Instagram: The Next Big (Academic) Thing?

Social media is one of the most prominent areas of interest in Internet scholarship, particularly the Twitter and Facebook platforms. A quick search in Google Scholar for “Twitter” pulls up over 50,000 results just since 2014. Some have argued that these two platforms are overrepresented in research: Twitter and Facebook aren’t the only popular social media sites out there. What’s next in the field of social media studies? An excellent candidate for study is Instagram: a mobile-oriented, photo/video-sharing social network site which launched in October 2010. As of February 2015, Instagram has over 300 million active users, 70% of which […]

Connected Life 2014: Poster and Visualisation Fair Presenters

Connected Life 2014, occurring on June 12th, is a day-long student-run conference dedicated to sparking exchange between disciplines and showcasing emerging internet research. Bringing together participants and attendees from across the social sciences, Connected Life will foster collaborations within and beyond Oxford in pursuit of better understanding of the internet and its many effects. In addition to oral presentations, we’re hosting what is sure to be an intriguing and informative poster and visualisation fair, with contributions from: Gili Vidan and Frank Hangler Could You Afford Facebook Messenger in Cameroon? Anna Orlova Youth participation in Internet governance – a European perspective […]

Connected Life 2014: Remaining Presenters Announced

Connected Life 2014, occurring on June 12th, is a day-long student-run conference dedicated to sparking exchange between disciplines and showcasing emerging internet research. Bringing together participants and attendees from across the social sciences, Connected Life will foster collaborations within and beyond Oxford in pursuit of better understanding of the internet and its many effects. Concluding our announcements about those giving presentations, we’re pleased to announce the last batch of presenters, who are presenting on topics ranging from activism to law to identity: Javier Solana University of Oxford The importance of law in embracing innovation Keywords: collaborative consumption, innovation, internet finance, […]

Announcing Connected Life Presenters in the Fields of Culture and Digital Divides

Connected Life 2014, occurring on June 12th, is a day-long student-run conference dedicated to sparking exchange between disciplines and showcasing emerging internet research. Bringing together participants and attendees from across the social sciences, Connected Life will foster collaborations within and beyond Oxford in pursuit of better understanding of the internet and its many effects. Continuing our announcements from earlier in the week, we’re pleased to announce our presenters on Culture and Digital Divides: < Culture > Leo Mercer University of Oxford The Internet: how it affects art and poetry Keywords: Internet; Art; Poetry Chen-Ta Sung London School of Economics A […]

Announcing Connected Life 2014 Presenters in the fields of Education and Governance

Connected Life 2014, occurring on June 12th, is a day-long student-run conference dedicated to sparking exchange between disciplines and showcasing emerging internet research. Bringing together participants and attendees from across the social sciences, Connected Life will foster collaborations within and beyond Oxford in pursuit of better understanding of the internet and its many effects. We’re pleased to announce this year’s conference presenters in the fields of Education and Governance: < Education > James Robson University of Oxford, Department of Education Teachers’ peer-to-peer online engagement: a critical look at the structures embedded in online social space Keywords: social media; online social […]

Data, Knowledge, and Knowing Through Data

We live in a world ruled by data in all realms, not just the scientific or mathematical but the political and the personal. This comes with both benefits and costs. The benefits are well known. The unprecedented access to evidence allows for more detailed analysis and more informed research, for instance. The costs, on the other hand, are typically tied to ethical problems raised by data collection regarding invasion of privacy, digital dossiers, and database misuse. The influx of data and our increasing willingness to turn to it, however, generates a more pernicious problem closely associated what makes our surplus […]

“internet” vs. “Internet”: The Consequence of Capitalization

Read enough about digital developments and you’re bound to run into a subtle inconsistency: the capitalization of the word “internet.” Some scholars do, some scholars don’t. This may lead you to ask a fairly natural question: which version is right? Many default to “Internet” with a capital “I,” but this choice is far from universal. The New York Times, Chicago Manual of Style, and AP swear by the capital letter. The Guardian, the Economist, and Wired do not. Commentaries and academic articles vary, as do personal blogs and social media posts (themselves perhaps governed by a different sort of lexical […]

Careful, Now: Turing’s life and the construction of a genius narrative

“I wish I had,” said Steve Jobs when asked if he had designed the Apple logo as a reverence to the computer pioneer Alan Turing who committed suicide with a poisoned apple. Nevertheless, we can draw a line between the mathematician and contemporary technology companies. Without Turing the development of computer science, the end of World War II and the advances in Artificial Intelligence would have taken much longer. We celebrate Turing’s centenary and although his name is generally unknown to the wider public, he will enter history books and the pantheon of science right next to Newton or Darwin. […]

Exploring the Geography of WorldBank.org

 “Once we become critical of the assumption that the Web is a neutral repository of information, the structure of the Web becomes much more interesting.” – M.H Jackson, 1997 Absences speak volumes, and yet, interpreting information gaps online has produced only muffled truths. Studies on the geographical origin of Internet content have shown old divides between rich and poor countries repeat themselves online. For example, the vast majority of the shares of Google’s user generated content, academic journal citations and authorship of Wikipedia entries tilt to the wealthier global north. Admittedly, exploring digital landscapes is far less adventurous than the globetrotting variety. However, these journeys allow us to […]

Playing with New Toys

Last week, I found myself in Nuffield College, watching a bright-eyed lecturer, Ilmo van der Lowe, in fascination. Believe me when I say that I knew less about the topic, ‘co-rumination,’ than you did. But knowing Ilmo’s background in social psychology (a field in which I had received my bachelor’s degree), I had trekked over to glean what I could. Luckily for me, the lecture topic seemed almost extraneous. Ilmo laid the foundation for how the field of social psychology was waiting for its next theoretical breakthrough, and then broke out his real reason for speaking: to show that network […]