Ethnography of the New 19.1.2005

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Ethnography of the New 19.1.2005

  1. 1. Ethnography of the New <ul><li>19.1.2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Goetz Bachmann </li></ul><ul><li>Goldsmiths College, Centre for Cultural Studies </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  2. 2. Content <ul><li>1. The Broadband Project </li></ul><ul><li>2. Ethnography and the New </li></ul><ul><li>3. Researching the New </li></ul><ul><li>4. Some Results </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1. The broadband project
  4. 4. Basics of the project <ul><li>Topic: Non-linear media in a cross-platform environment </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies: IPTV and 2nd generation broadband </li></ul><ul><li>Approach: Produce a pilot. Research production and usage. </li></ul><ul><li>Coalition: Video Networks (HomeChoice), Hildebrand, Archangel and Goldsmiths </li></ul><ul><li>Started 8/03. Will last till 1/05 </li></ul>
  5. 5. HomeChoice: Technology <ul><li>ADSL-based TV -> full and immediate backchannel </li></ul><ul><li>Server-based -> one to one network </li></ul><ul><li>Simple set-top boxes -> TV and VoD is streamed, not downloaded </li></ul><ul><li>Connections of 4-6 MB/s –> TV-quality </li></ul><ul><li>Own Exchanges -> limited availability </li></ul>
  6. 6. HomeChoice: Current offer <ul><li>On the computer: </li></ul><ul><li>Broadband internet with up to 2MB/s (guaranteed) </li></ul><ul><li>On the TV-set: </li></ul><ul><li>Digital TV-channels, VoD (e.g. Hollywood and film archive) and some TV/VoD hybrids </li></ul>
  7. 7. User research <ul><li>“ Laboratory” of everyday life </li></ul><ul><li>One year, 21 households, 68 members </li></ul><ul><li>All: IPTV, 1 MB internet </li></ul><ul><li>Some: Selected other technologies (e.g. 3G mobiles) </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnographic, wide mix of methods </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive and intensive phases </li></ul><ul><li>Interconnected household </li></ul>
  8. 8. Production <ul><li>Producing and broadcasting of a cross-platform interactive object </li></ul><ul><li>Archangel: Concept, filming, editing </li></ul><ul><li>Hildebrand: Brand, design and website </li></ul><ul><li>Video Networks: Coding, EPG and broadcast </li></ul><ul><li>Goldsmiths: Research, consult and project management </li></ul>
  9. 9. Production: Goldsmiths role <ul><li>GS provides data on users (consult), based on user research </li></ul><ul><li>GS researches interaction in the project network, gives feedback on this (consult) and researches reactions to feedback </li></ul><ul><li>GS researches the reception, gives feedback on this to the producers (consult) and researches their reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Project management </li></ul>
  10. 10. 2. Ethnography and the New
  11. 11. What is Ethnography? Meet people  <ul><li>Observe and participate and experience and ask ( and reflect) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Understand </li></ul>
  12. 12. What is Media Ethnography? <ul><li>‘ Proper ethnography’ </li></ul><ul><li>Accumulated ethnographic miniatures </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual ethnography </li></ul>
  13. 13. Why is the new a problem in ethnography? <ul><li>Most ethnographies are about everyday life -> the field/object must have existed for some time </li></ul><ul><li>The classical ethnographic holism tended to stabilize (this is nowadays much less so) </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnographies of practice tell stories in the aftermath -> danger of over-theorizing practice </li></ul>
  14. 14. Why is the new a problem in media ethnography? <ul><li>Ethnographies contextualize -> they produce an inherently conservative attitude? </li></ul><ul><li>Most media ethnographies are about audience/users </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnographies that research media products by researching the producers are often about the conditions that constrain the product </li></ul>
  15. 15. The new and the future <ul><li>New phenomena </li></ul><ul><li>The emergence of new structures (a future that is ‘present in the present’) </li></ul><ul><li>The actual virtual </li></ul><ul><li>The ongoing process of change </li></ul><ul><li>The indeterminate becoming of the present </li></ul>
  16. 16. 3. Researching the new
  17. 17. Research right form the start <ul><li>A topic close to the “cutting edge” </li></ul><ul><li>An (auto-)ethnography of how the cutting edge is constructed </li></ul><ul><li>Research production/R&D and usage </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnography on forming the coalition (project networks with a history) </li></ul>
  18. 18. “ Real participation” in the production <ul><li>Share a responsibility for the product </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in the virtual of the creative process </li></ul><ul><li>Use hindsight to identify decisive moments of the process and alternative routes </li></ul><ul><li>Compare this with how the situation looked at the time (the virtual of the creative process) </li></ul>
  19. 19. “ Experimental” elements in the audience ethnography <ul><li>A before-after scenario via new products/technologies (one year) </li></ul><ul><li>Stimulate change in everyday practices: stimulate realistic dreaming, nurture innovative ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Concentrate on innovative practices </li></ul><ul><li>Spread innovative practices </li></ul>
  20. 20. 4. Some results
  21. 21. The product: Iwant2 be comedy <ul><li>A Reality TV show, seven episodes over 7 weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Competing sketch comics (beginners, 2x2 candidates) are being mentored </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive? Voting for topics and candidates, order tickets on IPTV and online </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-path? Full versions of interviews, sketches etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-platform? A website, a live-audience </li></ul>
  22. 22. The engineering of enthusiasm <ul><li>Formation of a project network: Hype </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction in the project-network: (Shared?) visions </li></ul><ul><li>The production of the material: producing the Reality of Reality TV </li></ul><ul><li>Inscribed enthusiasm in the digital object: Cross-platform users </li></ul><ul><li>Audience and broadcaster feedback: Denied and reconstructed enthusiasm </li></ul>
  23. 23. On-demand Media-time <ul><li>Self-scheduled media rituals </li></ul><ul><li>Co-viewing: Less but more intense? </li></ul><ul><li>The series: Condensed but more intense? </li></ul><ul><li>International times: From tuning into the national audience to tuning into the New. </li></ul><ul><li>Aliveness instead of Liveness? </li></ul><ul><li>Temporal instead of synchronized communities? </li></ul>
  24. 24. Practical experiences and ideas <ul><li>Do’s and Don’t’s for the EPG in a multipath formats on IPTV </li></ul><ul><li>“ Live” production for IPTV and cross-platform </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperation in the production of cross-platform content for IPTV: From clearly defined roles to overlapping roles </li></ul><ul><li>Possibilities of closed and open multi-path narratives </li></ul><ul><li>Possibilities for VoD/TV hybrids (like non-linear channels) </li></ul>
  25. 25. The new and the future <ul><li>New phenomena </li></ul><ul><li>The emergence of new structures (a future that is ‘present in the present’) </li></ul><ul><li>The actual virtual </li></ul><ul><li>The ongoing process of change </li></ul><ul><li>The indeterminate becoming of the present </li></ul>

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