International seminar "Age of the Information (Overload)"
Time: November 4, 2016 from 10.00-14.00
Place: room 215, Institute of Social Studies (Lossi 36)
10.00 Welcoming words prof. Andra Siibak (University of Tartu)
10.05 Prof. Daniel Miller „Why do we post?“ (University College London)
Why do we post on social media? Is it true that we are replacing face-to-face relationships with on-screen life? Are we becoming more narcissistic with the rise of selfies? Does social media create or suppress political action oir destroy privacy? And are these claims equally true for a factory worker in China and an IT professional in India? With these questions in mind, nine anthropologists each spent 15 months living in communities in China, Brazil, Turkey, Chile, India, England, Italy and Trinidad. They studied not only platforms but the content of social media to understand both why we post and the consequences of social media on our lives.
10.30 Prof. Axel Bruns (Queensland University of Technology) “Gatewatching Revisited: Journalism and Social Media”
Through successive waves of innovation, from early citizen journalism through blogs to the current generation of social media, the news industry has had to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. News audiences have become increasingly active in all areas of journalistic practice, from creating through curating to commenting on news updates; this is especially evident in the context of breaking news and other major events. This talk retraces these developments, and outlines current major trends.
10.55 Michael Krona (Malmö University) „The media world of ISIS - experiences of researching extremist communication and propaganda”
The talk will focus on two parts. First a presentation of trends in ISIS messaging strategies for recruitment, their media strategies and main narratives and how we can understand ISIS radical ideology and extremism from a theoretical horizon of media practices and activism. The second part evolves around the methodological and personal experiences of researching extremely graphic and emotionally challenging material
11.20 Mari-Liis Madisson (University of Tartu) (via Skype) “Hermetic meaning-making in online-communication of the Estonian extreme right”
This presentation analyses Estonian extreme right online communication that is characterized by an echo chamber effect. The study relies mainly on the theoretical frameworks of cultural semiotics. One of the aims of this inquiry is to widen the scope of understanding of autocommunicative processes. Usually in studies of cultural semiotics autocommunicative processes are related to learning, insight and innovation. This paper shows the conditions in which autocommunicative processes result in enclosed interactions, based on reproducing stereotypes and redundant content. The case study focuses on the discussion that arose in the context of the European refugee crisis that started in spring 2015.
11.45 Mihkel Solvak (University of Tartu) “Estonian e-governance ecosystem: using system log data to understand e-service usage".
Estonian e-governance rests on a data exchange layer called X-Road. It is a secure distributed data exchange environment or ecosystem that enables rendering a wide array of e-services. It also logs service calls which a team of researchers at University of Tartu has been granted access to. This presentation shows how the technical logs are of great analytical value and how we can see the growth of e-governance over a decade as well as unmediated usage patterns of government provided e-services (with selected empirical examples). It ends with a discussion on how system level technical data could effectively be used to provide new online services.
12.10-12.25 Coffee break
12.25 Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt (Malmö University) “Normal in sickness and health - collaborative media projects in defining normal?”
The talk will look at emerging results from an ongoing research project with my masters' student Johanna Willstedt Buchholz about how people with health issues use collaborative media like blogs, podcasts or cooperative portals to discuss issues around being healthy or sick. Looking at different invisible illnesses stigma and coping strategies will be addressed. The talk will also address the methological opportunities in analysing self-produced media.
12.50 Karin Täht (University of Tartu) „Use of social media by university students, quality of learning and personality traits.”
The presentation will give an overview of the research carried out in the department of psychology (University of Tartu), where the focus was on relationships between the use of digital technologies in the classroom, students learning styles and academic outcomes. As an additional theme the presentation will focus more closely to the usage of Facebook: it is possible to divide the usage of Facebook into three dimensions: active-public, active-private, and passive. In our research we investigated the relationships between these three dimensions and five personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, and extraversion).
13.15 Prof. Veronika Kalmus „Acceleration of time, acceleration of science?”
This presentation will outline some research problems related to the phenomenon of social acceleration in the information society, dealt within the respective institutional research topic at the Institute of Social Studies, University of Tartu. By taking a critical perspective within the sociology of science, the presentation will also discuss some implications of the “project society” and information overload, using the Horizon 2020 framework as an example.
13.40-14.25 Panel discussion: „ Where is the knowledge gap in information society-related research?“ Participants: Prof. Axel Bruns, Prof. Veronika Kalmus, Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, and Michael Krona. Discussion is led by Laur Kanger (Sussex University).
14.25 Closing remarks