Happy new year

This year…. Ummm. I think I’ll publish a few things, lose weight, exercise more, travel a bit, and try to spend much less…. Normal stuff… Of course today I am still currently sick with a cold. Weee!

Special Issue of New Media & Society on the Democratization of Hacking & Making

Call For Papers:
Special Issue of New Media & Society on the Democratization of Hacking & Making

Research on hacker culture has historically focused on a relatively narrow set of activities and practices related to open-source software, political protest, and criminality. Scholarship on making has generally been defined as hands-on work with a connection to craft. By contrast, “hacking” and “making” in the current day are increasingly inroads to a more diverse range of activities, industries, and groups. They may show a strong cultural allegiance or map new interpretations and trajectories.

These developments prompt us to revisit central questions: does the use of hacking/making terminologies carry with them particular valences? Are they deeply rooted in technologies, ideologies or cultures? Are they best examined through certain intellectual traditions? Can they be empowering to participants, or are they merely buzzwords that have been diluted and co-opted by governmental and business entities? What barriers to entry and participation exist?

The current issue explores and questions the growing diversity of uses stemming from this turn of hacking towards more popular uses and democratic contexts. Submissions that employ novel methodological and theoretical perspectives to understand this turn in hacking are encouraged. They should explore new opportunities for conversations and consider hacking as rooted in a specific phenomena, culture, environment, practice or movement. Criteria for admission in this special issue include rigor of analysis, caliber of interpretation, and relevance of conclusions.

Topics may include:
– Disparities of access and representation, such as gender, race and ethnicity
– Open-access environments for learning and production, such as hacker and maker spaces
– “Civic hacking” and open data movements on city, state and national levels
– Integration of hacking and making within industries
– Historical analyses of making/hacking such as phreaking and amateur computing
– Popularization of terms like “hacker” in newspapers, magazines and other publications
– Open-source hardware and software movements
– Appropriation of technology
– Hacking in non-western contexts, such as the global south and China
– Political implications of a popular shift in hacker/maker culture

Please email 400 word abstract proposals, along with a short author biography, by May 1, 2014 to aschrock@usc.edu and jhunsinger@wlu.ca. Final selected articles will be due during September 2014 and will undergo peer review.

10 things that i think i know about learning ecologies

10 things that i think i know about learning ecologies

1. human beings learn; we don’t stop learning, we learn while we are awake, we learn while we are asleep, we learn when under stress, and we learn when comfortable and happy.

2. human beings do not always learn what others know,  or think is the truth, the right, the good, or anything else that is socially or culturally endorsed. in fact, we frequently learn what isn’t endorsed, and what is around the endorsed, what structures the endorsed and what endorses the endorsed, etc. etc. instead of learning the endorsed.  the learning around the endorsed learning may be the most important learning in the end.

3. learning is a process. it is not thing, nor a product.  it must be performed, but awareness of its performance does not always improve it.  human beings are not the only things that learn.

4. speed and change occur in ecologies and thus affect learning and learning ecologies.

5. learning constructs relationships. relationships are frequently labeled objects, essences, qualities, etc. but what we are doing is learning to relate one thing or set of things(subject, object, or quasi-object) to another thing or set of things. frequently when learning these relationships, we make them too ‘unchanging’, thus requiring future unlearning and relearning.

6. learning is social. there are always other human beings. other humans exist as learners implicit in everything, from our language, to our actions, to our texts, and to our world.  even if there are no ‘physical subjects’ other than yourself present when you learn, there are tens of thousands of subjects, a virtual society or hidden college, around you.  we learn from and with those human beings.

7. human beings build and inhabit ‘assemblages’ which are systems of relationships which persist through time such as institutions, environments, ideologies, etc. etc.  we build structures for learning too.  we also build ‘mechanisms’ which structure relationships with an intention of producing or re-producing in whole or in part assemblages.  the structuring and/or mechanizing of learning can prevent or hinder the learning, as much as it can help and encourage it.

8. assemblages and mechanisms are internal to our learning ecology, but we do not always learn about them, sometimes they are purposefully hidden from us, sometimes justifiably, sometimes not.  sometimes these assemblages and mechanisms augment human being’s capacity to learn.

