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.

mito's blog

Ben Vershbow on Netpublics Conference and Machinima

On if:book, Ben Vershbow writes:

Ray, Bob and I spent last week out in Los Angeles at our institutional digs (the Annenberg Center for Communication at USC), where we held a pair of meetings with professors from around the US and Canada to discuss various coups we are attempting to stage within the ossified realm of scholarly and textbook publishing. Following these, we were able to stick around for a fun conference/media festival organized by Annenberg's Networked Publics project.


As we enjoyed this little feast of new media, I was vaguely aware that the Tribeca film festival was going on back in New York. As I casually web-surfed through one of the panels — in the state of continuous partial attention that is now the standard state of being all these networky conferences — I came across an article about one of the more talked about films appearing there this year: "The War Tapes." Like Gunner Palace and Occupation Dreamland, "The War Tapes" is a documentary about American soldiers in Iraq, but with one crucial difference: all the footage was shot by actual soldiers.

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Submitted by mito on May 18, 2006 - 11:46pm

TenFour Video Blogs of Netpublics Conference

The video bloggers from Andrew Syder's class "The Languages of New Media" have posted their work. This includes vlogs of different conference moments:

The network neutrality debate

Discussion with "Makers" Mark Outmesgein and Mark Frauenfelder


the Machinima reel

Also, interviews with:

Paul Marino

Mark Frauenfelder

Jonathan McIntosh

Marc Tuters

Submitted by mito on May 8, 2006 - 11:26pm

Nert on DIY Festival

Nert, who curated the Anime Music Videos portion of the event has just posted his trip report. As John Tomasic blogs, the event was characterized by a series of disconnects. Nert writes with his characteristic good humor about some connects and disconnects:

There were panels on the Digital Homemade -- low tech alternatives to the commercial media we're used to. Alternative News -- amateur blog journalism, link aggregation, etc. and Network Hacks/Hack Networks which had all the funky amateur tech, backpacks that double as wireless hotspots, networked catflaps, cellphone jammers, etc. It's good seeing the range the conference was covering, though a little intimidating as now I felt like the guy who goes up after all these intellectuals and says "er, I play with cartoons.." but hey ;)...Still it got positive feedback so I guess we didn't do hideously bad ;) The technical aspects were certainly appreciated more than the visual aesthetics which I was pleased at, I kinda expected that but still.

Reading Nert next to Harry Cleaver's response tells one story of what for me was a productive disconnect. Generational and cultural divides in what makes up participation and engagement loom large. But it sure was fun to have these different perspectives in the same room for a few days. It warms my anthropological heart to have designed an event where most people seem to have felt a little marginal. But more on my postmorten shortly.

Submitted by mito on May 8, 2006 - 11:02pm

Power to the Cyborgs

Jill Walker and Noah Wardrip-Fruin are editing a new edition of Ted Nelson's Computer Lib/Dream Machines. They asked me to write a little essay for the "Stuff You May Run Into" section near the back of the Computer Lib side. The book came out before my time, but the lore about it was still in the air when I started nibbling on the edges of geekdom in the early nineties. So it was fun to get invited to this project. Luckily Scott had held on to his first edition so I could see the book in its original glory. The new edition should be a run update with lots of folks contributing pieces to augment and update Ted's manifesto. My contribution is appended here.

Submitted by mito on December 19, 2005 - 11:59am

Intimate Visual Co-Presence and Pervasive Image Capture and Sharing

For the 2005 Ubiquitous Computing conference I helped run a workshop on Pervasive Image Capture and Sharing and I put in a position paper on "Intimate Visual Co-Presence." After our discussions of locative media, I realized that it is an example of mapping relations between personal and spatial relations.

Basically, it is a riff on some of the earlier work I did with Daisuke on technosocial situations like "ambient virtual co-presence" that were being supported by ongoing, lightweight text message exchange. With the advent of camphones, photos have entered this stream of exchange. Christian Licoppe has been talking about similar dynamics in terms of "connected presence." The idea of ongoing lightweight connection is a common refrain in mobile society research, but the addition of visual information adds an interesting twist.

Submitted by mito on December 16, 2005 - 1:30am