[iDC] How does social media educate?

Ulises arsalaan1-idc at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 11 15:06:06 EST 2007

hello mr o ms armin, 

I had intended to send the message to the whole list. Thanks for clarifying your position. 


----- Original Message ----
From: Armin Medosch <armin at easynet.co.uk>
To: Ulises <arsalaan1-idc at yahoo.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 11, 2007 2:50:50 PM
Subject: Re: [iDC] How does social media educate?

hi mr or ms ulises

you replied to me only, is that on purpose? 
i follow the discussion closeloy enough to see that it is very
uncritical of those commercial spaces and i have not seen much
nourishing on this list so far of alternatives. so i still think that
this crowd buys too much into the hype of anti-social software but that
was not the only thing i said


On Sun, 2007-02-11 at 10:45 -0800, Ulises wrote:
> Armin,
> I think a more careful look at what some people are saying in this
> discussion will reveal that most are critical of social media, and are
> not just 'buying' into the hype. As to why we pay attention to the
> 'big corporate' platforms instead of focusing on the indy
> alternatives, I think there is space for doing both. To ignore what is
> happening with the MySpaces and YouTubes would be like attempting a
> history of cinema while ignoring the role of the big studios and
> focusing on the independent films. Might make more interesting
> viewing, but certainly not a complete history. 
> I anxiously await your thoughts regarding the pressure that educators
> currently experience to focus on things that are relevant to 'the
> industry.'
> Cheers,
> -Ulises
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Armin Medosch <armin at easynet.co.uk>
> To: IDC list <idc at bbs.thing.net>
> Sent: Sunday, February 11, 2007 5:38:06 AM
> Subject: Re: [iDC] How does social media educate?
> hi
> first of all, when I follow, loosely, I must admit, this debate here
> about social media an interview comes to my mind which I recently did
> with a young hacker. he said, haveing looked at myspace et al, he came
> to the conclusion that whoever called those environments 'social' must
> have a very different idea from his about what is 'social'.
> so why do eminent scholars and digital media experts on this list buy
> into the social media hype? is it because big capital and mainstream
> media has developed a couple of years ago the notion of web 2.0? and
> now
> we are forced to believe that those things are important? how
> important
> are they really? I mean, apart from some of those platforms having
> been
> fetched by big companies for billions, how many users do they really
> have, how sustained is their usage? are those branded platforms for
> user
> generated content really an indicator of a paradigm shift? the net is
> still there and is still much bigger than rupert murdoch or myspace or
> even google. some empirical data would really help to contextualize
> such
> a discussion. 
> secondly, maybe there are other types of youth out there who are just
> forming their local indymedia branch, installing their own drupal or
> wordpress and customizing it and so on. why not talk about them? why
> not
> talk about the software platforms used by free online communities and
> socially activist projects rather than this overhyped culture of the
> lonely self looking for bu/oddies online to mate with?      
> and another point, with myspace and flickr and all this stuff, once
> more
> commercial projects are stealing the show, when actually most of these
> concepts were invented and implemented first by the net culture of the
> 1990ies, which in turn, is based on the hacker culture of the early
> internet and bbs systems. big anti-social media wont acknowledge such
> roots because then they would have to recognize that a non-or
> anti-commercial net culture exists and that maybe it was or even still
> is the silent majority of the net, forming many smaller clusters and
> communicatoin islands away from the bright spotlight of the madness of
> modern media and writing code for open source platforms which then
> gets
> appropriated by more commercially minded youngesters who invent the
> next
> youftubbie. 
> i sometimes these days feel like living in a parallel world, of course
> there are many parallel worlds, but what I am coming at in particular
> is
> this split between the sort of 'public sphere' and 'public
> opinion' (there are not enough inverted komas to signify my level of
> disdain of what this nowaday means) created by mainstream media and
> what
> it creates attention for and the world of open source culture. In one
> world people are really gross, only care for themselves and a narrowly
> defined type of 'friendship' and sociality; their main goals are to
> get
> rich quick and/or become a celebrity; in order to achieve this you
> have
> to be really competitive and fuck everyone else over. In the other
> world
> people are involved in an exchange economy, often based on a friendly
> competition; they care for each other and the liveability of the wider
> world. Incidentially, or not, on the BBC or Sky Television we never
