Conversations Below Sea Level: Marc Worrell

Who owns your social network profile? — An Interview with Marc Worrell (photo and interview: Ulises Mejias, Creative Commons 2008) Marc Worrell (social network profile, personal website) is software architect and partner at Mediamatic, a hybrid enterprise/cultural organization in Amsterdam engaged in developing software applications for clients as well as exploring new media, art, and […]

Conversations Below Sea Level: Rik Maes

Making Sense of Information: An Interview with Rik Maes (photo and interview: Ulises Mejias, Creative Commons 2008) Rik Maes (bio, personal website) is currently Dean of the Executive Master in Information Management Program and Program Director of PrimaVera at the University of Amsterdam Business School (full disclosure: my research fellowship is sponsored by this program). […]

Conversations Below Sea Level: Geert Lovink

The networked society and its outsides: Interview with Geert Lovink (photo and interview: Ulises Mejias, Creative Commons 2008) Geert Lovink is a media theorist, net critic and activist (bio, blog, publications). He is the founding director of the Amsterdam-based Institute of Network Cultures, where I sat with him to chat on May 22. SEARCH ENGINES […]

Politics and the Web

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to travel to London to attend Politics: Web 2.0: An International Conference, hosted by the New Political Communication Unit (NPCU), Department of Politics and International Relations, Royal Holloway, University of London. The theme of the conference was summarized as follows: Has there been a shift in political use […]

Rebellion by Numbers

Apparently there was a revolution, and I almost missed it. This is what happened: Somebody cracked and published the encryption key that unlocks HD DVDs, allowing for the copying of the discs. The code started appearing on various websites. The Motion Picture Association of America and the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACS LA) […]

The tyranny of nodes: Towards a critique of social network theories

Networks have become a powerful metaphor to explain the social realities of our times. Everywhere we look there are attempts to explain all kinds of social formations in terms of networks: citizen networks, corporate networks, gamer networks, terrorist networks, learning networks… and so on. Information and communication technologies—in particular the internet—and the structures they enable […]

Spectacular Feast: Social Media and Ultimate Consumerism

I was reading Anti-Oedipus, minding my own business, when I came across this marvelous anthropological observation describing what the chief of a tribe does with surplus food: “The chief converts this perishable wealth into imperishable prestige through the medium of spectacular feasting. The ultimate consumers are in this way the original producers.” (Leach, 1966, p. […]

Social Media and the Networked Public Sphere

Can social media increase and improve civic participation? If so, in what ways? There’s a lot being said and written about the subject these days, but it is difficult to get a clear overview of the opinions. I attempt here to collect viewpoints both for and against the premise that social media is creating a […]