Morning Seminar Sessions

Here's a run down of the morning seminar sessions. I'll update soon with the final keynote speech of the conference.

Power and the Blogosphere

Blogger claims that the Right will control everything on the web

The political blogosphere – 24% campaign news in the US is sourced from blogs, an increase of 13% from 2004

These figures are dominated by traditional media sources. Generally, blogs are not read by the general public. A lot of people don’t know what blogs are. It is not how many people who read blogs which is important, but who is reading them. If a blogger has an audience then they are generally politically active. In the early stages of the blog there was a distinct Conservative bias – a right wing dominance. The left did not consider blogging to have the same potential as the main stream media.

From the perspective of the US 2004 election, the netroots campaign was seen as a failure. The right wing was much more successful in mobilising people. Now in the Obama campaign we can see that the web is being more effective in mobilising the grand swathes of media. Reason for the shift in the balance of power – progressive and activist sites and blogs were built from the ground up. Conservative were built from the top down. Top tier bloggers were driven by talk radio model, they were uninterested in building up networks.

Is the right wing blogosphere dead? Progressive netroots should maintain the activist fundraising advantage for the future. 2008 election should prove more amenable to the right wing bloggers than 2006.

Political Subjectivation on Issue Publics on Facebook.

Facebook suggests that there is a kind of democratic and assimilative power structure on the platform. This is seen in the amount of wide ranging groups and issue specific discussions and organisations which proliferate on the site. However, it is also apparent that Facebook also facilitates the discussion of marginalised issues, the ones which the media would not touch. Facebook is not a neutral platform, because it offers a limited set of communicative platforms. There is no way of accessing the inner data of Facebook, you can only access the information available though your profile. The public is only actualised in the now, it does not have access to the historical discussion data and therefore the architecture on Facebook is difficult in actualising real democratic debate. If you act as a public citizen on Facebook the same blindness applies. Facebook should be understood as a node in a greater network of public activism.

Feeding Congress to the Web.

Metavid is an open archive. It is open to citizens, bloggers, mashup composers, platform developers and media producers. However it is closed to certain groups of people, for example those who speak different languages.

Metavid is open in the sense of open house – people are welcome to come have a look at the vids.

For bloggers, Metavid is open in the sense of open mic. People can comment on videos, embed the videos on their own pages,