Tweeting it Out: Twitter and Sociality

Quite fitting that there is a session on Twitter here at AoIR, even given the number of Tweets coming from #ir11.

Axel Maireder is speaking now about Twitter for transnational public discourses in Europe. Quite interesting how much research is now being done using Twitter, and how it is much more of just a microblogging medium. Hmm, I think I told people this a few years ago when I first started to tweet. I think I need to read his paper, as I am struggling to understand how he is using some of his  terms  (demos, public sphere). I do like his use of slides. Large text, blocks of color, and not too many (or any) bullet lists.

Musing about the variety of presentation skills I have seen here at the conference. Perhaps conference organizers can suggest guidelines for providing slide development and presentation guidelines. The first presentation has a wonderful slide deck. Large block type, few words, solid color backgrounds, etc. Perhaps I am focused on this as I teach management communication, and perhaps because I get paid for learning design, but there is such value in having good presentation skills to convey the many valuable messages that people have to share.

David Houghton is now presenting on Linguistic markers to self-disclosure of sensitive information on Twitter. Humorous Tweets are being shared with the question about linguistic differences on how people disclose things about themselves. Nice considerations of privacy issues.

Privacy and social networks, around informational or accessibility privacy. Juicy. Makes me think about identity development (yet again, how do I define myself or present myself usuig Twitter). Hmm, a reference for an online service, Secret Tweet. Have to explore that a bit.

Interesting linguistic markers. I wonder how these were developed? Yes, more papers I want to read. Wonder what is leading to David’s passion in this area?

Just heard about a cool website that everybody but me seems to know about,

Interesting session by Theo Plothe about Twitter feeds with NFL players. What a novel idea to bring various passions and interests together into novel research streams. I am struggling to follow some of the football references (surprised?), but really like to hear the down and dirty of the research methods used in this research. Really good model for presenting — engaging, examples, clear methods, research questions, and such.

I had no idea so many NFL players use Twitter in strategic ways. Interesting insight.

It is clear that Twitter research will increase, as the limited research that has already been done raises all sorts of new issues.

Sweet reference to Marcuse in a question about repressive tolerance.

I am beginning to think about liveblogging more directly through Twitter rather than here. Hmm, wonder if I should consider that for the next session?

Panel Discussion — Pro-Am Pornography: New Economies of Sex Production and Consumption

This promised to be an interesting panel.

There are new forms of hybidization of porn, such as porn as art, as a education, as things that are acceptable, etc. Some of these new notions of porn as being smart, pop-culture, etc.

I wish the names of these presentations at the beginning of the panel discussion were listed on the PDF of the conference schedule. I better write the names next.

Quite an interesting next title, Widening the Glory Hole: Mapping the discourse of online porn fandom. Interesting again that the examples in this presentation seem to be heteronormative as well.

I wonder what the stats of porn users  are, such as male / female, gay / straight, etc. Sorry to use the same binaries that I heard all about this morning, but I am liveblogging here!

It is refreshing to see scholarship in the area of online porn (something I seem to know little about, evidently), as most of the examples are filled with  heteronormative examples. I wonder to what extent this purposely excludes GLBT porn, or perhaps that population is less interesting or accessible?

Increasingly social elements in porn, including male interaction and bonding (though not being gay). Digital communication provides more interaction, without a gay focus. Interesting that the conclusion about glory holes was provided in a way that promotes heteronormativity and male bonding (though not gay sexuality).

The next presenter (Sharif Mowlabocus) is now analyzing the porn site xTube. Rise of amateur porn as an intrument for subversion that problematizes the role of the oppressed and the oppressor. This is a fascinating perspective that I think applies critical theory to a topic that is often troublesome for “proper” discussion and research at all.

Well, since these are all paper presentations, perhaps this really is not a panel discussion as I had printed on my conference day overview. The research quotes that are being shared at the end are all so fascinating. Wish we could slow down to process them. Yes, one more subject about which I know  very little (porn and agency / subjectivity, issues control and embodiment, capitalism and labor, pressure to produce new effects as sublime capitalism without regard for wage or negotiation.

Susanna Paasonen is now speaking about Good amateurs: Erotica writing and quality.  She is exploring the literotica website. This last session is fascinating, as the focus is around literary usage and without the more widely-confugured set of images and videos.

I think this presentation is a great follow-up to all the work on surveillance and identity development I have attended today.

The session finished right on time, and as the last session in the room today, most people wanted to stay for questions. Ironic that the presentation and Q&A are being done in a very  dark room.

Interesting question about re-ifying the power imbalance of amateurs.

Every session I attended today has challenged my think in some way, and from this perspective I think this conference is money well spent.

Ahh, the Pro-Am stands for Professional-Amatuer! Yes, I am slow on the uptake.

Papers: Identity and Activism

Just a pomotion for a new book that is coming out, Online Territories.

