This is a post on what I was working on in the last few weeks, writing a book chapter for the great edition on the Internet and digital inequalities in International perspective including International contributors, and submitting some other papers on social networks and communication dynamics online.
Since many of you asked me on Twitter, email, Skype what the book chapter is about – I wanted to share with you a piece of it (the book is supposed to be published next year). It is individual work that is the result of several years of experience, qualitative research (semi-structured interviews), observations, recent talking and writing on different kinds of digital and social divides, social media and communication practices present on the Internet, and recently measured by quantiative (online surveys) and qualitative (semi-structured interviews, web desktop analysis, observation, etc.) research of mine. In short my focus for this book was on Internet and social media in European perspective – Balkan countries. My manuscript is theoretically grounded on social theories developed by the classical sociologists like Max Weber, Giddens, Meyorwitz and I applied them to the issues of Internet inequality.
This weekend the Internet has celebrated the twenty years of the World Wide Web that on 6 August 1991 became publicly available; and Sir Tim Berners-Lee published the first ever website. Back then, he posted a short summary of the project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup. I was trying to remember my first html page back in 1996, probably stored on many floppy disks, maybe one day I will be able to extract the data and go back to the 90s.
Also, this weekend, I gave a short overview on the recent findings of a study of the Internet usage in the Balkan region. It is interesting to know
I have been interviewed last month for the Open Society Foundations Blog on various topics related to digital use, online social interactions, digital divide, social networks and young adults in Southeastern Europe. I’m finding some interesting patterns that show what kinds of strategies policymakers should use to create and implement in education, government, etc.
[crossposting] Digital Serendipities in Southeastern Europe
As an Open Society Foundations Chevening scholar at the University of Oxford in 2009, and now as a PhD student at the Oxford Internet Institute, Danica Radovanovic focuses on the use of social new communication technologies in Southeastern Europe. Following her presentation on the “digital divide” in higher education at a recent Open Society Scholarship Programs conference for alumni from the Balkans, I spoke to Danica about the impact of online social interactions, especially in the Balkan region.
Why is it valuable to research online social trends, and how do you see your research contributing in that area?
It is important to understand and evaluate how people, markets, the economy and politics are moving from offline to online worlds and vice versa. I believe that research in social media and new communication technologies plays a crucial role in analyzing our society
I have just returned from OSF/Chevening conference where I’ve talked on the higher education panel, as the University of Oxford Alumni, the only Internet scholar, and information management specialist, on bridging the digital divide in the super connected world.
Slides of my presentation are on my SlideShare and the podcast is at my account on SoundCloud with all descriptions, credits, and tags. The recorded talk covers three major concerns in Internet and social media and higher education, all applicable in other areas: literacies, knowledge gap, and notworking/not collaboration. Interaction, thoughts, and comments of the audience are not included. I talked pretty fast, since I wanted to give more space for discussion, thoughts, sharing. I hope you will understand what I was talking about.
The Asphalt Orchestra today have opened the TEDWomen, conference dedicated to women who are (re)shaping the future, sharing an amazing talks from the fields they have pioneered. Event is taking place in Washington, DC, December 7-8, 2010, and I have been privileged to get the access, live tweet out, right now there is a break in between the sessions. You can find my tweets here (with #tedwomen), talks are changing very fast and the schedule is not necessarily strictly prompt. Follow the hashtag #TEDWomen for all other tweets on live talks.
TedWomen started on Day One with hilarous Hans Rosling who talked about the usage of the earth energy and the environment in the Western and emerging counties using ingenious allegories, while Hanna Rosin talked on the importance of education and gender equality, some stereoptyes in this context, and new female superheros. Elizabeth Lindsey, ethnographer of the National Geographic Society, gave an amazing performance of chanting on stage, talking about navigation and information overload; while Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talked on balancing business and private life.
Do you remember the stories when computer engineer advices you to store all the important files on the partition D, and the partition C is for the Program files? Well, forget about it. The hard drive on my laptop is dead. In a seconds. No data saved. On both partitions. “But HOW?”, my friend screamed out this morning.
I have been using laptop computers for over a decade. Simply, my dynamic life style, frequent travels and the change of living and working places since the end of the 90’s determined that I will be using laptops. I had them many and experienced different malfunctions, software errors, but never so far had any major problems with hard discs, major enough to have complete crash and lost of data. I heard that such situations usually happen on weekends when technicians are not working. Now I believe in that.
The new school year in Serbia is about to start, and local newspapers are filled with techno anti-utopian articles on the bad effects of the Internet and social networks. A survey on the use of Facebook by the youth in Serbia has been published recently, too, however, and its results suggest that things aren’t really that bad.
More about the usage of Facebook among Serbian youth in my Global Voices article. Those who’ve asked me about the photo I’ve contributed in the featured text: it was taken in the downtown of Belgrade, in the Internet cafe, and I use it for my slides, for conference talks.
Feel free to comment.