9. when we structure and/or mechanize learning, we change its ecology, which necessitates the creation of relationships or the changing of relationships, thus we need to learn the relationships in the ecologies anew.

10. human beings have always been tool users. tools are technologies, and we have always learned about and through technologies.  technologies, as such, are part of our learning ecology and play parts in structuring and mechanizing learning. technologies have always mediated relationships, and all media are technologies.  there is a ‘craft’ to all technologies that must be learned, and in learning that craft, we create new relationships that we share with others.

cfp: Cultures in virtual worlds

Cultures in virtual worlds

A special issue of the New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia
Guest-edited by Jeremy Hunsinger and Adrienne Massanari

Virtual worlds (VW) embody cultures, their artefacts, and their praxes; these new and old spaces of imagination and transformation allow humans to interact in spatial dimensions. Within these spaces, culture manifests with the creation, representation, and circulation of meaningful experiences.  But virtual worlds are not novel in that regard, nor should we make the mistake to assume that they are novel in themselves.  Virtual experiences have been around in some respect for hundreds of years, and virtual worlds based in information technology have existed for at least 40 years.  The current generation of virtual worlds, with roots over four decades old in studies of virtual reality, computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), sociology, cultural studies, and related topics, provide for rich and occasionally immersive environments where people become enculturated within the world sometimes as richly as the rest of their everyday lives.

We seek research that encounters and investigates cultures in virtual worlds in its plurality and in its richness. To that end, we invite papers covering the breadth of the topic of cultures in and of virtual worlds.

Some possible areas/approaches of inquiry:

  • How culture of virtual worlds affect relationships
  • VW interfaces and culture/s
  • Hidden subcultures/communities in virtual worlds
  • Ages and VW cultures
  • Emic and etic experiences of virtual worlds
  • Producing VW cultures
  • Traditional cultural/critical studies inquiries of VWs
  • Transnational or cosmopolitan cultures in/of VWs

While all forms of scholarship and research are welcome, we prefer theoretically and empirically grounded studies. We seek a Special Issue that exemplifies methodological pluralism and scholarly diversity. The use of visual evidence and representations is also encouraged.   We especially seek pieces that investigate virtual worlds that have received little scholarly attention.

Submission guidelines

This special issue is Guest-Edited by Jeremy Hunsinger (Virginia Tech) and Adrienne Massanari (Loyola University Chicago). Queries regarding the Special Issue should be directed to them at jhuns@– –vt.edu and amassanari@– –luc.edu. The Guest-Editors welcome contributions from both new researchers and those who are more well-established. Submitted manuscripts will be subject to peer review.

Length of papers will vary as per disciplinary expectations, but we encourage articles of around 7000 words (longer articles may be possible, if warranted). Short discussion papers of around 3000 words on relevant subjects are also welcomed as ‘Technical Notes’.

Detailed author submission guidelines are available online at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/journal.asp?issn=1361-4568&linktype=44.
Papers must be submitted via the journal’s online submissions system: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/tham Please indicate that your submission is for the Special Issue on Culture in Virtual Worlds.

The special issue will be published in summer 2012.

Important dates:

November 11, 2011 Paper submission deadline

February 10, 2012 Author notification

May 5, 2012 Final copy due

Summer 2012 Publication


Day of digital humanities

I am never sure if I am in the digital humanities or not, but several major projects run on my servers and I’ve done work on projects in the past.  I’m in Montreal today and for a few days giving a talk at Concordia’s TAG Lab and I am at the International Studies Association annual conference, where I gave my paper yesterday and it was well received, and tomorrow I have to be discussant on two panels, weee!

The talk is titled:

From COTS to Class:  the twice hidden curriculum of computer games or why I’d prefer to be playing dwarf fortress

Yesterday’s paper was:  Information Excess in the Age of Cyberinfrastructures:  on being governed


6:00am Woke up spontaneously

6:00am-around 7:15  checked email (which is work, checked security logs for systems that are mailed to me, scanned through server notices); read general email.  Found one more expression of interest for the Critical Theory of the Internet Project

7:15-7:30 ablutions

7:30 iron today’s shirt…  I’m traveling and while I’m not known to be a fancy dresser by any means, I do tend to make an attempt at a professional appearance.

7:45 go to take picture of hotel workspace…. and camera battery is dead.

