Wednesday, 6 March 2013

A note about this blog

This blog gives a record of my micro-ethnographic research project on the documentary by Simon Shama - Mark Rothko.

The posts offer a time line of the activity. The tabs above, entitled 'Rizome' and 'Alloy' are my observations from a digital cultures perspective.

I also created a digital artifact in Thinglink

This task is not complete but in view of the time schedule it offers a first glimpse of what I felt was an exciting activity.

Monday, 4 March 2013


Some online communities may be too task-orientated (and therefore not 'social' enough) or might not stimulate sufficient interaction to develop 'group-specific'meanings, or they might be too divided and divisive to coalesce' (Baym 1998)

The question remains though if YouTube technology is promoting a disjunctive, disparate trend or if it reflects  our 21st century world, rooted in a contemporary zeitgeist of integration vs dis-integration, a constant dialectic that is driving us along towards 'progress'.

How does YouTube make money?

The online platform is driven by a business model.

Why can many individuals upload the same documentary and thus support a rhizomatic structure which is nurturing various 'gesellschaften' (Bell): In Schama's case there are many opinions, represented by the postings of many. The heterogeneity of the group promotes the underlying product-driven consumption. Here we have a documentary, produced by the BBC, enjoyed by a male audience in the US, Canada, and UK, aged between 34-64.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

YouTube community

'Thanks for being part of the YouTube community and for shaping what the site is today. We're looking forward to celebrating our fifth anniversary throughout the year and hope you'll keep watching, keep uploading, keep sharing, keep informing, keep entertaining, and keep discovering the world through video.'

Chad Hurley, Co-Founder & CEO, YouTube

If we take the YouTube vision, we are considering the platform that of an imagined community, a community characterised by detraditionalization, driven by innovation, disembedding time and place, surging towards a globalisation of experiences. (Bell)

Final part 7

This final part seems to receive a final push in comments, 188 in total, recent comments a month ago, with a number of interactions and the size of the comments larger than a few off the cuff remarks.

The increased volume of postings has an effect on the search-ability of the comments that were made 4 years ago, making them less visible, accessible. This results in a skewed view: old comments lost, no longer influencing opinion.

3 commentators in particular are engaging is a conversation, both under what I am assuming are real names. The discussion is not a pleasant one, has aggressive undertones, to some extent relating to the appreciating of Rothko. There is a frankness about it, no hiding behind fake names. Commentators now have an extended profile, Google/YouTube integrating online behaviour into directions that previously were far more private.


I started to look at the idea of creating an digital artifact. As posted in 'my other blog' I feel this is very rhizomatic. All the Schama documentary uploads (3 in total, an Italian version, and a number of edited versions) seem to literally sprout over time within the YouTube fertile environment, creating offshoots.

I thought it was apt to choose this image a background, bamboo being a rhizome too.

lack of community? part 6

At long last, one  commentator gives feedback on the disparate feel of these comments, over time, in place and on the subject.

The challenge of finding a common thread is obvious.