One of the presenters who was scheduled to attend was not here. Rrrrr.

David J. Phillips is speaking about Identity and surveillance play in hybrid space, and he just gave an intersesting definination of identity (though he spoke it, but now I do not recall it–perhaps it will be on the conference usb?). Interesting comment about a group of surveillance practice. I did not know there were things such as surveillance studies and scholarship (I am out of the loop, I suppose). Interesting discussion about visual surveillance and actuarial surveillance.

Wonder where surveillance studies lives: sociology? cultureal studies? educational research?

Ahh, discussion about how people hijack space with surveillance. McGrath. Wow, so much new to consider.

Ok, now I am starting to fade a bit, as I am hearing so many definitions and frames that are new, and are quite complicated for such a newbie. Alas, will have to read the paper as I think that some of this will be useful in my research. This is exactly one of the reasons why I find conferences so valuable, as I learn about things that are related to my work and about which I know little (to nothing).  For example, the research question that is now being explored is “How might actuarial surveillance play subvert ideologies of identity.” This seems like a fascinating question that I do not quite understand (at least, not yet).

I actually feel at a loss of what to discuss here as I am listening and trying to keep up.

“This is bolded in my notes, so I better say it.” Certainly words to the wise.

He looked at Foursquare, Area/Code, and Blast Theory.

This room is so crowded that 13 people are standing up. Perhaps they underestimated how many people were interested in this topic?

Interesting conception of what we imagine for the  visual watcher (e.g., Big Brother, Mom, etc.). However, it is hard to develop an imaginary of an actuarial watcher, as we cannot fully conceive of a system that so thoroughly tracks each and every of our movements.

Visual surveillance is now unbounded in time, as we put something online, it is out of time to know exactly when we started to be watched.

The questions that were asked of  the presenter are quite complex, yet they are helping me to understand this topic. For example, there is a desire to give up information to the vast system, such as taking online quizzes such as “If I were a murderer, who would I be?” (e.g., Atilla the Hun); what would  the pleasures around this be?

Next is Christina Neumayer discussing “Identity and surveillance in digital activism. Her focus is studying activism, and it is from this perspective that she comes to surveillance studies.

Activism is oriented toward engaging people to gather together to demand policy changes. She is showing several examples that did not have wide media coverage about the thousands of people who took over an Austrian lecture hall, had pro- or anti-Nazi rallies, protested at environmental conferences, and the like. They often use different online identities and such, and has interesting effects on the blurring between personal and private (online) identities.

What fascinating questions in this session. I really need to learn more about all this, as my quite slow and ingreased wheels are beginning to turn . . .

The Internet of Affect: A roundtable discussion

This panel was around the topic of Internet use and research, especially around the use of emotion. The members of the roundtable are Sally Wyatt, TL Taylor (who spoke in our pre-conference as well), Laura Gurak, and Jeff Ubois.

They are speaking about the use of observed and personal emotion.

One was an example of anger (observed) and anxiety (tension about the personal experience of researchers in the field). There is a visceral experience of emotion online. If one lived through an experience of anger (such as in a problematic online gaming situation).

Another set of observed and experienced affect is memory, with lots of examples of people who had private information online and who wanted them removed due to the intensity and persistence of emotion (sex worker sites, wearing Nazi uniforms in WWII reenactments, etc.).  Really interesting comment about how the persistance of memory that has different effects on different people based on their lived experiences.

There is a lack of social cues and a sense of flaming, though there are examples of significant grief that a community could experience online. The experience of observing online grief.  Her experience of being lost in space, regarding reading onine, is quite empathetic.

A final example of oberved reaction is boredom. There was somebody who gets bored on the Internet, somewhat like ironing to this person who was described. Alas, I like ironing (or at least the repetitive nature of ironing tends to reset my often out of control lifestyle). The emotional experience that was felt was awe, especially given the focus on how people navigate the health system and online health information. Ahh, as per Giddens, living in late modernity “is hard work.” People can have an impact with theory and understanding reality without engaging in empirical work (e.g., Marx, Weber).

“This is a roundtable without a table.” One of the best lines I heard all day.

Questions and discussion about reading online, printing out papers, and the like. Now, onto archiving. Makes me think about how I can now load my PDF articles into my EndNote library.

The discussion about loss and archiving things online presents an interesting area of thought, especially around anonymity.

I like how one of the presenters said about how she likes to problematize that question. Things that we did not have before (such as photos in a box at a mother’s house), but now we have so many electronic ones that in some way we want to back them up and keep all of them. Their commonality seems to make even more important.

Really interesting ongoing reflection on archiving photos and the emotional memory / remembering that happens when we are reminded of them.

I disagree with the speaker now who says that we all (or at least primarily) produce and publish online and we want comments or people to move our work along.

