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Introducing the Companion to New Media Dynamics

I’m delighted to announce the completion of another major project: Blackwell has just published A Companion to New Media Dynamics, edited by my CCI colleagues John Hartley, Jean Burgess, and me. The title of this substantial volume may seem a little strange at first – why not just “… to New Media”? –, but with this collection we aimed specifically to highlight new media as a set of dynamic, evolving, and sometimes elusive practices rather than a static, easily defined thing.

The volume brings together contributions from a long list of researchers in the field, and combines international research leaders with key emerging scholars who will drive the next generation of new media and Internet research. But don’t take my word for it – take Toby Miller’s: “We are fortunate indeed to have this tour d'horizon of young and middle-aged media across Europe, North America, and Asia. It features an array of established and emergent writers whose clear prose and thorough research mark out their work.”

My own chapter in the book provides a historical overview of the development of personal presence online: it charts the course of evolution from hand-coded homepages to social network profiles, taking in a few detours and possible dead ends (GeoCities, anyone?) along the way. My sense is that there’s a continuing struggle between experimentation and standardisation which has had us oscillating between these two extremes; at the moment, the relative rigidity of Facebook and Twitter profile templates places us closer towards the standardised, “one size fits all” end. Perhaps it’s time for the pendulum to swing back again soon?

Here’s a complete list of chapters:

Part 1 - Approaches and Antecedents

1. Media Studies and New Media Studies (Sean Cubitt)

2. Media Dynamics and the Lessons of History: The ‘Gutenberg Parenthesis’ as Restoration Topos (Thomas Pettitt)

3. Literature and Culture in the Age of the New Media: Dynamics of Evolution and Change (Peter Swirski)

4. The Future of Digital Humanities Is a Matter of Words (Willard McCarty)

5. The End of Audiences? Theoretical Echoes of Reception amidst the Uncertainties of Use (Sonia Livingstone and Ranjana Das)

6. The Economics of New Media (John Quiggin)

7. The Emergence of Next Generation Internet Users (William H. Dutton and Grant Blank)

8. National Web Studies: Mapping Iran Online (Richard Rogers, Esther Weltevrede, Sabine Niederer and Erik Borra)

Part 2 – Dynamics of Change


9. In the Habitus of the New: Structure, Agency and the Social Media Habitus (Zizi Papacharissi and Emily Easton)

10. Long Live Wikipedia? Sustainable Volunteerism and the Future of Crowdsourced Knowledge (Andrew Lih)


11. Changing Media with Mobiles (Gerard Goggin)

12. Make Room for the Wii: Game Consoles and the Construction of Space (Ben Aslinger)


13. Improvers, Entertainers, Shockers and Makers (Charles Leadbeater)

14. The Dynamics of Digital Multisided Media Markets: How Media Organisations Learn from the IT Industries How to Engage with an Active Audience (Patrik Wikström)


15. Search and Networked Attention (Alexander Halavais)

16. Against Search – Towards a New Computational Logic of Media Accessibility (Pelle Snickars)


17. Evolutionary Dynamics of the Mobile Web (Indrek Ibrus)

18. Pseudonyms and the Rise of the Real Name Web (Bernie Hogan)


19. New Media and Changing Perceptions of Surveillance (Anders Albrechtslund)

20. Lessons of the Leak: WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and the Changing Landscape of Media and Politics (Christoph Bieber)

Part 3 – Forms, Platforms and Practices

Culture and Identity

21. Cybersexuality and Online Culture (Feona Attwood)

22. Viral Video and Spoof Culture (Jean Burgess and Henry Li)

23. Identity (Alice Marwick )

24. Networked Identity (Jan Schmidt)

25. Identity (Terri Senft)

Politics, Participation, Citizenship

26. The Internet and the Opening Up of Political Space (Stephen Coleman)

27. The Internet as a Platform for Civil Disobedience (Cherian George)

28. Parody, Performativity, and Play: The Reinvigoration of Citizenship through Political Satire (Jeffrey P. Jones)

29. The Politics of Platforms (Tarleton Gillespie)

30. From Homepages to Network Profiles: Balancing Personal and Social Identity (Axel Bruns)

Knowledge: Self-organised, Networked

31. The New Media Toolkit (Mark Pesce)

32. Materiality, Description and Comparison as Tools for Cultural Difference Analysis (Basile Zimmermann)

33. Learning from Network Dysfunctionality: Accidents, Enterprise and Small Worlds of Infection (Jussi Parikka and Tony D. Sampson)

New Generations

34. Young People Online (Lelia Green and Danielle Brady)

35. Beyond Generations and New Media (Kate Crawford and Penelope Robinson)