Archive for the ‘ Week 8 Readings ’ Category

Networking: Finding a Place in the Present.

Every week it is obvious how the readings tie in to the other notions of media in everyday life that we have studied in previous weeks. This week, reading about networks, the relationship of the topic to notions of temporality and space is solid and significant; To me, studying networks has given me new perspectives on temporality and spatiality.

In Castells’ article, he discusses the networks role in creating a shift from “becoming” into “being”. This idea led me to consider contemporary forms of media (i.e. instantaneous, micro-electronics based information and communication channels) as creating a time space of a present tense; no longer is news or media something formulated on a periodic basis, nor is it fed to us by way of long channels of communication. Instead, news and media, as well as social interaction, is something constantly updated, something that transforms “audiences” to “users”, as discussed by Dr Bruns in his readings (see – the “Watercooler Effect” and “citizen journalists”, and ┬áin my blogs in previous weeks), and a temporal shift that creates new emerging “spaces” – my next point.

Networking’s impact on spatiality is that, as Castells explained, it cancels out the traditional “society” unit to a large extent, instead forming micro-societies, based on relationships of identity, interests, and digital space. The ability to network all over the world renders the traditional meanings of “culture” old fashioned; now a “culture” can be a group of any collection of people, from any number of places on Earth, their culture based on something they share in common – be it an object, an identity, or an idea.

These are the major ideas I have gained from studying Networks this past week. Being absorbed in a number of networks myself, I am considering the relationships they have created, why I am part of some networks, and how I came to be a part of my different networks; also how I engage with these networks on a regular basis. Definitely some food for thought this week.

Lastly, I just wanted to bring another episode of South Park to everyone’s attention again (South Park seems to illustrate all these ideas really well for some reason!) The episode is called “You Have 0 Friends“, and is about Facebook, new media networking, and the importance we place on the networks we build. Definitely a good laugh, but also very true.