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Collaboration and Social Networking (KCB202 Week 2 Podcast)

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Week 2 Lecture for KCB202 New Media Technologies in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology, semester 2/2008.

Week 2 Lecture for KCB202 New Media Technologies in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology, semester 2/2008.

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  • 1. Collaboration and Social Networking Dr Axel Bruns [email_address] KCB202
  • 2. Why Do You Need to Know This?
    • The age of networks:
      • network logic is everywhere
        • most employers attempt to set up internal social networks,
        • and engage with social networks of users and customers
      • social networks as source of information
        • key source of news and ideas
        • network acquaintances help make social and professional connections
      • social networks as tools for media professionals
        • advertising, marketing, PR increasingly reliant on viral media
        • social network commentary on products can make or break companies
  • 3. Why Networks?
    • Networks are everywhere:
      • “ every form of organisation is a network” (Podolny & Page)
      • but some are more effective than others
    • Networking is complex:
      • need for trust, reciprocity, goodwill, mutual obligation
      • not simply driven by power of markets and hierarchies
    • Network benefits:
      • collective learning
      • personal status grows through networking
      • more adaptive to unanticipated changes
      • less vulnerable to disruptions
      • (Flew pp. 80-81)
  • 4. Hierarchies vs. Networks
    • hierarchical, vertical structure
    • often inflexible, static, fixed
    • controlled from the top
    • vulnerable to disruptions of communication between levels
    • e.g. traditional companies, political parties
    • flattened, clustered structure
    • often flexible, fluid, changeable
    • controlled (?) by central nodes
    • often able to bypass disruptive nodes using alternative communication routes
    • e.g. network enterprises, political movements
    MySpace friends network, from Visual Complexity
  • 5. Social Network Analysis
    • Study of participants and links within social networks, examining:
      • actors
      • relational ties
      • dyads (pair of two actors)
      • triads (three actors)
      • subgroup (cluster)
      • group (all actors)
      • relation (evidence of interaction)
    • Enables discovery of network hotspots, leading actors, flows of information
    • Shows connections between networking tendencies and technology use
    • Provides better understanding of social, political, intellectual processes
    del.icio.us social network, from Visual Complexity
  • 6. The Network Society
    • Manuel Castells:
      • information as raw material of economic activity
      • information and communication technologies (ICTs) pervade all forms of social activity
      • logic of networking applies to all social processes and organisational forms
      • need for flexible processes, organisations, and institutions in order to respond to uncertainty and change
      • technology convergence means that companies must transform themselves into network enterprises (e.g. Cisco, Apple, Nokia, Google, …)
      • the new economy is informational , global , and networked
      • (in Flew pp. 88-9)
  • 7. Social Software, Social Media
    • New forms of networked collaborative content creation:
      • produsage in non-profit, voluntary projects (e.g. Wikipedia )
      • but also increasingly harnessed in for-profit contexts (e.g. software industry)
      • social media themselves major business: MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, …
    • Impact of social media:
      • important in information and knowledge industries (blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, collaborative design)
      • impact on information flows, news and journalism, marketing, academic research, democratic processes, …
        • see interview with Mark Bahnisch from Larvatus Prodeo (in Flew pp. 98-101)
  • 8. Where to from Here?
    • Networking and collaboration skills are crucial:
      • be able to work (collaboratively) in new media environments
        • creating and updating information
        • planning, building, and maintaining social networking spaces
        • attracting and retaining social networking communities
      • work out what structures are appropriate for your specific purpose
        • information structures – clear, accessible, appropriate information
        • social structures – addressing and involving users, but maintaining control where necessary
      • establish your own online profile in relevant social networking spaces
        • communities of interest, communities of practice, professional communities

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