> hear
> about this other world. It is almost completely blanked out. Since the
> Guardian changed the name of its 'Online' section to 'technoloy' even
> there we read only about new gadgets and ego shooters. It is strange
> how
> capitalist media manage to blank out everything that does not fit into
> its concept. 
> as critical intellectuals we should be careful what we pay attention
> to.
> Maybe it would be better to nurture real culture rather than discuss
> the
> anti-social media phenomenon endlessly, especially in a context where
> education itself has become commercialized and there is a very direct
> pressure on educators to focus on things relevant to the 'industry'.
> more about the latter maybe at another time
> each one teach one 
> armin
> On Fri, 2007-02-09 at 23:06 -0500, Trebor Scholz wrote:
> > The question of context, which Danah raised, is important. If a
> teenager writes on MySpace she speaks to her friends and not to a
> potential employer. That is often forgotten when
> > people read MySpace pages. All topical mailing lists with large
> subscriber numbers have an aspect of professional visibility that is
> distinctly different to friends-of-friends
> > environments. In MySpace teens speak for the very most part to their
> friends. That is obviously a completely different context than
> speaking to a large group of people (most of
> > whom one does not know). 
> > 
> > The point is not that professional discourse equals closed-minded
> conservatism. (Where did those who pose as radical anti-academics get
> their formal education, which now
> > privileges them to this position?) What matters is that different
> contexts ask for different speech; it is crucial to understand who is
> addressed in the framework of a social networking
> > site, for example. Professional language has many often-discussed
> limitations and advantages. I'd not want to "talk shit" on a mailing
> list (as Danah put it) but on MySpace (where i
> > talk to my friends) that's fine. It's not the same to chat in the
> pub or talk to a group of a thousand invisible people.
> > 
> > The cyber-archipelagos or ego-islands or cyber-cocoons or whatever
> you want to call it-- that are based on special interests and exclude
> difference (the "haters") are not only specific
> > to social networking sites. They emerged all over the sociable web.
> (Just think of Robert Putnam who was thrown out of a chat room about a
> particular model of BMW as being
> > "off-topic" when he wanted to talk about BMWs in general.) 
> > 
> > Many of the questions that we raised in this thread about sociable
> web media and education (social networking sites, educational
> resources delivered through mobile phones, virtual
> > worlds, new scholarship and emerging forms of publication, massively
> multiplayer educational gaming and user-generated content) were also
> cohesively addressed in NMC's Horizon
> > 2007 report. 
> > 
> > http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2007_Horizon_Report.pdf (Thanks to Geert for
> the link). 
> > 
> > I'm curious about Danah's suggestion that  "What I think changed has
> more to do with social organization in networked public life." Danah,
> you say: "I don't think
> > that the shift is about becoming social." You do point to the
> history of online group formation (a shift from interest group to
> ego-type "friend" networks) and agree that they enabled
> > sociality. But you say - "what has changed has more to do with
> social organization in networked public life." Well, there is a huge
> step in the scale of networked sociality. That, in
> > fact, is new and that is why I'd call what happens now a "social
> turn." You, when I understand that correctly, emphasize the shift from
> clustering around interests to crowding in
> > groups of "friends." You complicate the term friend, of course
> ("friend"), but even American notions of friendship, which are really
> more about weak ties, don't really describe the
> > arbitrary looseness of these relationships. Remember Zefrank's rants
> about "small worlds"? (http://www.zefrank.com/smallworld/) 
> > 
> > What is portrayed as "friends" is really more often than not, an
> interest group. I may call people in my del.icio.us network, "my
> friends," instead of the silly "fan" language Joshua
> > put there. But the Del.icio.us Network is really a loose interest
> group. And arguably, also in many larger mailing lists subscribers are
> grouped around their interests rather than their
> > friendships. (In Myspace that's a different story.)    
> > 
> > And in response to Tobias, yes, I do think that one reason people
> take to the web is the vanishing of the public sphere. I use Putnam's
> "Bowling Alone," however problematic it may
> > be, to demonstrate the decline of civic participation in the US, and
> then show the “massification” of networked sociality.  
> > 
> > Trebor
> > 
> > 
> > Technology and the changing face of relationships
> >
> http://www.blogherald.com/2007/01/16/technology-and-the-changing-face-of-relationships/
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
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