[iDC] Hector Postigo Introduction

Hector Postigo hector.postigo at gmail.com
Thu Oct 8 16:47:36 UTC 2009

Hello everyone.

Sorry for the late introduction. I’ve been enjoying the conversations on 
the list quite a bit. My name is Hector Postigo and I’ll be meeting many 
of you at the upcoming conference. My area of research focuses on 
digital media and participatory cultures therein. In the past I’ve 
focused on AOL volunteers that sued AOL for back wages following 
organizational changes that positioned many of these volunteers to 
rethink their place in the behemoth that was AOL. My recent thinking on 
the topic has started to center on organizational communication theories 
that might help explain why organizational changes lead some of these 
communities and the business to which they contribute to develop 
adversarial relationships, often ending in acrimony, litigation and 
interesting forms of resistance. It's a critical perspective that looks 
at the ways people talk about their place in an organization or how that 
might communicate organizational goals and how that constructs and 
reinforces institutional power flows. Beyond AOL, I’ve also looked at 
game modders (fans of digital games that made modifications to the game 
and distribute them online for free). I’ve studied modders under 
somewhat similar theoretical lenses (free labor and org. comm.) as the 
AOL volunteers although there are some important differences and mores 
among the communities. All this to note that ongoing interactions 
between digital media companies and fan/volunteer/participatory 
communities can be fruitful to all parties but that communicational, 
organizational and political economic forces can often derail or 
negatively shape those collaborations. I hope to see you all very soon 
at the conference and continue many of the discussions fleshed out here 
on the list.


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