Saturday, June 22, 2013

Memes in Digital Culture

Check out MIT press for a forthcoming new title that looks pretty exciting.  

Here's the blurb from the book cover:


In December 2012, the exuberant video “Gangnam Style” became the first YouTube clip to be viewed more than one billion times. Thousands of its viewers responded by creating and posting their own variations of the video--“Mitt Romney Style,” “NASA Johnson Style,” “Egyptian Style,” and many others. “Gangnam Style” (and its attendant parodies, imitations, and derivations) is one of the most famous examples of an Internet meme: a piece of digital content that spreads quickly around the web in various iterations and becomes a shared cultural experience. In this book, Limor Shifman investigates Internet memes and what they tell us about digital culture.
Shifman discusses a series of well-known Internet memes—including “Leave Britney Alone,” the pepper-spraying cop, LOLCats, Scumbag Steve, and Occupy Wall Street’s “We Are the 99 Percent.” She offers a novel definition of Internet memes: digital content units with common characteristics, created with awareness of each other, and circulated, imitated, and transformed via the Internet by many users. She differentiates memes from virals; analyzes what makes memes and virals successful; describes popular meme genres; discusses memes as new modes of political participation in democratic and nondemocratic regimes; and examines memes as agents of globalization.
Memes, Shifman argues, encapsulate some of the most fundamental aspects of the Internet in general and of the participatory Web 2.0 culture in particular. Internet memes may be entertaining, but in this book Limor Shifman makes a compelling argument for taking them seriously.

About the Author

Limor Shifman is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication and Journalism at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Walking and Mapping

A zoomed in shot of some of my journeys in London.

This reminds me that there is yet another excellent reference on mapping with MIT Press

It should be arriving in my pigeonhole tomorrow or the day after.  Along with The View From Above and Close Up At A Distance (both also MIT Press) this book contributes to new research directions in counter-mapping and the idea of blurring.  On the 10th of June I presented some initial findings at the Sixth Spatial Socio-cultural knowledge workshop to which I was an invited speaker.  The audience of 40-50 was very attentive, and a raft of questions just kept coming throughout the day and evening.  I was told by a colleague later that he also received comments the next day which, unfortunately, I was unable to attend.  I still felt like an integral part of this very worthwhile and exciting event.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mapping myself on Google Earth

The screenshot below shows the tracks of a number of my adventures over the last few months including bicycle journeys to Gracious Pond, Windsor, Thames River path, and St Anne's Hill around where I live; as well as Hampstead, Stratford, and Regent's Canal around central London.  The long line connecting the two is the path the train follows from Egham to Waterloo.

Little Venice to Limehouse by Regent's Canal

I walked the length of the canal today, approximately 14km, and beautiful weather for it.