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  • Hans Dillaerts le 8 June 2013 à 12 h 49 min Permalien
    Mots-clefs: blogging, , , , , , , web culture   

    The web as exception: the rise of new media publishing cultures :

    « This dissertation offers a history of web exceptionalism – or the notion that the web is a source of radical change and that it is inherently different from its ‘mass’ and ‘mainstream’ media predecessors – as well as its role in various innovations in web publishing. Web exceptionalism combines a discourse of the displacement of older media with the articulation of specific media practices, technologies and forms as “web-native,” i.e. as somehow reflective of the web’s essence or nature. Its expressions range from early visions of the web as a virtual space and ideal public sphere to the concept of Web 2.0 and recent discussion of social media as a new form of decentralized, citizen-powered journalism. Here, I examine manifestations of such ideas in new media publishing cultures in the 1990s and early 2000s, arguing that while these narratives of exceptionalism portray the web’s development in terms of rupture, or sudden break from the past, they paradoxically shape web culture as a site and source of historical continuity. The aim of this study is not to debunk claims of the web’s exceptional nature. Rather, it is concerned with how a closer investigation of web exceptionalism, focused on the conditions of its emergence, serves to reveal the various historical and cultural legacies that shape the web and our perceptions of it.

    In the first part of the dissertation, I explore the roots of web exceptionalism by returning to the influential conceptualization of the web as cyberspace in the early 1990s. In its most utopian configurations, the-web-as-cyberspace would be a space of ‘pure information’ that would free its users from physical, social, cultural and economic constraints on identity, community and enterprise. As much as cyberspace symbolized a radically different future, however, the concept was also the site of a remarkable connection between cybercultural utopianism and cybernetics, or the science of communication and control, which developed in military-related research during the 1940s and 1950s. One of the key ideas that emerged from cybernetics – that social and cultural phenomena are essentially formalizable (and thus computable) systems of information and feedback – is extended in the basic assumption underlying cybercultural utopianism, that the world might be made anew within the electronic frontier of cyberspace. This underlying assumption may also be seen to resonate with more recent articulations of the web as an exceptional medium: despite the disappearance of a utopian notion of cyberspace, similar computational metaphor is found in concepts such as the social graph, which carries the promise of a universal mapping of social relations.
    In addition to the concept of cyberspace, cybercultural utopianism may be typified by its primary mode of delivery, the cool tech-culture magazines such as Mondo 2000 and Wired that entered mainstream culture in the early 1990s. As I argue in a case study of Mondo 2000, the magazine’s mix of irony, rebellious attitude and unconventional production practices was closely aligned with its depictions of the cybercultural future, which oscillated between enthusiastic and negative visions of the potential for empowerment and authentic experience through new media. Mondo’s ambivalent “cool” not only represented a particular new media publishing form, but was in part produced by the rupture-talk at the center of Mondo 2000’s identity. Like the computational metaphor, I argue, Mondo’s new media cool may be seen to resonate with later manifestations of web exceptionalism, where a similar ambivalence about the effects of new media endures.

    The second part of the dissertation comprises three case studies of web exceptionalism, each of which emphasizes the interplay between rupture-talk and the establishment of novel media practices, technologies and forms. The first concerns the promise of a “new publishing paradigm” at HotWired, the web-only publication launched by the creators of Wired magazine in 1994. At HotWired, questions of site design and editorial practice were addressed in terms of the web’s promise and what the new medium required. Embedded in these ideas about the web’s exceptional status and the resulting practices, however, were a series of cultural influences – from the New Journalism of the 1970s to the Bay Area rave scene of the 1990s – that tied HotWired’s production to past media practice. The second case revisits what appeared to be the arrival of a new age of “open news,” a narrative of exceptionalism spurred by the rapid rise to prominence of the tech-news website and forum Slashdot in 1998. With its reader-submitted stories and intricate commenting infrastructure, Slashdot seemed to embody principles of open-source software production, where engineering work is delegated to a dispersed, self-organized group of volunteers. In this new context, ‘openness’ meant spreading the work of news production and distribution among diverse participants and providing an alternative to the closed process of decision-making by traditional gatekeepers. A closer look at the emergence of Slashdot’s unique technological infrastructure, however, suggests a different lineage involving the early online culture of Bulletin Board Systems. And rather than a critical intervention in news production, the site’s history sooner resonates with accounts of the introduction of information technology in the workplace, as its central thread is the automation and increased visibility of production tasks. The third case study deals with the emergence of blogging as a popular web publishing format in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Taking as a starting point the influential definition of blogging as “web-native,” I show how blogging was defined by early practitioners as both a solution to perceived problems in mainstream media and an extension of some of its worst excesses. Most of all, I argue, the articulation of blogging as “web-native” was aligned with what I call blogging’s logic of exposure, extending conventional publishing values and practices related to publicity into a novel web cultural form.

