From September 2005 to June 2006 a team of thirteen scholars at the The University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for Communication explored how new and maturing networking technologies are transforming the way in which we interact with content, media sources, other individuals and groups, and the world that surrounds us.
This site documents the process and the results.
As a culmination to the Networked Publics program, we are publishing a collaboratively written group book with the MIT Press. As part of this process, we are soliciting reader comments for inclusion in the book. Below is a draft of the essay on Networked Public Culture (note that there is a word document attached too... it is likely easier to read). We intend to take the comments that we received and append them to the essay in a virtual symposium that will follow each chapter. In doing so, we hope to create a more dialogic forum within the book. Please leave your email addresses so that we can get in touch with you about your contribution.
Networked Public Culture
Adrienne Russell, Mimi Ito, Todd Richmond, and Marc Tuters
The convergence between old and new communications and media is tied to broad-based changes in how power and information are distributed across society, geography, and technology. In this chapter, our focus is on emergent changes to public culture in this digitally networked era. Our conceptual focus is the changing relationship between cultural production and consumption. The trends addressed by this book—the rise of many-to-many distribution, aggregation of information and culture, and the growth of peer-to-peer social organization—manifest in public culture as increased visibility and mobilization of those actors traditionally associated with cultural consumption. These network characteristics, combined with low-cost digital authoring tools, have lowered the threshold for publishing and disseminating knowledge and culture to a public. Now even casual communication, personal stories and opinion, and amateur works can be made easily available to large audiences. In other words, those cultural artifacts associated with “personal