Networked Public Sphere


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Networked Public Sphere

  1. 1. The Networked Public Sphere
  2. 2. Benkler – Chapter 3 <ul><ul><li>Peer production is the form of non-market, non propritery mode of production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resembles the “commons.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Small time commitment per person </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Way to filter based on relevance and credibility </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cheap production capital and distribution capabilities </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><ul><li>Examples of Peer Production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Linux, Wikipedia, Project Gutenburg </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peer sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Offering spare and/or excess computing and storage space to other computers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples- SETI@Home and Napster </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Benkler – Chapter 4 <ul><ul><li>Why participate for free? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Altruism </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social gain and/or Social Capital </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intrinsic v. Extrinsic Motivations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>These factors all exist in individuals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peer Production takes advantage of: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple People’s Spare Time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Talents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Creative Capacity and Judgment” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><ul><li>Modularity-dividing large task into segments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Granularity- size of module </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some hierarchies and use of formal law exist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Are small in comparison to mass media </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information economy’s “marginal social cost,” i.e. raw materials, = 0. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Non-proprietary information production is more efficient. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><ul><li>Technology can encourage or inhibit sharing or cooperation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market and non-market production can co-exist. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumers become users. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Benkler – Part 2 (Summary) <ul><ul><li>The Internet as a technology, and the networked information economy (NEI) as an organizational and societal model of information and cultural production, promise the emergence of a substantial, better alternative platform for the public sphere than the previous mass media model. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The mass media have played a fundamental constitutive role in the construction of public spheres in democracies; with the introduction of the Internet, this dominance is challenged. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Statements in the public sphere can now be seen as invitations for conversations, not as finished media-generated goods. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Benkler – Chapter 6 <ul><ul><li>Characteristics of the Public Sphere: (1) universal intake, (2 & 3) filtering for political relevance and accreditation, (4) opportunity for synthesis of public opinion, (5) independence from government control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The US has developed an advertiser-supported mass-media model—with privatization of firms and focus on patents—which constrains the structure and content of the American public sphere. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><ul><li>Basic Critiques of US Mass Media: (1) intake has been too limited, (2) owners have too much power, (3) focus on the spectacle over the politically important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advantages of Mass Media: (1) independence, (2) professionalism, (3) ability to identify key issues </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Benkler – Chapter 7 <ul><ul><li>Elements of difference between NEI and mass media: (1) architectural structure, (2) costs of becoming a speaker/producer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The networked public sphere is not made of specific tools but of a social production of practices that these tools enable (p. 219). </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><ul><li>Critiques of Internet as Democratizing: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>information overload </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>centralization of Internet, replicating mass media model </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>importance of mass media in the Fourth Estate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>restrictions in authoritarian countries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>digital divide. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benkler argues case-by-case against each of these critiques, though offering little against the digital divide argument, except that NEI is an “avenue for alleviating maldistribution”. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Bimber <ul><ul><li>Contributors to new organizing forms: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Growth of civic association online (MySpace, MeetUp, Facebook!) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional interest groups have an expanding portfolio of strategies to engage citizens </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clusters of smaller face-to-face groups band together to engage in larger scale action </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distinction between organizing and organization </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Grounding the EU Public Sphere <ul><ul><li>The EU public sphere is thin, in the sense that it is largely a media construction, based on a few issues, without much evidence of public involvement. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Are there more grounded, digitally mediated, NGO-brokered public spheres operating beyond the mass media? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examining the internet suffers because of methodological constraints.  Its full capacity is not explored as the starting points for analysis remain a clear methodological issue. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fair trade network touches a number of European nations with fairly dense cross-national ties. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prominence of the EU in the communication flows in the UK FT network </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><ul><li>Evidence of Opportunities for Direct Citizen Engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>40% of the sites in our coding sample offered some means for citizens to communicate with government and each other through message sending, forums, blogs, event calendar postings, and other communication features </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In Germany, direct citizen involvement is through churches and consumer org., although less than in the UK </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Face to face engagement occurring primarily through churches, social movement organizations and consumer activist organizations sponsored by network members such as GEPA. </li></ul></ul></ul>