Audience Evolution

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The importance of combining micro and macro, especially when we are trying to figure out how to protect democratic possibilities of participation in the digital media environment…

While I’m interested in the micro-level of digital revolution I rely on important analyses like this to give me the broad road map. Just found out that the 1st chapter is available for free on Amazon!

And more important — and free — food for thought on participation and audiences, eds. Nico Carpentier and Peter Dahlgren (both my heroes…), Communication Management Quartely’s Special Issue: CM21-SE-Web.

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Diversity 2.0?

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Media Diversity is my favourite topic of study, because the way the concept is defined and used in such — diverse ways. The classic article by Phil Napoli (1999)  maps the discussions under the following categories: Diversity of sources, content, and reception.

(Image: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/Diversity_of_plants_image_version_5.png)

Diversity 2.0, then, has been used in discussing diversity in the globalizing media world, as in this talk by the Google CEO Eric Schmidt:

Diversity 2.0 and Google

For the past 2 years, I have been trying (in between teaching more than full time) to conceptualize ways to expand the conventional vectors of diversity, beyond media ownership/sources, media output/content (whether diversity of representations, opinions, genres, etc.), or ‘reflective diversity’ of audience reception (that e.g. Richard van der Wurff writes about).

My idea is, in the ever expanding media landscape, populated by possibilities of content creation and participation, Diversity 2.0 should include participation. (Elsewhere in this blog I’ve talked about Clay Shirky’s approach to diversity of media participation).

The working paper participation as position and practice is my first attempt in 2009, in which I talk about participation as a practice and (strategic, policy) position.

What followed is diversity 2.0-1 — a developed version by Phil Napoli and me in 2010, where we trace participation in micro, meso, and macro levels.

I’m currently writing a short piece based on the above, for a Finnish book. And thinking… (lets say it aloud here): Diversity of Participation, conducted similarly as the Digital Living pilot interviews, will be my next research project.

Dangers of Digital Living: (Lack of) Privacy

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This post is not only in the honour of the recent FTC / Facebook settlement but also to illustrate the irony of teaching a moving target:

On 11/8 after discussing privacy issues in class, I checked out a Finnish news site and found out that a hacktivist group had just publicized personal information of 16000 Finns (my info included). They had gathered the info by hacking into several databases. They also brought down the websites of the Ministry of the Interior and the Finnish Police.

They declare that with this form of activism they wanted to draw people’s attention, among other things, to how carelessly official and commercial organizations deal with people’s private information. Here’s their manifesto (they claim to be a part of the global activist group Anonymous, but Anonymous denies that) .

So my students have been blogging about their take on privacy, in my case and theirs, and more generally. All of them agree: Privacy as a concept or practice no longer exists and there is no way to establish that. While everyone seems aware of dangers of digital living, few seem to care in practice.

Many observe that convenience of e-commerce overrides concerns of identity theft, and the like. Some candidly write  about the guilty pleasures of “Facebook stalking” and googling someone (that most likely most of us engage in). A few note that the advantages of controversial services such as the Google Street View have so many advantages, too.

One student notes that adjusting to digital living without privacy is a generational thing, something that parents might understand. The student’s view is that absence of digital privacy, in fact, equals more accountability, transparency. For a digital immigrant like myself, this one is a tough truth to swallow.