Mapping the subject

> Tweet Tweet

I met up with my DIGC210 class for the first time today and found out that I have to step up my Twitter game, among other (more useful) things. (Well, everything else was more useful, but we’ll get to that.) Follow me @Lost_Paperclip if you’re interested in some DIGC210 discourse over this Autumn session. Let’s get networking!

> Mapping the subject

Let’s get to the meat of the subject. To unpack what this class is about, we boiled it down to its name and went from there. It started simply, with terms that related to each of the base words. Then we came up with sub-categories and other related words. Once we started drawing lines between the words, however, things became a little complicated. The finer the definition of the word, the easier it was to find a connection somewhere else on the board.

Also a great example of cooperation by the writers. The lines meet in the middle and everything.
Everything is connected.

Things got messy. Things got fun. I’m particularly impressed with the writers’ dedication to cooperative line work. I suggested we connect two words that belonged to the different base words – and all kinds of discoveries were made (including the fact that Travis, our tutor, had been planning this all along). In the end, it became evident that it would be harder to find two words across the board that weren’t linked than two that were. Digital and Dissent seem to come hand-in-hand – perhaps because of the unique platform the former provides to facilitate the latter. All in all, it was a successful and enlightening activity.

Speaking of mapping, one of this week’s readings was also all about data mapping, though in a very different sense. Burgess and Matamoros-Fernández’s text, ‘Mapping sociocultural controversies across digital media platforms: One week of #gamergate on Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr ‘, is dedicated to analyzing how an issue can be tracked over digital media. Though I won’t provide an exhaustive summary of the text, I will mention one thing that stood out to me. In the text, Burgess and Matamoros-Fernández walk the reader through what considerations needed to be made in order to map a specific corner of the sociocultural digital sphere, including the expectation that internet culture of “intertextuality, humour, and visual culture” could make results skewed or difficult to determine. Those qualities are a great beauty and a great curse of the internet, depending on who’s talking: everyone has the freedom to interpret and react to issues and link them together with such immense diversity that it becomes difficult to see it in its entirety.

Like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, #gamergate is so exhaustive and has permeated so much of internet culture that I’m sure the concept also applies to the digital sphere.

> An Impromptu Pitch

In other news, I’ve nominated myself to be one of the discussion-stimulating speakers for Week 4’s topic, Digital Means to Civic Ends. I’m excited to start talking about hacktivism, wikileaks, how digital media can be used as a platform for real change in the world – and the ethics involved in this means of rebellion. Or maybe I’ll talk about it differently. I haven’t actually researched my pitch yet; this is all from ten minutes of independent thought and a few impromptu sentences. I’m looking forward to seeing the finalized week listings.

Xara out.

> References

Burgess, J. & Matamoros-Fernadez, A. (forthcoming). ‘Mapping socio-cultural controversies across digital media platforms: One week of #gamergate on Twitter, YouTube and Tumbr’. Communication Research and Practice

 

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