Blogging from York

Day Two of the web 2.0 conference and Kris has posted about some of yesterday’s sessions on the CLT Blog. Gwyneth and I are currently listening to ‘Making Friends with Jarvis Cocker’ by Dave Beer at York St John which is looking at the music industry and the myth of ‘the democratisation of music culture’ caused by digital technology. He considers the impact of the web 2.0 on the music business, looking specifically at Jarvis Cocker. Using Wikipedia and YouTube, Dave shows us how to get to know Jarvis better, before making friends with him through MySpace! An interesting observation that music performers are now moving closer to their audiences. People want to make friends with their heroes and music brings people together and plays an important role in web 2.0.

The second paper in this morning session is from Andrew Cox at the University of Sheffield, Department of Information Studies. He’s looking at one of my favourite web 2.0 site, Flickr, including an overview of it’s development and main features. Tagging in Flickr isn’t used in the same way as in del.icio.us for example and people tend to use titles to describe photos. Andrew’s full paper is available from his website. Andrew makes a good point that web 2.0 isn’t a threat to the traditional media and in fact the BBC has been one of the biggest advocates of it.

The final paper in this morning’s session is by Patricia Hellriegal on Decoding YouTube. It’s interesting to see how YouTube acts a social networking site through comments. Despite all the complaints, YouTube actually has a strict censorship policy frequently removing offensive content as it is primarily a commercial site. Her paper analyses YouTube looking at design and typography and what has been called Design 2.0. She then undertook a structural analysis of YouTube looking at traffic on the site. She also looked at how YouTube is mentioned increasingly in the mainstream media in Flanders. The origin of videos is often not transparent, as many appear ‘homemade’ when in fact they are created by a commercial organisation.

Our paper yesterday seemed to go well and we’ve observed how multi-disciplinary this conference is, but how, despite us not always talking the same language, we’re all concerned with similar issues. Topics such as metadata verses tagging and media literacy are frequently coming up, which was a surprise to me, this being a conference largely organised by sociologists. Andrew Keen and Charles Leadbetter’s debate last night was particularly impressive and Kris has reported on this extensively.

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