7:50 … forgot to put collar stays in… collar floppy, hmmph, will get this sorted in a few seconds

8:00am breakfast at Coras.

8:06am still haven’t made it to breakfast… had an email request to add people to a departmental webpage, which i won’t do today, but when I am in the office because the particular university server the webpage exists on only does localnet webdav and http/https uploads.  It can be done remotely, but there is no rush for this task that I can see.

9:15 took a picture of my workspace in the hotel room.. this is a new computer, so… iphoto did not launch on insertion of sd card, launched iphoto, which is apparently a new version and want to upgrade my photo library… this could take some time.

workspace in hotel room

9:41  as most academics know… going to an academic conference is really no vacation, it is more like adding a temporary other job on top of your own job.  Mostly you spend time in little or sometimes big rooms rooms cramped with many people listening to other people present their ideas.  After those are done, then you do the same in the hallways, then you do the same at lunch, then dinner, etc.   Really when you visit a city for a conference, you see mostly hotel rooms and conference rooms.   I generally try to carve out some time for a walk around too, but it is anything other than tourism, it is basically work x 2.

9:44am  Right now, for instance I am in the hotel room teaching my class.  I’m in my hotel room primarily because i get free internet access from the lobby here, or I’d be in the lobby.  The conference hotels were more expensive than my hotel, are right next door, and want to charge around $15.00 per day per internet connection.  There are 3 hotels, and panels are scattered throughout them, so mostly… you can go to one panel, then you get caught in the hall and miss a panel, etc.

Oh my class… not digital humanities so much… it is interpretive policy analysis, taught online through our online master of arts in political science and our master of public and international affairs program.  Currently there are 45 unread posts that I should read and some of them will require response.

10:13 just read some of craig bellamy’s dayofdh .. yes i should be reading student material

10:16 verifying some travel plans for next week’s conference in Chicago

10:39 reviewing and editing my slides again…  i’ll do until i’m actually presenting them, once every few hours or so… this is not my best stack, or anything close, this is a new stack, and it will develop over time into a strong stack, but right now, i know them, i know they are mine, and i know how the talk is supposed to go.

11:10 met with Bart Scott from TAG for talk, went out for coffee, had several good conversation topics.



2011 is likely a transition year. I don’t know where it’s going, but I know some things are ending and some things will begin. Basically I think there are two things going on here… One is career, which while fine and I love my job, but I would like to move to tenure-track. Basically, I think there I just need to cut back and focus on a more centered career. So topically, I’m focussing on knowledge production and its political/policy requirements in informal environments such as social media, virtual worlds, games, and hackerspaces/hacklabs. The other is personal life, 2010 that basically fell apart on me in many ways, but nothing irrecoverable beyond the divorce of course. Here is what I am hoping to accomplish this year:

  1. write daily
    1. finish the books that I have underway
      1. Handbook of social media
      2. unconnected
    2. get journal articles out the door
      1. science in second life series
      2. hacklabs series
      3. politics and policy series
    3. finish software/games projects under development
    4. submit grants in development, develop more grants
  2. get healthy
    1. drink less, basically the idea is to cut out alcohol until i lose 30lb
    2. exercise more
      1. stretch daily
      2. run the april 16th fun run
      3. work up to 5k
      4. maybe take up aikido
    3. eat better food, cut out bar food, etc.
      1. i can cook and i was doing this pretty well in sept.-oct. then I stopped, but I’m working on it.
      2. less red meat, more fish
      3. eat more vegetables/fruits
      4. eat fewer processed foods, chips, etc.
  3. watch less video/tv, and read more texts
  4. cut back on social media and casual games.
  5. make more friends, meet new people
  6. travel more
  7. generally I want to try to be a happier, kinder, more supportive person within the constructivist-pragmatist and cynical-cosmopolitian worldview that I live within, though I am usually happy and I already try to be kind, but I can try to be better, as can everyone.
  8. smile more, last fall was tough for smiling, but really I’m alive and everything is pretty cool in my life, so I should enjoy it and smile a bit more.

so yeah, those are my goals for ought-11

International Handbook of Internet Research

International Handbook of Internet Research

Edited by Jeremy Hunsinger, Lisbeth Klastrup, and Matthew Allen

Over 600 pages
With co/authors from: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, India, North America, South America
From a wide variety of fields and perspectives.


