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Mobile Internet Use in Armenia

The final (!) session of AoIR 2015 is on the mobile Internet, and starts with Katy Pearce. Her interest is in the experiences of mobile-only Internet users: a phenomenon which is especially prevalent in developing countries. Here, resource constraints make it more likely that users will buy multi-purpose devices such as feature phones or smartphones with direct network access rather than desktop, laptop, or tablet devices that require a wifi connection.

Funding and Pricing Challenges for Indie Games Developers

The next speakers at AoIR 2015 are Chris Paul and Mia Consalvo, who shift our interest towards games. What is a game, in the first place? Game styles now vary wildly, and address many different communities of gamers; this is a matter of constitutive rhetoric as the language being used brings distinctions into existence through repetition.

Netflix and the Geoblocked Internet

The next speaker in this AoIR 2015 session is Nicole Hentrich, who shifts our focus to the problem of geoblocking in accessing televisual content online. Such Internet content is still controlled on a geographic basis; the Internet is thus not experienced the same by everyone, on both an individual, regional, and national basis.

The Commodity Flow of Netflix

The second session on this final day of AoIR 2015 starts with Camille Yale, whose focus is on Netflix. Netflix represents a rearticulation of the commercial media system, rather than a revolution: it has an intense commodity orientation, global ambitions, and oligopolistic practices; it claims for itself that it is democratising entertainment, however.

Young Estonians' Everyday Political Uses of Social Media

The next AoIR 2015 speaker is Katrin Tiidenberg, whose focus is on young Estonians' social media use. European electoral turnout has been on a steady decline, especially amongst young people, but some forms of non-institutional political participation are on the rise; young people's lives have changed considerably over past decades, and this may have given greater emphasis to everyday political activities over formal political participation.

The Changing Features of Communication on Twitter

Up next in this AoIR 2015 session is Sava Saheli Singh, whose focus is on subverting social media. Our use of such social media, such as Twitter, is shaped by the biases built-in by the people who design these spaces; and these have changed over time. Users reinterpret and repurpose the features of social media spaces, so there is a constant struggle between platform providers and users.

Understanding the Uses of Political Bots

The final day of AoIR 2015 has dawned, and it begins with a paper by Samuel Woolley; his interest is in political bots. Bots are software tools that automate human tasks on the Web; political bots, then, are social bots that engage with human users, largely through social media, to promote specific political causes.

Moving beyond First-Person Platform Studies

Finally in this AoIR 2015 session, we move on to Greg Elmer, one of the editors of Compromised Data: From Social Media to Big Data. His contribution is focussed on the practice of collecting data from social media sites, some of which is done using some very simple Web scraping tools (as Edward Snowden did at the NSA, apparently).

Reverse-Engineering Social Media Platforms

The next speaker in the Compromised Data session at AoIR 2015 is Robert Gehl, whose focus is on the effects of corporate social media. There is a conflict between the critiques of proprietary social media spaces and the obvious pleasures of using social media; what do we do about this?

Easy Data, Hard Data, Compromised Data

My QUT DMRC colleague Jean Burgess and I are next at AoIR 2015, presenting the core points from our chapter "Easy Data, Hard Data" in the Compromised Data collection. (The slides are below.) The chapter thinks through the pragmatics and politics of being social media researchers in a complex and precarious environment, and thus builds on David Berry's work on the computational turn in humanities and social science research.


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