    Overall, the case studies demonstrate how significant innovations in web publishing were simultaneously a product of narratives of the web as an exceptional medium as well as a range of cultural influences. In doing so, they support the dissertation’s central claim, that rupture-talk paradoxically shapes web-native culture as a site and source of historical continuity. »

    URL : http://www.webcultures.org/sites/webcultures.org/files/The%20Web%20as%20Exception_Michael%20Stevenson.pdf

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  • Hans Dillaerts le 21 February 2013 à 18 h 13 min Permalien
    Mots-clefs: blogging, , , ,   

    Use of blogs, Twitter and Facebook by PhD Students for Scholarly Communication: A UK study :

    « This study explores scholarly use of social media by PhD researchers through mix-methods of qualitative interviews, participant observation and content analysis of a case study #phdchat. We found that blogs, Twitter and Facebook are among the most popular social media tools being used by researchers. They can be used by PhD students and early career researchers to benefit their scholarly communication practice, promote their professional profiles, disseminate their work to a wider audience quickly, and gain feedbacks and support from peers across the globe. There are also difficulties and potential problems such as the lack of standards and incentives, the risks of idea being pinched and plagiarism, lack of knowledge of how to start and maintain using social media tool and the potential huge amount of time and effort needed to invest. We found that respondents link different social media tools together to maximise the impact of the content disseminated, as well as to create a personal learning network (PLN) connected with people across the globe. For privacy issue, the participants use different identities on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is usually set as private with access for friends only and Twitter is public and used for professional purposes. However, Facebook page and groups can be public which are used to build a community and disseminate information without revealing much content from individual member’s personal profile. »

    URL : https://www.escholar.manchester.ac.uk/item/?pid=uk-ac-man-scw:187789

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  • Hans Dillaerts le 16 December 2012 à 18 h 33 min Permalien
    Mots-clefs: blogging, , ,   

    Research Blogging: Indexing and Registering the Change in Science 2.0 :

    « Increasing public interest in science information in a digital and 2.0 science era promotes a dramatically, rapid and deep change in science itself. The emergence and expansion of new technologies and internet-based tools is leading to new means to improve scientific methodology and communication, assessment, promotion and certification. It allows methods of acquisition, manipulation and storage, generating vast quantities of data that can further facilitate the research process. It also improves access to scientific results through information sharing and discussion. Content previously restricted only to specialists is now available to a wider audience. This context requires new management systems to make scientific knowledge more accessible and useable, including new measures to evaluate the reach of scientific information. The new science and research quality measures are strongly related to the new online technologies and services based in social media. Tools such as blogs, social bookmarks and online reference managers, Twitter and others offer alternative, transparent and more comprehensive information about the active interest, usage and reach of scientific publications. Another of these new filters is the Research Blogging platform, which was created in 2007 and now has over 1,230 active blogs, with over 26,960 entries posted about peer-reviewed research on subjects ranging from Anthropology to Zoology. This study takes a closer look at RB, in order to get insights into its contribution to the rapidly changing landscape of scientific communication. »

    URL : http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0050109

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  • Hans Dillaerts le 21 June 2012 à 11 h 21 min Permalien
    Mots-clefs: blogging, , ,   

    Promotion of research articles to the lay press: a summary of a three-year project :

    « The promotion of scholarly journal articles to journalists and bloggers via the dissemination of press releases generates a positive impact on the number of citations that publicized journal articles receive. Research by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. shows that article-level publicity efforts and media coverage boosts downloads by an average of 1.8 times and were found to increase citations by as much as 2.0-2.2 times in the articles analyzed in this study. We evaluated scholarly journal articles published in nearly 100 Wiley journals, which were also covered in 296 press releases. The results in this case study suggest a need for greater investment in media support for scholarly journals publishing research that sparks interest to a broad news audience, as it could increase citations. »

    URL : http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/alpsp/lp/2012/00000025/00000003/art00007

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  • Hans Dillaerts le 7 June 2012 à 17 h 21 min Permalien
    Mots-clefs: blogging, research blogs, ,   