The New Media, the New Meanwhile, and the Same Old Stories
Steve Jones

Jeremy Hunsinger and Matt Allen

Are Instant Messages Speech?
Naomi S. Baron

From MUDs to MMORPGs: The History of Virtual Worlds
Richard A. Bartle

Visual Iconic Patterns of Instant Messaging: Steps Towards Understanding Visual Conversations
Hillary Bays

Research in e-Science and Open Access to Data and Information
Matthijs den Besten, Paul A. David, and Ralph Schroeder

Toward Information Infrastructure Studies: Ways of Knowing in a Networked Environment
Geoffrey C. Bowker, Karen Baker, Florence Millerand, and David Ribes

From Reader to Writer: Citizen Journalism as News Produsage
Axel Bruns

The Mereology of Digital Copyright
Dan L. Burk

Traversing Urban Social Spaces: How Online Research Helps Unveil Offline Practice
Julie-Anne Carroll, Marcus Foth, and Barbara Adkins

Internet Aesthetics
Sean Cubitt

Internet Sexualities
Nicola Döring

After Convergence: YouTube and Remix Culture
Anders Fagerjord

The Internet in Latin America
Suely Fragoso and Alberto Efendy Maldonado

Campaigning in a Changing Information Environment: The Anti-war and Peace Movement in Britain
Kevin Gillan, Jenny Pickerill, and Frank Webster

Web Content Analysis: Expanding the Paradigm
Susan C. Herring

The Regulatory Framework for Privacy and Security
Janine S. Hiller

Toward Nomadological Cyberinfrastructures
Jeremy Hunsinger

Toward a Virtual Town Square in the Era of Web 2.0
Andrea Kavanaugh, Manuel A. Perez-Quinones, John C. Tedesco, and William Sanders

“The Legal Bit’s in Russian”: Making Sense of Downloaded Music
Marjorie D. Kibby

Understanding Online (Game)worlds
Lisbeth Klastrup

Strategy and Structure for Online News Production – Case Studies of CNN and NRK
Arne H. Krumsvik

Political Economy, the Internet and FL/OSS Development
Robin Mansell and Evangelia Berdou

Intercreativity: Mapping Online Activism
Graham Meikle

Internet Reagency: The Implications of a Global Science for Collaboration, Productivity, and Gender Inequity in Less Developed Areas
B. Paige Miller, Ricardo Duque, Meredith Anderson, Marcus Antonius Ynalvez, Antony Palackal, Dan-Bright S. Dzorgbo, Paul N. Mbatia, and Wesley Shrum

Strangers and Friends: Collaborative Play in World of Warcraft
Bonnie Nardi and Justin Harris

Trouble with the Commercial: Internets Theorized and Used
Susanna Paasonen

(Dis)Connected: Deleuze’s Superject and the Internet
David Savat

Language Deterioration Revisited: The Extent and Function of English Content in a Swedish Chat Room
Malin Sveningsson Elm

Visual Communication in Web Design – Analyzing Visual Communication in Web Design
Lisbeth Thorlacius

Feral Hypertext: When Hypertext Literature Escapes Control
Jill Walker Rettberg

The Possibilities of Network Sociality
Michele Willson

Web Search Studies: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Web Search Engines
Michael Zimmer

Appendix A: Degree Programs
Appendix B: Major Research Centers and Institutes

as described on the backmatter:

This handbook, the first of its kind, is a detailed introduction to the numerous academic perspectives we can apply to the study of the internet as a political, social and communicative phenomenon. Covering both practical and theoretical angles, established researchers from around the world discuss everything: the foundations of internet research appear alongside chapters on understanding and analyzing current examples of online activities and artifacts. The material covers all continents and explores in depth subjects such as networked gaming, economics and the law.

The sheer scope and breadth of topics examined in this volume, which ranges from on-line communities to e-science via digital aesthetics, are evidence that in today’s world, internet research is a vibrant and mature field in which practitioners have long since stopped considering the internet as either an utopian or dystopian “new” space, but instead approach it as a medium that has become an integral part of our everyday culture and a natural mode of communication.

(I don’t know if it was the first of the kind published, but I think it was the first done this way -jh)