Joseph M. Reagle

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What do we know about the individuals who make comments on online news stories, blogs, videos and other media? What kind of people take the time to post all manner of information and context to material created by others? Joseph M. Reagle, assistant professor of communication studies at Northeastern University and a faculty associate at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, examines these online pontificators and provocateurs in his new book Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web (MIT, 2015). Reagle categorizes the different kinds of comments, thereby organizing the different kinds of commenters into groups. In addition, Reagle considers both the function and value of comments in society. Just listen.

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Leonard CassutoThe Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It

September 22, 2015

The discontented graduate student is something of a cultural fixture in the U.S. Indeed theirs is a sorry lot. They work very hard, earn very little, and have very poor prospects. Nearly all of them want to become professors, but most of them won't. Indeed a disturbingly large minority of them won't even finish their degrees. It's little […]

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Nicole StarosielskiThe Undersea Network

August 25, 2015

Nicole Starosielski's new book brings an environmental and ecological consciousness to the study of digital media and digital systems, and it is a must-read. The Undersea Network (Duke University Press, 2015) looks carefully and imaginatively at the geography of undersea cable networks, paying special attention to the materiality of network infrastructure and its relationships with the histories […]

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Randy NicholsThe Video Game Business

August 16, 2015

Video games have become an important cultural and economic force in our media environment. In his new book, The Video Game Business (British Film Institute, 2014), scholar Randy Nichols provides an overview of the increasingly diverse global market for video games. Nichols locates the origins of the video game industry back to the dawn of […]

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Christopher VitaleNetworkologies: A Philosophy of Networks for a Hyperconnected Age

August 12, 2015

Networks seem to be the dominant metaphor for contemporary society. In Networkologies: A Philosophy of Networks for a Hyperconnected Age (Zero Books, 2014), Christopher Vitale sets out a manifesto for understanding and using networks as the basis of a new philosophy. The book draws on continental philosophy, complex systems theory and a range of other elements […]

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Christian FuchsCulture and Economy in the Age of Social Media

June 28, 2015

Social media is now a pervasive element of many people's lives. in order to best understand this phenomenon we need a comprehensive theory of the political economy of social media. In Culture and Economy in the Age of Social Media (Routledge, 2015), Christian Fuchs, a professor of social media at the University of Westminster, brings together a […]

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John SharpWorks of Game: On the Aesthetics of Games and Art

June 1, 2015

That games, particularly video games, could be viewed as art should come as no surprise. And yet, a debate exists over what is and should be considered art with respect to games. In his new book, Works of Game: On the Aesthetics of Games and Art (MIT Press, 2015), John Sharp offers context for the discussion […]

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Jon L. MillsPrivacy in the New Media Age

May 25, 2015

That privacy in the digital age is an important concept to be discussed is axiomatic. Cameras in mobile phones make it easy to record events and post them on the web. Consumers post an enormous amount of information on social media sites. And much of this information is made publicly available. A common question, then, […]

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Timothy JordanInformation Politics: Liberation and Exploitation in the Digital Society

May 5, 2015

Struggles over information in the digital era are central to Tim Jordan's new book, Information Politics: Liberation and Exploitation in the Digital Society (Pluto Press, 2015). The book aims to connect a critical theoretical reading of the idea of information with the architectures and practices surrounding information. The text begins by setting out how information […]

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Naomi S. BaronWords Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World

May 1, 2015

Screens are ubiquitous. From the screen on a mobile, to that on a tablet, or laptop, or desktop computer, screens appear all around us, full of content both visual and text. But it is not necessarily the ubiquity of screens that has societal implications. The significance is in how screens fundamentally change how we ingest […]

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