    Research Blogs and the Discussion of Scholarly Information :

    « The research blog has become a popular mechanism for the quick discussion of scholarly information. However, unlike peer-reviewed journals, the characteristics of this form of scientific discourse are not well understood, for example in terms of the spread of blogger levels of education, gender and institutional affiliations. In this paper we fill this gap by analyzing a sample of blog posts discussing science via an aggregator called ResearchBlogging.org (RB). ResearchBlogging.org aggregates posts based on peer-reviewed research and allows bloggers to cite their sources in a scholarly manner. We studied the bloggers, blog posts and referenced journals of bloggers who posted at least 20 items. We found that RB bloggers show a preference for papers from high-impact journals and blog mostly about research in the life and behavioral sciences. The most frequently referenced journal sources in the sample were: Science, Nature, PNAS and PLoS One. Most of the bloggers in our sample had active Twitter accounts connected with their blogs, and at least 90% of these accounts connect to at least one other RB-related Twitter account. The average RB blogger in our sample is male, either a graduate student or has been awarded a PhD and blogs under his own name. »

    URL : http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0035869

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  • Hans Dillaerts le 18 April 2012 à 19 h 02 min Permalien
    Mots-clefs: blogging, , ,   

    A Tale of Two Blogospheres : Discursive Practices on the Left and Right :

    « In this article, the authors compare the practices of discursive production among top U.S. political blogs on the left and right during summer 2008. An examination of the top 155 political blogs reveals significant cross-ideological variations along several dimensions. Notably, the authors find evidence of an association between ideological affiliation and the technologies, institutions, and practices of participation. Blogs on the left adopt different, and more participatory, technical platforms, comprise significantly fewer sole-authored sites, include user blogs, maintain more fluid boundaries between secondary and primary content, include longer narrative and discussion posts, and (among the top half of the blogs in the sample) more often use blogs as platforms for mobilization. The findings suggest that the attenuation of the news producer-consumer dichotomy is more pronounced on the left wing of the political blogosphere than on the right. The practices of the left are more consistent with the prediction that the networked public sphere offers new pathways for discursive participation by a wider array of individuals, whereas the practices of the right suggest that a small group of elites may retain more exclusive agenda-setting authority online. The cross-ideological divergence in the findings illustrates that the Internet can be adopted equally to undermine or to replicate the traditional distinction between the production and consumption of political information. The authors conclude that these findings have significant implications for the study of prosumption and for the mechanisms by which the networked public sphere may or may not alter democratic participation relative to the mass mediated public sphere. »

    URL : http://abs.sagepub.com/content/56/4/459.abstract
    doi: 10.1177/0002764211433793

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  • Hans Dillaerts le 27 February 2012 à 14 h 12 min Permalien
    Mots-clefs: adolescents, authority, blogging, children, content creation, credibility, elementary school, high school, , information behavior, information-problem-solving, , middle school, new media, relevance, reliability, students, teaching, teenagers, , truth, veracity, , young people   

    Youth and Digital Media: From Credibility to Information Quality :

    « Building upon a process- and context-oriented information quality framework, this paper seeks to map and explore what we know about the ways in which young users of age 18 and under search for information online, how they evaluate information, and how their related practices of content creation, levels of new literacies, general digital media usage, and social patterns affect these activities. A review of selected literature at the intersection of digital media, youth, and information quality — primarily works from library and information science, sociology, education, and selected ethnographic studies — reveals patterns in youth’s information-seeking behavior, but also highlights the importance of contextual and demographic factors both for search and evaluation. Looking at the phenomenon from an information-learning and educational perspective, the literature shows that youth develop competencies for personal goals that sometimes do not transfer to school, and are sometimes not appropriate for school. Thus far, educational initiatives to educate youth about search, evaluation, or creation have depended greatly on the local circumstances for their success or failure. »

    URL : http://ssrn.com/abstract=2005272

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  • Hans Dillaerts le 24 February 2012 à 18 h 54 min Permalien
    Mots-clefs: , blogging,   

    Where do bloggers blog? Platform transitions within the historical Dutch blogosphere :

    « The blogosphere has played an instrumental role in the transition and the evolution of linking technologies and practices. This research traces and maps historical changes in the Dutch blogosphere and the interconnections between blogs, which — traditionally considered — turn a set of blogs into a blogosphere. This paper will discuss the definition of the blogosphere by asking who the actors are which make up the blogosphere through its interconnections. This research aims to repurpose the Wayback Machine so as to trace and map transitions in linking technologies and practices in the blogosphere over time by means of digital methods and custom software. We are then able to create yearly network visualizations of the historical Dutch blogosphere (1999–2009). This approach allows us to study the emergence and decline of blog platforms and social media platforms within the blogosphere and it also allows us to investigate local blog cultures. »

