Late adopters

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So last month I got a smartphone.

It’s been incredibly low on my priority list for, like, ever. I won’t bore you with a long list of reasons why. Suffice it to say, it has to do with cost, durability, replicating technologies I already have, and a desire not to be plugged in like someone from an Aldous Huxley dystopia, staring at a small screen in my hand while navigating through the world.

I’ve been a late adopter to various media and technologies: though I was quick on MySpace, as a musician, I was late to Facebook. Only got on Twitter towards the end of my PhD, when I started applying for academic jobs and realised that they might wonder why this young guy, clearly of the digital native generation, who is applying for media and comms positions, doesn’t know about this groovy medium. My wife and I held off mobile phones themselves for way long, capitulating when we moved to London and would have to balance her work, my studies, and this strange new world of school pick-ups and drop-offs. (Still, its primary use was and remains messages of the “coming home x” and “ok x” variety.)

So you see that when I have adopted a new technology, however late in the game, it’s been for the most practical of reasons. Continue reading

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JHistory – Review of Spreadable Media

So, this is not my academic blog, featuring musings on my research usual disclaimers yadda yadda. But I nonetheless reserve the right to store links to my available ac-writing here, not least to keep things in one place but also to help spread the word. Book reviews are a little easier, especially if they’re not behind any paywall. Tend to be less jargony, easier to get through in a brief sitting.

And this one is a doozy: pertinent to anyone who has a blog, reads a blog, shares a blog (hint hint), or whatever. Plus all those other non-blog things that also count as social media and, somehow, in a Wittgensteinian way look like they hang together. The problems of classification are part of what this book is trying to do. So click on, have a look… and spread it, yo!

“Spreading a New Buzzword to Describe Participatory Culture”: a review of Spreadable Media by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green.

At the book’s very beginning, we are told, “If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead” (p. 1). This is more a buzzy, normative declaration than an empirical observation, and it is our best clue as to what informs the analysis that follows. They set their term against comparable buzzwords: spreadable not sticky, spreadable not pirated, spreadable not viral. These are the themes that shape what follows.

Read the review here