Walters & Kop

This paper usefully maps many of what you might call the intellectual heavy weights whose work has contributed to thinking about digital culture. You will also notice the persistence of a pesky binary, that of the social/technical divide which plagues a lot of commentary and analysis. Important you understand both kinds of determinism and can see it in an argument, i.e. a social deterministic argument and a technological deterministic argument. While you don't have to rush off and read Heidegger1 it is important to have some idea of his basic ideas and how they have informed more recent thinkers and writers. His notion of Dasein—“being-in-the-world” includes tacit skills, implicit beliefs, and patterns of behaviour, is not a bad beginning point from which to think about digital culture.

The comparison of what is happening now to what took place when the printing press appeared is common in a good deal of the literature attempting to make sense of the contemporary changes we are living through.

Lyotard is another key and influential thinker about these shifts and you will find he is often cited when questions of knowledge are discussed.

The paper covers a broad list of online software, most of which you will be familiar with but also maps research and scholarship that you may find useful depending upon the focus you have opted to explore. While you may think these things have nothing to do with the specific issue you have opted to look at, these are the big players, the influential thinkers whose ideas will appear in the material you are reading, often unacknowledged! I know you will always acknowledge where your papers/ideas come from!! :)

The discussion of journalism and newspapers should resonate with your reading of the Weston paper from Week 3.

What do you make of the practices described around Facebook? I know they may not be at all new to you but the notion of self-promotion, developing a business around a following and so on is not an isolated event. How you think about the various online economies will be useful grist for your thinking.

While the paper does not explicitly focus on games culture, the broad take on digital culture and the ways folk are trying to make sense of things is useful, I think.

And after all of that, what did you make of the concluding comments?