Networked Media - Week 8

20 Jun 2017

In The Long Tail, Chris Anderson examines the 80/20 rule - that 80% of the content is consumed by 20% the people - in light of the digital age. I think the 80/20 rule still holds up, although it seems the makeup of the 20% is more volatile because the crowd has more power in selecting the 20% (through clicks, views, etc) and because the gatekeepers have changes (from newspapers, cable tv to Google, Facebook, etc).

In the Tim Wu reading, net neutrality was placed in broader historical context, especially the broadband discrimination of the early 2000s. While some of the technologies have changed since then, it will be interesting to observe how closely the recent lifting of net neutrality protections will play out.

I was particularly interested in the Publish, Then Filter chapter by Shirky. As someone who edited an online newsletter that relied on (volunteer-driven) post-publication filtering to surface "the best" content, I think this phenomenon has a specific timeframe attached to it, as so much of it is tied to RSS feeds, and effectively died with Google Reader.

In Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy, Tiziana Terranova examines how the free labor of users as the producers of economic value in the new media economy. I found it interesting how, in 2000 (and probably earlier), she outlines the structures of the social web that still ring true today.

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