which public’s which?


The complex system of distribution and aggregation, or as Danah Boyd (2009) would call it, a “world of flow”, cultivated by networked media has profound impacts on the formation and subsequent nature of publics. As the publishing industry reforms to resemble a “stream” (Boyd 2009), a continuous mechanism for information to be lived and breathed, this begs the question: how do we as publics produce, consume and assemble around information in this form?

Shirky (2009) makes the presumption that society don’t need the platforms, we need content – and I have to agree. In the networked mediascape, Twitter, Facebook and the likes are all merely tools to acquire a desired experience. Hence, it prevails that publics are using a far more diverse range of platforms to aggregate content that interests them. Boyd (2009) rightly establishes the catch with this model – “In a networked world, people connect to people like themselves”.This presents obvious complications for media producers – how do you tap into this now highly personalised, and sometimes narrowminded channel? Further still, how do you find the channel that suits your content?

Boyd, D 2009, ‘Streams of Content, Limited Attention: The flow of Information through Social Media’, paper presented at the Web2.0 Expo 2009, viewed 25 May 2012, <http://www.danah.org/papers/talks/Web2Expo.html>

Shirky, C 2009, ‘Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable’, Clay Shirky, weblog post, 13 March, accessed 25 May 2012, <http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2009/03/newspapers-and-thinking-the-unthinkable/>


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