Information in Society speaker series
Dr. Matthew Hindman
Date: Mon, Oct 12 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
Location: GSLIS Room 126
Almost all of our conclusions of the Internet's impact on American society depend on assumptions about Web traffic. Unfortunately, there has been little big picture research on online audiences, and even less work on how site traffic changes over time.
Using three years of daily Web traffic data from Hitwise, this talk examines large-scale variation in Web traffic. Smaller sites show orders of magnitude more variation in the audience share they receive. Moreover, the relationship between size and audience variability is consistent enough to estimate how likely it is that Google will still be the top U.S. site a year from now, or the odds that a site currently at rank 50 will break into the top 10.
These results challenge many accepted notions about the future of journalism, the workability of supporting online content with ads, and the supposed openness of the online public sphere.
Matthew Hindman is an assistant professor of political science at Arizona State University. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, and was previously a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. His book The Myth of Digital Democracy was published this winter by Princeton University Press.
"The MP3 as Standard Object: Infrastructure, Software and the Politics of Media Culture"
Monday, October 12
12:30pm Coordinated Science Laboratory, Room B02 (Auditorium)
To be followed by a small group discussion at 1:45pm in CSL 301
Today, more recordings exist in mp3 form than in any other form in the world. What difference does it make? Arguments about sound quality abound in scholarship and the popular press, but much less has been said about the format as itself a cultural phenomenon. This is not entirely accidental, as scholars are more often in the habit of conceiving of technology in terms of hardware “media.” In this lecture, I consider the historical significance of format as a defining feature of recent media history, and argue that the history of the mp3 reveals highlights understudied dimensions of the history of communication technology, such as standards and infrastructures.
Jonathan Sterne teaches in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies and the History and Philosophy of Science Program at McGill University. Visit his website at http://sterneworks.org.
- Graduate College
- Coordinated Science Laboratory
- Department of Communication
- Human-Computer Interaction Colloquium Series
- Institute of Communications Research
- Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
- Information in Society Program, Graduate School of Library and Information Science
InfoStructure reading group will be held from 12:15-1:30 in room 242 of the Library and Information Science Building. It's on the corner of Daniel and Fifth in Champaign.
This session, we'll be discussing spring speaker possibilities along with Jonathan Sterne's work. Lunch will be provided.
Below are recommended Jonathan Sterne readings:
- “Television Under Construction: American Television and the Problem of Distribution 1926-1962.” Media, Culture and Society 21:3 (July 1999): 503-530.
- “The MP3 as Cultural Artifact,” New Media and Society 8:5 (November 2006): 825-842.
Both found on http://sterneworks.org/Text/
Professor Sterne also recommends the intro to his last book, The Audible Past, as a good background on sound. There is a copy available in the Communications Library (call number Q.302.22 St45a), a copy in the Stacks (call number Q. 302.22 St45a), and a copy in the Sousa Archives & Center for America Music (call number TK7881.4 S7332003).
InfoStructure: intersections between social and technological systems is an initiative by a multidisciplinary group of graduate students who are interested in technological systems, information, and society. The program has two main components: a public speaker series and a seminar and research group. The first speaker series will launch on Oct 12th presented by Jonathan Sterne of McGill University entitled The MP3 as Standard Object: Infrastructure, Software and the Politics of Media Culture. To learn more about our speaker series and related events please check here.