Ahh, the Internet as a performative space of affect, as we often say or do things online that do not match what we do F2F. Perhaps it is to make a point, or raise affect of others or control or  even because we often cannot do that in-person?

Concluding thoughts — as  though affect has been studied and observed, there is still a feeling that affect can be pursued and discussed much more. No surprise here, as we still cannot understand or clearly give voice to F2F affect as well!!

Affect as currency and affect as effect and way of communicating / performing one’s identity. I wonder how this all can (will?) play a role in my research?

Identity: Finding Your Form Online

Attending the first session at #ir11, which is fittingly on online identity. Imention that this is fitting as it is my area of interest for my doctoral thesis (the proposal for which I will begin in this coming January).

The first presenter is Kelly Bergstrom at York University, who is speaking about trolling at I have never used Reddit, so yet another thing to put on my to-do list.

I hear a lot of people tap tap tap on laptops; once again, not a surprise given the conference focus. Yes, once again I very much miss my Mac.

Kelly is speaking about Grandpa Wiggly, a real account on Reddit, and which is the focus of her work. In the process of her work, it came out that Grandpa Wiggly was really a young person, and there was an explanation that was provided for people. While there was no sinister motive, this was done for the sake of a fictious account to tell a story, or rather group of stories. Seems many people were upset that this character was not real. Alas, how does one verify who or what is real or accurate or honest or not online?

So, was this character a troll (one who disrupts discussion or otherwise causes problems or flares) or a character to begin discussion? This was interesting, as the concept of trolling is current and of concern and  is filled with loaded language.

Yoonmo Sang is now speaking about his paper on “Right of Reply,” which is about the concept of being able to reply to comments in the same medium where they were originally given, related to “the growing necessity of redeeming reputational damage on the Internet.” Interesting concept, yet something else I do not know much about.

I like how Yoonmu began his work with some legal explanations and rulings about this concept. It seems the right of reply is more common in the US in traditional media, though this is not as easy in the Internet. We are going back and forth between how this works in the US and in South Korea. Nice to see these sorts of comparisons between nations / cultures.

It is clear that the concept of the right of reply will become an even greater factor in Internet Research, law, and ethics. Seems the US is a bit behind in the area of the right of reply, and that seems fitting given our focus on freedom of speech (especially for speech that we “agree” with, alas).

Nora Madison is speaking about “Bi Watchdogs Patrolling the boarders of (in)visibility.” Interesting concept of binaries (male or female, gay or straight, etc.). This is related to my recent focus on dualism and how this seems focus on a post-positivistic perspective of giving name to things and putting them in this or that box.

Bisexuality as a narrative of resistance. Hmm, interesting concept about hegemonic discourse and cultural binaries. Ahh, I love critical theory. This is a really engaging concept, specifically about how using terms frames a discussion and way of thinking about things. Makes me wonder about how those who control or dominate the Web force their frames of issues for those who do not have the voice to speak up.

One of the things I like about liveblogging, is I process my own experience of the presentation as it is happening. Yes, very related to my research stream.

Interesting watchdog concept of looking for bisexuality and its use online, to see if it fits within the perspective of what is or is not acceptable to a person or community.

“Community  formation is always a political event,” of who is included and not included. Interesting in how this relates with cultural and online presence and voice. Reference to and the “I am visible” campaign.

Now, the fourth presenter Jennifer Cypher on “Questioning anonymity in the blogosphere: A blogging cycle of identity formation.” This is right in the area of my research and which I have blogged abbout before. Ahh, this is within her PhD work.

The more work she did on blogging, the more that issues of identity started coming up.

Ahh, zero comment and zero reader bloggers. I can relate to them! Blogging away in a vaccum. Nicely stated, though I wonder why many of them use pseudonyms. Alas, I wonder why?

She just listed Six steps of identity creation via blogging practice. I missed the reference for this, alas. Will have to look into this more.

The room here at the conference is full. Nice room, though a tad small for the group here.

Pseudonym + concealment = anonymity? Interesting concept that Jennifer is presenting. Seems her work is around concealment and blogging identity. She just shared how she blogged at one point after she had a child who died, and she anonymously blogged about her experences as a coping mechanism. She did not share this with anybody she knew, but then this all started to develop in a particular community when she started to communicate with others who has similar experiences.

I really love struggling through these issues, and am saddened that I have been so busy that I have put a lot of my own work in this area on temporary hold as I have been so busy. Alas, no more of that unending work as I am realizing how disconnected from my own communities I have been.

I like her blogging name, DeadBabyMama. Quite macabre and fitting in an October conference. I wonder how that self-naming relates to self-identity (or identity development)? Interesting work on silos and integration with concealed identities.

I have a question for Nora about her perspective on binaries, and how this relates to ontological or epsitemological perspectives. While related to control (critical theory), does her work look into post-postivism and how it is silently present when those who have voice use that to frame (and thus control) the conversation?