Here's a peak at a new book that I recently completed with other former Oxford Internet Institute (SDP09) alumni from around the world. The book is entitled Nexus: New Intersections in Internet Research and it explores varied research disciplines overlapping digital media technologies. It is co-edited by Yana Breindl, Tessa J. Houghton and myself...
Nexus: New Intersections in Internet Research
Like the invention of the printing press, the Internet is radically transforming the most basic elements of modern civilization. The growing presence of digital technologies and the dramatic impact of networked collaboration constitute a new mode of information production that is reshaping many societies around the world. Underlying this socioeconomic restructuring is the critical importance of digital networks as platforms for creativity and innovation. This edited collection examines the current ways that mass collaboration intersects with sociocultural, technosocial and political changes in varied contexts, and questions their impact on established institutions and modes of production. New tools inevitably engender changes in the way people interact, communicate and collaborate; however, it is increasingly clear that information and communication technologies are now leveraging a democratic shift in a wide array of technological, political and social spaces. The dramatic success of mass collaboration in a multitude of contexts poses a challenge, not only to the dominant economic paradigm, but also to a broad range of received social science thinking. This collection interrogates established theories and concepts in the light of recent developments and builds upon emergent research and original empirical findings.
"This book is a rich and varied exploration of current and emerging themes in Internet research, and a testament to the strength and diversity of the field. Collected here is the work of young scholars at the height of their game, fearlessly exploring and expanding the outer reaches of knowledge and methodology; anyone looking to see where the next decade of Internet research may take us would do well to follow their lead."
Axel Bruns, Author of Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage
"Researching socio-technological systems is never a simple task. The complications, the social and technical relations, and their ever-changing nature makes this a challenge for any researcher. But in this volume, several individuals and teams are taking up the challenges of this nexus and bringing their research to fruition through interdisciplinary, and perhaps even transdisciplinary efforts. These authors' efforts all derive from the Oxford Internet Institute's summer doctoral programme, which is a programme that I am happy to be affiliated with as a participant in 2004 and an instructor in 2009. The topics the authors present derive from that program, but also go beyond it by creating new points of research analysis and revitalizing old ones with new research. Through these authors' efforts, this book reveals significant trends in Internet research and provides well-grounded insights into contemporary phenomena surrounding the Internet."
Jeremy Hunsinger, Virginia Tech
"If this collection is a barometer of the future of Internet research in the next decade, then it's clear that we're in good hands. These collaborative contributions by young scholars from many countries are a tribute to the innovative programs of the Oxford Internet Institute and to the state of interdisciplinary Internet scholarship. In a time of rapid technological, social and economic change it's a relief to know that the kids are all right."
Larry Gross, Professor and Director, School of Communication,
The Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, University of Southern California
"The talented young scholars behind this collection break new ground in examining emerging collaborative uses of the Internet and the impact of such use across a range of settings. Well-written and thematically coherent, this volume takes us deeper into the social implications of ICTs, while at the same time ably demonstrating the multidisciplinary and transnational character of the developing field of Internet studies."
Peter Dahlgren, Professor Emeritus, Media and Communication Studies, Lund University, Sweden
"Nexus brings together a range of studies and research by an international group of younger scholars that investigate and report on developments of digital technologies, focusing on intersections of new forms of collaboration with social, technical and political practices and the transformative effects of ICTs on all aspects of life in the twenty-first century. This is a collection of twelve essays written by digital natives who have not only grown up with the Internet but chosen it as a field of advanced study. The result is a stunning, wide-ranging, thought-provoking collection that focuses on topics including digital agency in relation to women, the future of news, media literacy, cyberinfrastructure, networked political activism, cybercrime and the green economy. This is a nicely crafted and well-edited volume that raises the stakes in Internet research." --Michael A. Peters, Professor of Educational Policy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"In this volume, the Oxford Institute and QUT at Brisbane have brought together a virtual 'dream team' of doctoral students, many of whom are already highly accomplished researchers. The main value of this volume is its strong contribution to empirical research on the subject of Internet research along with a healthy dose of reality-check on the promises and warnings surrounding cyber-discourse. This is a stellar collection with talented editors and deserves a close look by Internet researchers, activists and advocates."
Michel Bauwens, Founder, P2P Foundation; Associate Professor, ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
"Internet studies are structurally under threat of being outpaced by their object of study. Information and communication technologies, their adoption and the resulting uses are evolving at a rate which is simply incompatible with the normal pace of academic research. The Oxford Internet Institute and the talented Ph.D. students gathered within the yearly summer doctoral programme are not only incarnating the leading-edge research in the area, they are inventing new creative dynamics capable of keeping up with the pace and magnitude of changes related to the Internet. This book materializes both the means and the substance of a much-needed fresh approach to Internet research." --Franois Heinderyckx, Professor and Director, Department of Information and Communication Sciences, Universit Libre de Bruxelles