TECH2002 Studies in Digital Technology TUTORIAL WEEK 5 Is there a ‘Web 2.0 moment’? Andrew Clay
<ul><li>Is there a Web 2.0 moment? </li></ul><ul><li>Are we being invited to discover and master the Web 2.0 tools and services of social media to create a participation culture? </li></ul><ul><li>Who will come to the ‘participation party’ of online communication and social media? </li></ul><ul><li>How will social media affect the way that we live our everyday lives? </li></ul>
Case Study: Flickr <ul><li>‘ Flickr is part of something else too, something radical: the massive sharing of what we used to think of as private data. Photos, bookmarks, and journals used to be considered personal. The social networking revolution-which encompasses everything from Flickr and del.icio.us to blogs and wikis to P2P itself-encourages us to share everything’ (Stuart Butterfield, Flickr CEO quoted in Koman (2005)) </li></ul>
<ul><li>‘ So the proliferation of capture devices, the always-on lifestyle, and the fact that people are now more familiar with computers and the Internet, very simply leads people to be more comfortable with interacting with each other online. It's not weird to publish a stream of your photos and have people tune into that’ (Stuart Butterfield, Flickr CEO quoted in Koman (2005)) </li></ul><ul><li>Is it not weird? </li></ul>
What do people do within Flickr ? <ul><li>‘ People are finding all these different ways to interact with each other through photography’ (Stuart Butterfield, Koman (2005)) </li></ul>squared circle group 6, 023 members 75, 445 photos http://www.flickr.com/groups/circle/
‘ moment’ 1888 – the introduction of easy-to-use cameras and developing centres made photography a usable domestic technology
‘ You press the button, we do the rest’ ‘ ... Kodak’s slogan, ‘You press the button, we do the rest’ came to define vernacular photography. The camera itself became a black box, and the art and science of developing and printing became a mystery to the majority of users. Photography itself was transformed from an expert, inaccessible system to an accessible but externally controlled one: photography as a technology was usable, but not hackable’ (Burgess, 2006, p.3).
‘ At the same time, through its advertising and ‘how-to’ manuals, it is no exaggeration to say that Kodak largely came to dominate the very definition of vernacular photography, and therefore vernacular photographic literacy for the United States and beyond. Kodak taught us not only that anyone could and should take photographs, but also where and when and how to take photographs, in relation to shifting ideological constructions of modernity, leisure, domesticity and of course, the family’ (Burgess, 2006, p.3).
‘ The Web 2.0 Moment?’ <ul><li>‘ If amateur photography in the twentieth century was defined by Kodak’s slogan, ‘You push the button, we do the rest’, then the slogan of Web 2.0 models of amateur creativity such as Flickr’s might be, ‘Here are the buttons, you do the rest.’ Where the Kodak system disciplined photography, Flickr is characterized by soft controls and deep structures that allow an enormous amount of freedom, and the social and aesthetic conventions of practice are softly shaped, rather than overtly ‘taught’ by the architecture’ (Burgess 2006, p.3). </li></ul>
<ul><li>The freedom and openness of the Web 2.0 moment mean that the use of social media needs to be learned. </li></ul>‘ the affordances of Flickr need to be discovered and mastered by individual users. So, at the front end, and to some extent the back end as well, Flickr is hackable, but to what extent and for whom is it usable? I would argue that in terms of network literacies, the collective practices of Flickr users work to construct norms that are absolutely not obvious to novice users, precisely because they are not ‘taught’ top-down. Rather, they are learned through everyday practice and become intuitive’ (Burgess 2006, p.3).
Jean Burgess’ study of ‘vernacular creativity’ and ‘cultural citizenship’ in Flickr <ul><li>Burgess studied an Australian Brisbanites group within Flickr </li></ul>
Flickr user ‘Pizzodisevo’ scanned images of old slides of Brisbane in the 1950s and 1960s
‘ What was really interesting to me was that the connections made between users as part of this discussion resulted in one Brisbane-based member of the Brisbanite groups spontaneously creating a kind of game around the images : he began going out specifically to capture images of the same locations as in the old slides, and uploading them to his own Flickr photostream’ Jean Burgess quoted in Jenkins (2007)
Pizzodesevo then combined some of these new images side by side with the old ones in a series of double images. The simple act of combining them revealed some of the dramatic changes to the Brisbane cityscape that have occurred over the past few decades. This led in turn to more discussion about the ways in which the city has changed, blended with nostalgia for a past that many of the discussants had never experienced themselves.
Burgess on ‘vernacular creativity’ and ‘cultural citizenship’ <ul><li>Burgess sees this kind of activity within Flickr as examples of vernacular creativity and cultural citizenship </li></ul>
<ul><li>Vernacular creativity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ everyday creative practices like storytelling, family photographing, scrapbooking, journaling and so on that pre-exist the digital age and yet are co-evolving with digital technologies and networks in really interesting ways. So the documentation of everyday life and the public sharing of that documentation, as in sharing photos on Flickr, or autobiographical blogging; these are forms of vernacular creativity, remediated in digital contexts’ Burgess quoted in Jenkins (2006). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cultural citizenship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Where participatory media opens up space for us, as ordinary citizens, to speak and represent ourselves and our ways of being in the world, and to encounter difference, then it’s also a space for the everyday practice of cultural citizenship’ Burgess quoted in Jenkins (2007 ) </li></ul></ul>
‘ The simple act of combining them [the images] revealed some of the dramatic changes to the Brisbane cityscape that have occurred over the past few decades. This led in turn to more discussion about the ways in which the city has changed, blended with nostalgia for a past that many of the discussants had never experienced themselves. So there on a microscopic level you have vernacular creativity , remediation , social networking , and civic engagement threaded back and forth and adding up to something much more than just sharing photos. (Burgess quoted in Jenkins (2007)
Questions <ul><li>What do people need to know how to do to take part in social media such as Flickr ? </li></ul><ul><li>How do they learn what to do? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are the users who will be competent and fulfilled by their participation? </li></ul><ul><li>Where does the creativity and literacy of social media originate? </li></ul><ul><li>Will participation media culture become a significant cultural activity alongside traditional media? </li></ul>
Bibliography <ul><li>Burgess, J. (2006) Vernacular Creativity, Cultural Participation and New Media Literacy: Photography and the Flickr Network [WWW] Available at http://eprints.qut.edu.au/archive/00007828/01/7828.pdf (Accessed 28 October 2008). </li></ul><ul><li>Jenkins, H. (2007) “Vernacular Creativity”: An Interview with Jean Burgess (Part One) [WWW] Available at http://www.henryjenkins.org/2007/10/vernacular_creativity_an_inter.html (Accessed 28 October 2008). </li></ul><ul><li>Koman, R. (2005) Stuart Butterfield on Flickr [WWW] Available at http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/network/2005/02/04/sb_flckr.html (Accessed 28 October 2008). </li></ul>