Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A Force For Democracy - Or Information Chaos? Expert Forum Spotlights Blogging

05.09.2007
Controversial Internet entrepreneur turned cultural critic Andrew Keen, who says the revolution of interactivity and user-generated content on the internet is leading to ‘less culture, less reliable news and a chaos of useless information’ is one contributor certain to ignite debate at the two-day conference at the University of York. The conference is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) through its e-Society programme.

Innovations such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube – known as the ‘Web 2.0’ phenomenon – are the focus of a major gathering of Internet researchers, surfers and social commentators, aimed at encouraging social scientific interest in recent dramatic developments in cyberspace culture.

London born and educated, Andrew Keen, who has been based in California since the 1990s, is one of six keynote speakers at the event, at the National Science Learning Centre, University of York on September 5 and 6. The conference is organised and hosted by the University’s Social Informatics Resarch Unit (SIRU).

The conference will examine the whole range of ‘Web 2.0’ activity – from wikis and ‘mash-ups’ to social networking sites, offering insights into digital technologies and the growth of online communities. Delegates will discuss the issues of privacy and trust, identity and democracy.

While recent Internet developments have received widespread media coverage, the organisers say there has so far been little in the way of sustained investigation by social scientists into ‘Web 2.0’ . Its practices include ‘generating’ and ‘browsing’, ‘tagging’ and ‘feeds’, ‘commenting’ and ‘noting’, ‘reviewing’ and ‘rating’, ‘blogging’ and making ‘friends’.

The conference will include more than 40 presentations by academics from across the world - many already involved in social scientific or cultural research into websites such as MySpace, Bebo, YouTube, Flickr, Second Life and del.icio.us.

Andrew Keen, in his recent book ‘The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting our Economy’, argues that whilst blogs, podcasts, amateur videos and music may be harmless or sometimes even enriching forms of media, they are destroying mainstream newspapers, record companies and film-makers. Wikipedia, the popular free online encyclopedia, he describes as ‘dumb’.

He will go head-to-head with leading authority on innovation and creativity, Charles Leadbeater, author of the forthcoming book ‘We-think: the power of mass creativity’.

This aims to understand the new culture in which people do not just want services and goods delivered to them, but also ‘tools so that they can take part, and places in which to play, share, debate with others’.

Charles Leadbetter disagrees that people are being duped. The more sources of information available, the more critical they can be, he has argued.

Other keynote speakers will include Professor Scott Lash, of the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London, who leads the cultural research programme there, Professor George Ritzer, of the University of Maryland, Bernie Hogan, from Netlab, University of Toronto and a representative from the BBC who will talk about the BBC and Web 2.0.

Audience numbers are restricted for the conference.
Anyone interested in attending should contact: Antonia Luther-Jones, Communications and Events Manager, Department of Sociology email: alj504@york.ac.uk

Danielle Moore | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

nachricht Sustainable Development Goals lead to lower population growth
30.11.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

A new dead zone in the Indian Ocean could impact future marine nutrient balance

06.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

06.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>