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Richard Rogers, Otherwise Engaged: Critical Analytics and the New Meanings of Engagement Online

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Richard Rogers, Otherwise Engaged: Critical Analytics and the New Meanings of Engagement Online. Opening Lecture, Digital Methods Winter School, 11 January 2916

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Richard Rogers, Otherwise Engaged: Critical Analytics and the New Meanings of Engagement Online

  1. 1. Otherwise Engaged Critical Analytics and the New Meanings of Engagement Online Digital Methods WINTER SCHOOL 2016 11 - 15 JANUARY 2016 Prof. Richard Rogers
  2. 2. Otherwise Engaged 1. Distracted modes of engagement & ‘solutions’ (interface) 2. Distracted engagement metrics & ‘solutions’ (analytics) Digital Methods WINTER SCHOOL 2016 Structure of the opening talk
  3. 3. [image contextual to the content] Otherwise Engaged The story of an educated man trying to listen to opera music Listening to Wagner’s Parsifal, Simon Hench is repeatedly interrupted by his tenant, his friends, family and aspiring writers, all of whom want something from him. He appears to be the one and only sane character. Gradually, this façade is stripped away, and he is revealed as unable to connect emotionally with others, and unable to care. - Adapted from Wikipedia plot summary Theater, 1975 Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016
  4. 4. [image contextual to the content] 1. Distracted modes of engagement Conditions associated with social media use: ‘Flickering man’ (Carr, 2007) ‘Ambient awareness’ (Thompson, 2008) ‘Continuous partial attention’ (Stone, 2008) Simon Gray’s works Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016
  5. 5. [image contextual to the content] Solutions to distracted engagement: Interface work From the ‘excitement of interaction’ to ‘calm technology’ “A method for smoothly capturing a user’s attention only when necessary, while calmly remaining in the background” (Case, 2015) “[calm technology] is that which informs but doesn't demand our focus or attention” (Weisner & Brown, 1976) Goal: Encalm the interface Jodi, 2015 Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016
  6. 6. 2. Distracted engagement metrics Social media as social networks for the purposes of: ‘success theater’ (Wortham, 2012); productive ‘networking’; and ‘consumer futurism’ [Particular] statistics as forms of ‘wish fulfillment’ (J. Baudrillard, Cool Memories, 1990) aka ‘Vanity metrics’ Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016
  7. 7. Distracted engagement metrics ‘Vanity metrics’ (such as Klout) embody the valuation of measures such as: Celebrity – well-known-ness Influence – strategic in-between-ness Trend(ing) – rising relative novelty; coolhunting Metrics follow from seeing social media as social networks for the purposes of ‘success theater’, productive ‘networking’ and ‘consumer futurism’ Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016
  8. 8. Solutions to distracted engagement metrics (aka vanity metrics) ‘Critical analytics’ (as alternative to ‘vanity metrics’) First, there is a shift from the study of self-presentation to the study of causes in authoritative or expert spaces Engagement metrics: ~ dominant voice ~ concern ~ commitment ~ positioning ~ alignment Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016
  9. 9. New Meanings of Engagement Online Critical Analytics Point of departure is the study of causes is the expert issue network or authoritative space rather than one’s social network or all big data The study engagement metrics through: ~ dominant voice – source hierarchy as credibility measure ~ concern - actor presence or absence in the issue space ~ commitment - the longevity of concern; persistence ~ positioning - the purposive deployment of a keyword ~ alignment - the other company a keyword keeps Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016
  10. 10. Critical Analytics Dominant voice {Source hierarchy as credibility measure} Given an authoritative space, which sources and terms are allowed to speak, and may dominate, and which are marginal? Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016 US government awareness campaign, Aids.gov, HIV awareness day 2014
  11. 11. [full screen image]
  12. 12. Critical Analytics Concern {Actor presence or absence in the issue space} To whom (and whom not) is it a matter of concern? That is, given authoritative spaces, which ones give expression to an issue and which are silent or relatively quiet? Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016 Fukushima water radiation spread, ASR, 2013
  13. 13. [full screen image]
  14. 14. Critical Analytics Commitment {the longevity of concern; persistence} To whom (and whom not) is it a matter of concern, and for how long? That is, given authoritative spaces, which ones continue to give expression to an issue and which continue to be silent or relatively quiet? Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016 Two Greenpeace issue areas (and banners), forest and nuclear from Indonesia (2014) and Jordan (2011), respectively.
  15. 15. Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016 Analysis by Anne Laurine Stadermann
  16. 16. Critical Analytics Positioning {The purposive deployment of a keyword} Who joins the program, and who joins the anti-program? Who makes effort to cast oneself as neutral? That is, given authoritative spaces, which ones position themselves using the language of one set of actors, which the language of another, and which neither? Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016 Reactions to U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, 2014
  17. 17. Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016 DMI Summer School ’15 project, ‘Does love win?’
  18. 18. Critical Analytics Alignment {The company a keyword keeps} Who else is joining the program, and who else is joining the anti- program? Who additionally makes effort to cast oneself as neutral? That is, given authoritative spaces, which sets of actors position themselves with others by using certain? Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016
  19. 19. Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016
  20. 20. New Meanings of Engagement Online Critical Analytics Point of departure is the expert issue network or authoritative space rather than a social network or all big data The study engagement metrics through: ~ dominant voice - source hierarchy as credibility measure ~ concern - actor presence or absence in the issue space ~ commitment - the longevity of concern; persistence ~ positioning - the purposive deployment of a keyword ~ alignment - the other company a keyword keeps Otherwise Engaged DMI Winter School 2016
  21. 21. Otherwise Engaged 1. Distracted modes of engagement & encalming 2. Distracted engagement metrics & critical analytics Digital Methods WINTER SCHOOL 2016 Concluding remarks
  22. 22. Otherwise Engaged Critical Analytics and the New Meanings of Engagement Online Digital Methods WINTER SCHOOL 2016 11 - 15 JANUARY 2016 Prof. Richard Rogers

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