increase was 10 percentage points.

By comparison, the percentage of users ages 25 to 29 held steady during those years at 85%.

Studies from Nielsen Online show a similar trend. While fewer older Americans were online than their younger counterparts, people ages 55 and up accounted for nearly one-third of Web audiences in late 2008, and typically spent more time online than young adults.

What sets older Americans apart is their online activities. Older Americans aren’t as likely as younger users to play games, watch movies, use social networking sites or read blogs.

However, more boomers and matures go online to get health information, visit government Websites and look for religious information than members of younger age groups.

In addition, boomers send e-mails, search online and make travel reservations as often as younger Internet users.

The majority of Internet users are people under the age of 45, but growing numbers of older Americans are going online. That is an opportunity marketers can exploit.

For the full article with graphs and stats go here.