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Showing posts from June, 2011

STS Walk-Talks

In order to go full social media circle, here is a brief post on what has already been mentioned through other outlets: I'm guest-blogging on the STS at Oxford blog about yesterday's Talk-Walk on the theme of 'Visualising - what is it to visualise?'. Sub-themes include the plural meanings and widespread metaphorical use of terms that relate to the visual, the slippy concept of affordances, and the scientific and narrative powers of visualisations. This is a nice follow-up to my earlier post on the animating of lectures.

But what on earth is an STS Talk-Walk in the first place? I first encountered the concept here in Oxford where it has been initiated and described by Malte Ziewitz. As mentioned by Malte, the idea first came about in Amsterdam where Annemarie Mol took her PhD students out walking. Rumour has it that the Dutch walk considerably longer than we do here in Oxford. On the other hand, we have been able to accommodate an interesting mix of people from differen…

Official statistics: 51% of 16-74 year old Danes use Facebook

In making a case for why my MSc dissertation here at the Oxford Internet Institute should be concerned with something as hyped and mundane as Facebook, I've been looking for numbers on the Danish social media landscape.

On the English-language web, the commercial SocialBakers Facebook statistics suggest that 49% of the Danish population are on Facebook.

This rather non-transparent number can now be compared with a recent report by Statistics Denmark, suggesting that 51% of 16-74 year old Danes have a Facebook account. The second-largest online social network service in Denmark, LinkedIn, is trailing far behind at 8%. Most surprisingly perhaps, a mere 3% of the surveyed age cohort use Twitter.

As such, there are compelling quantitative reasons for choosing Facebook over e.g. Twitter for a case study of how social media reflect life in Denmark. Another recent survey produced for a Danish daily confirms this: A tiny elite of the 319 most active Twitter users in Denmark write half of …

Mapping the Mapping

As a follow-up to the Mapping Controversies project on the Danish 'Tax Wars' described last year on this blog, one group member - Emil Urhammer - has taken a more reflexive stance on a new website entitled Mapping the Mapping.

The two main contributions are a philosophical essay on what it might mean to do (meta) mapping of controversies and a short inquiry, using qualitative survey and interview methods, into the reception and future potential of the original Tax Wars project. I found both reads highly stimulating. For example, Emil suggests that a 'Chamber of Closure' is added to mappings of controversies in order to facilitate not only the opening of the field of actors and arguments, but also the speed of opinion construction that is so crucial under the current circumstances, according to Latour.

The apt name notwithstanding, I also find the chamber of closure idea very useful for making explicit to the reader that a visit to a mapping controversies is never innoc…