    URL : http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3775/3142

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  • Hans Dillaerts le 19 December 2011 à 17 h 44 min Permalien
    Mots-clefs: , blogging, infodemiology, infometrics, medicine 2.0, , periodicals as topic, power law, , , , social media analytic,   

    Can Tweets Predict Citations? Metrics of Social Impact Based on Twitter and Correlation with Traditional Metrics of Scientific Impact :

    « Background: Citations in peer-reviewed articles and the impact factor are generally accepted measures of scientific impact. Web 2.0 tools such as Twitter, blogs or social bookmarking tools provide the possibility to construct innovative article-level or journal-level metrics to gauge impact and influence. However, the relationship of the these new metrics to traditional metrics such as citations is not known.

    Objective: (1) To explore the feasibility of measuring social impact of and public attention to scholarly articles by analyzing buzz in social media, (2) to explore the dynamics, content, and timing of tweets relative to the publication of a scholarly article, and (3) to explore whether these metrics are sensitive and specific enough to predict highly cited articles.

    Methods: Between July 2008 and November 2011, all tweets containing links to articles in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) were mined. For a subset of 1573 tweets about 55 articles published between issues 3/2009 and 2/2010, different metrics of social media impact were calculated and compared against subsequent citation data from Scopus and Google Scholar 17 to 29 months later. A heuristic to predict the top-cited articles in each issue through tweet metrics was validated.

    Results: A total of 4208 tweets cited 286 distinct JMIR articles. The distribution of tweets over the first 30 days after article publication followed a power law (Zipf, Bradford, or Pareto distribution), with most tweets sent on the day when an article was published (1458/3318, 43.94% of all tweets in a 60-day period) or on the following day (528/3318, 15.9%), followed by a rapid decay. The Pearson correlations between tweetations and citations were moderate and statistically significant, with correlation coefficients ranging from .42 to .72 for the log-transformed Google Scholar citations, but were less clear for Scopus citations and rank correlations. A linear multivariate model with time and tweets as significant predictors (P < .001) could explain 27% of the variation of citations. Highly tweeted articles were 11 times more likely to be highly cited than less-tweeted articles (9/12 or 75% of highly tweeted article were highly cited, while only 3/43 or 7% of less-tweeted articles were highly cited; rate ratio 0.75/0.07 = 10.75, 95% confidence interval, 3.4–33.6). Top-cited articles can be predicted from top-tweeted articles with 93% specificity and 75% sensitivity.

    Conclusions: Tweets can predict highly cited articles within the first 3 days of article publication. Social media activity either increases citations or reflects the underlying qualities of the article that also predict citations, but the true use of these metrics is to measure the distinct concept of social impact. Social impact measures based on tweets are proposed to complement traditional citation metrics. The proposed twimpact factor may be a useful and timely metric to measure uptake of research findings and to filter research findings resonating with the public in real time. »

    URL : http://www.jmir.org/2011/4/e123/

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  • Hans Dillaerts le 18 March 2011 à 12 h 53 min Permalien
    Mots-clefs: blogging, , , ,   

    Weblog publishing behaviour of librarianship and information science students: a case study :

    « Introduction. The ‘blogosphere’ is a space with digital information in which social networks form that offer countless application possibilities. In this technology-mediated context, it is feasible to study the performance and approaches of production, diffusion, relationship and use of information from different perspectives.
    Method. Quantitative data were obtained through the regular examination of the blogs maintained by students and qualitative data were obtained from reports by the students and self-assessment questionnaires.

    Analysis. Simple counts of quantitative data were obtained, without further statistical analysis. The qualitative data were reviewed for insights into the motivations of students. Results. Given a free choice, most students adopted the Blogger platform for their blogs. Most blogs consisted of content reported from elsewhere and were not continued by the students following the end of the exercise.

    Conclusions. Students adopted an instrumental approach to the exercise, doing enough to complete the course requirements but not being sufficiently engaged to continue their blogs. Preliminary work based on basic competences is necessary in both collaboration processes and Web 2.0 technology to obtain satisfactory results in the use of Weblogs as teaching and learning tools. »

    URL : http://eprints.rclis.org/handle/10760/15433

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