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More on iDC Residency

My host at the Institute for Distributed Creativity in New York, Trebor Scholz, prompted me again for someone to dedicate my public lectures in September and October to. Perhaps happily, my search for bloggers or other citizen journalists who were killed in action (see I Seek Dead People) came up empty, so I've now looked for bloggers who were gaoled for their investigative work and open reporting. As I found out, there are whole Websites dedicated to this issue, including the Committee to Protect Bloggers who highlight the persecution of blogger-journalists around the world. Very interesting reading, especially also on the emerging networks of bloggers under threat in very different areas of the world.

Progress on Uses of Blogs

A good day yesterday: not only did I receive my hardcopies of the Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production book, but the first chapters for the next book, Uses of Blogs, which Jo Jacobs and I are currently editing, have also come in (with a surprisingly large number of contributors requestion a week's extension, though). In fact, both Jo and I also had some further good news - I can't quite disclose mine just yet, but Jo will become the new Collaboration Manager for ACID! Congratulations, Jo, and great to have you on board.

iDC Residency

Later this year I'll head over to the U.S. for a couple of conferences and a brief research residency with the Institute for Distributed Creativity - I'll be in Buffalo on 26-29 September and New York City on 10-15 October. My host Trebor Scholz has now posted some information about the residency on the iDC site.

This residency marks the first steps in the next stage of my current research agenda, which started with the work on Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production and currently continues with the Uses of Blogs book and other research on blogs and wikis (also in a teaching environment). As part of this work I've introduced the concept of the produser - marking the move from a production/consumption dichotomy to user-led (or at least user-involved) production. This also goes well beyond the 'prosumer' idea - which (seeing as it retains the '(con)sumer' bit) doesn't transcend that dichotomy.

Putting a Figure on It

Well, looks like my book Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production is really for sale now - I have a sales ranking at Amazon! Still a fair way to go from #194,377 to the top of the bestseller list, but I guess it's a start. So, thank you, dear customers so far (all, what, five of you...). And if you're still thinking of buying the book, please feel free to do so through this link and make me a little extra money. OK, commercial over.

Speaking of gatewatching, I'm half-way through a thesis I'm examining for an Australian university (can't give any precise details at this point for obvious reasons) which also deals with sites such as Slashdot, Kuro5hin, and Plastic. Good stuff so far, with a stronger emphasis on the moderation system rather than the news(gathering) aspects I cover in the book. It's a pity the author and I were working on our research simultaneously; otherwise we could have collaborated quite well, I think.

I Can See Everyone's House from Here

A very nice night yesterday: dinner with my friends (and colleagues) Jane Turner and Oksana Zelenko - I managed to whip up a very nice eggplant curry, Jane made her trademark chicken curry, and we watched both volumes of Kill Bill. The revelation of the night was Jane's pointing out the new Google Earth freeware - enabling the user to view high-definition (and I mean high - you can make out individual cars) satellite images of the whole world interactively. I found my home as well as a number of previous homes back in Germany, the Creative Industries Precinct where I work, and various other landmarks, and I'm still exploring more...

I Seek Dead People

OK - there's no way for this not to sound somewhat morbid, so here it is. I've been invited to do a brief research residency at the Institute for Distributed Creativity in New York later this year, and as part of my time there I'll be giving a memorial lecture related to my research work (most likely covering issues around gatewatching and collaborative news production, blogs, and the rise of the produser). Being a memorial lecture, it needs to be in memory - in honour - of somebody, though, and that's where I'm coming up short at the moment. The usual suspects - say, oh, Marshall McLuhan and the like - are a little too obvious, while some other key scholars in the field aren't actually dead yet (I checked). And in spite of the helpful suggestions of a colleague, the authors of that silly diatribe just don't qualify.

At any rate, the iDC folk would probably prefer the lecture to be dedicated to someone less known anyway. So, dear reader, any suggestions? Do we have any unsung heroes of citizen news, of news blogging, who were killed for their efforts? Who are the first martyrs of blogging? Please post your suggestions in a comment to this entry. And be assured that despite my somewhat flippant tone here, I do take this question very seriously - a memorial is no laughing matter.

Recent Book News

Uses of Blogs, edited by Joanne Jacobs and me, is now out on Peter Lang. Order now!

My book Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production is now available from - order it here!

Where Was I?

Backtracking a bit to cover some events from the last couple of weeks. That Ten News story I taped finally ran on Friday 24 June, but with all the delays and amidst other (and perhaps more urgent and timely) news stories it didn't turn out quite as well as it might have - in the end they used only a short soundbite from what had been probably five minutes' worth of material in the interview. That's the nature of these 'soft' news stories, I guess - they're ready to be chopped and changed as required when more important stories come to hand. What we had thought it would be was a more substantial piece to be promoted throughout the week, but in the end they ran only one promo for it on Thursday night. Ah well.

Welcome to Iceworld

OK, I really have to get back to blogging again. I suppose I blog the most when exciting and interesting things are happening, but the last few weeks, filled with chores between the end of one semester and the start of the next, have been difficult to say the least. I have tried hard to keep my weekends free from work-related tasks at least, though - with varying levels of success. Will try and post a few updates on current projects over the next few days.

One thing I have been able to do is to compile Iceworld, a CD of some ambient soundscapes I've tinkered with over the last few months. These are mainly improvs very much in a 'drone, bleep, blurt' mode, recorded live and edited into a series of individual tracks. The CD clocks in at just over 70 minutes and generally has a somewhat antarctic feel to me (hence the title); I've made it available here in MP3 format under a Creative Commons licence. Having listened to them a few times today, I'm quite fond of these tracks - "The Factory Ship" in particular has some very impressive bottom end on a good sub-woofer... Any comments are very welcome. (I might write a little more about how I've recorded these at another time.)

M/C Journal 'copy' Issue Launched

Today I sent out the announcement for the latest issue of M/C Journal, edited by Rachel Cobcroft and Susanna Leisten:


                          M/C - Media and Culture
            is proud to present issue three in volume eight of

                                M/C Journal

          'copy' - Edited by Rachel Cobcroft and Susanna Leisten


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