Week 4 Synthesis – Seen and Not Seen

Reviving a habit from IDEL and having theme songs as the Cyberculture playlist is now complied. This is my inspiration for the cybernetic maracatu. Anyway.

Seen and not seen. What is visible and what is not? The fundamental debate in early digital ethnography seemed to be whether communities and communication could happen when other people could not be seen. What would we do without embodied social cues? Through the development of text speak and avatars online communication found a way to be seen.

My own visual artefact was seen by a few people but not by many. The importance of timeliness even in asynchronous communication there. Maybe it will have a long tail.

I enjoyed the Lister (2009) reading on the political economy of the internet. In a way political economy is taking what is not seen in our daily lives and making it seen. I intend to do a post on the political economy of drumeo next week. I am interested in the way capitalist base has shaped the superstructure of drumeo as a media. I particularly want to consider why it isn’t structured like Wikipedia (e.g. free, open source, editable, etc) and what consequences stem from that.

A lot of my work is not seen this week as I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Although this can be traced in my notes section. Again a reminder that like anthropology, a lifestream can only be a partial snapshot of a social activity. It’s important to ask what data is getting captured and what isn’t.

Two final things, my first netography post was about what members of the drumeo community were not seen on a shared map. Finally, I managed to fit references to a course reading, Magrite and Mission of Burma in one tweet. Confusing the object with the representation is basically confusing what is seen and what is not seen.

8 thoughts on “Week 4 Synthesis – Seen and Not Seen”

  1. Fascinating summary here Daniel. Good to see you reflecting on the ‘presence’ of community, accompanied by a super soundtrack!

    ‘Through the development of text speak and avatars online communication found a way to be seen.’

    This is a nice summary, and certainly picks up on the visual dimensions of community formation online. It is interesting that avatars took on much more than simply the notion of ‘seeing’ other people, and developed into identity practices that were very creative – constructing notions of self rather than necessarily revealing them. I’ve centred on the ‘communication’ aspects of community, certainly in my encyclopaedia piece, so it is interesting to think about the visuality of that too, and a nice link with our visual artefact task.

    ‘The importance of timeliness even in asynchronous communication there. ‘

    Indeed, it would be interesting to compare this with posting the artefact in a discussion forum, or even sharing it within a hangout.

    ‘I intend to do a post on the political economy of drumeo next week. I am interested in the way capitalist base has shaped the superstructure of drumeo as a media. ‘

    Sounds really interesting, and look forward to seeing where you go with this. Do try to link things back to notions of ‘community’ if you can. How does this shaped ‘superstructure’ affect the sense of community – how are individuals and groups constructed, limited, formed?

    ‘a lifestream can only be a partial snapshot of a social activity. It’s important to ask what data is getting captured and what isn’t.’

    Absolutely. i hope that the theme of this block encourages us to think differently about our lifestreams. It is perhaps easy to capture our explorations of ‘cyberculture’, because those materials are probably online somewhere. But how do we use the lifestream to capture a sense of our community – our connections with other people?

    Creative ideas welcome! Perhaps one useful response might come from thinking about how you might get more of your ‘analogue’, offline activity into the lifestream?

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