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24 MARCH 2014

The Digital Methods Initiative

Call for Participation – Digital Methods Summer School 2014, On Geolocation: Remote Event Analysis (Mapping Conflicts, Disasters, Elections and other Events with Online and Social Media Data), 23 June – 4 July 2014

"The Digital Methods Initiative is a contribution to doing research into the 'natively digital'. Consider, for example, the hyperlink, the thread and the tag. Each may 'remediate' older media forms (reference, telephone chain, book index), and genealogical histories remain useful (Bolter/Grusin, 1999; Elsaesser, 2005; Kittler, 1995). At the same time new media environments – and the software–makers – have implemented these concepts, algorithmically, in ways that may resist familiar thinking as well as methods (Manovich, 2005; Fuller, 2007). In other words, the effort is not simply to import well–known methods – be they from humanities, social science or computing. Rather, the focus is on how methods may change, however slightly or wholesale, owing to the technical specificities of new media.

The initiative is twofold. First, we wish to interrogate what scholars have called 'virtual methods,' ascertaining the extent to which the new methods can stake claim to taking into account the differences that new media make (Hine, 2005). Second, we desire to create a platform to display the tools and methods to perform research that, also, can take advantage of 'web epistemology'. The web may have distinctive ways of recommending information (Rogers, 2004; Sunstein, 2006). Which digital methods innovate with and also critically display the recommender culture that is at the heart of new media information environments?

Amsterdam–based new media scholars have been developing methods, techniques and tools since 1999, starting with the Net Locator and, later, the Issue Crawler, which focuses on hyperlink analysis (Govcom.org, 1999, 2001). Since then a set of allied tools and independent modules have been made to extend the research into the blogosphere, online newssphere, discussion lists and forums, folksonomies as well as search engine behavior. These tools include scripts to scrape web, blog, news, image and social bookmarking search engines, as well as simple analytical machines that output data sets as well as graphical visualizations.

The analyses may lead to device critiques – exercises in deconstructing the political and epistemological consequences of algorithms. They may lead to critical inquiries into debates about the value and reputation of information."

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TAGS

academic researchalgorithm • Almila Akdag Salah • Amsterdam • analytical machines • Anat Ben-David • Anne Helmond • Bernhard Rieder • blogosphereCarl Rogers • Carolin Gerlitz • Cass Sunsteinchart • chart data • Christine Hine • critical enquirydatadata analysisdata scraping • data sets • data visualisation • device critiques • digital methods • Digital Methods Initiative • Digital Methods Summer School • discussion forum • discussion lists • epistemological consequences • Erik Borra • Esther Weltevrede • folksonomiesFriedrich Kittler • Govcom.org • graphical visualisationshyperlink • hyperlink analysis • index • information environments • information validity • Issue Crawler • Jay David Bolter • Koen Martens • Lev Manovich • Liliana Bounegru • Lonneke van der Velden • Marc Tuters • Marieke van Dijk • Matthew Fuller • Michael Stevenson • Nadia Dresscher-Lambertus • Natalia Sanchez Querubin • natively digital • Net Locator • new medianew methods • older media forms • online newssphere • politicalrecommender culturereferenceremediationRichard Grusin • Richard Rogers • Sabine Niederer • scrapesearch engine • Simeona Petkova • social bookmarking • software-makers • summer schooltag • technical specificities • telephone network • Thomas Elsaesser • thread • virtual methods • web epistemology

CONTRIBUTOR

Linda Carroli
30 JUNE 2012

Internet Archaeology: graphic artefacts from our recent past

"Internet Archaeology seeks to explore, recover, archive and showcase the graphic artifacts found within earlier Internet Culture. Established in 2009, the chief purpose of Internet Archaeology is to preserve these artifacts and acknowledge their importance in understanding the beginnings and birth of an Internet Culture. We focus on graphic artifacts only, with the belief that images are most culturally revealing and immediate. Most of the files in our archive are in either JPG or GIF format and are categorized by either still or moving image, they are then arranged in various thematic subcategories. Currently, a major focus of Internet Archaeology is on the archiving and indexing of images found on Geocities websites, as their existence has been terminated by parent company Yahoo; who discontinued GeoCities operation on October 26, 2009. Internet Archaeology is an ongoing effort which puts preservation paramount. Unlike traditional archaeology, where physical artifacts are unearthed; Internet Archaeology's artifacts are digital, thus more temporal and transient. Yet we believe that these artifacts are no less important than say the cave paintings of Lascaux. They reveal the origins of a now ubiquitous Internet Culture; showing where we have been and how far we have come."

(Internet Archaeology)

Via Chelsea Nichols [http://ridiculouslyinteresting.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/internet–archaeology–the–best–of–90s–internet–graphics/]

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TAGS

1990s200920th century phenomenaaestheticsarchaeologyarchivearchiving • archiving and indexing • artefactcave paintingscultural codes • culturally revealing • cyber archaeologycyberculturedigital anthropologydigital artefactsdigital cultureemergence of the webGeocitiesGIF format • graphic artefacts • graphic artifacts • graphic designimagesindexindexingInternetinternet archaeologyinternet culture • JPG • JPG format • Lascauxnew mediaobsolescencepreservationrecent pasttransiencevisual designweb designweb pagesweb publishingYahoo!

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 NOVEMBER 2011

Bioglyphs: Generating images in collaboration with nature's events

"Reconstructive postmodernism proposes an alternative to a mechanistic interpretation of the world. The mechanistic model, which assumes that the world consists of discrete objects, has led to a 'disenchanted' interpretation of nature. In contrast to this objectification, the reconstructive model interprets nature as being primarily constituted of interacting events.

Since the 1960s ecological artists have developed strategies of representing this reenchanted view of nature through its phenomena or events. A number of these artists have sought to use photography to represent this view. However when such works are presented in photographic form I argue that the use of a camera tends to objectify the event.

In order to avoid the objectifying tendency of photography a number of contemporary artists have developed photographic methods of image–making which dispense with the camera. Bioglyphs, the creative practice of this current research, have been linked to the work of this group because of a shared approach to the use of photographic materials. However, if we assess the role of icon and index within photography, we can see that this approach may not always be sympathetic to the project of these artists.

Three key outcomes are identified. The first is the clarification of the concepts icon and index as applied to photography. Photographic images are shown to be primarily iconic rather than indexical. The thesis argues that iconic images tend to objectify the world whereas indexical images tend to represent the world as being constituted by events. Iconic photographic images therefore contribute to a disenchanted view of the world.

The second is that this reassessment of icon and index highlights a clear distinction between bioglyphs and most of the other camera–less images with which they are associated. In contrast to the iconicity of camera–less photographs bioglyphs are shown to be radically indexical. The third outcome is to show that, methodologically and interpretationally, bioglyphs have more affiliation with other artworks that are primarily indexical. This realignment of bioglyphs with other indexical art proposes a new category of art practice. This new category of indexical art, which foregrounds nature's events, suggests a method of art practice that is more supportive of reconstructive postmodern ideas."

(Daro Montag, 2000)

Montag, D. "Bioglyphs: generating images in collaboration with nature's events". PhD, University of Hertfordshire, 2000.

TAGS

art practice • bioglyph • camera-less • camera-less images • contemporary artcreative practice • disenchanted • ecological artists • icon • icon and index • iconic photographic images • iconicity • image making • image-making • index • indexical • indexical art • indexical images • interacting events • interpretation of nature • mechanistic interpretations • mechanistic modelnature • objectification • objectify • objectify the event • objectifying tendency • objectifying tendency of photography • phenomena • photographic form • photographic images • photographic materials • photographic methods • photographyreconstructive model • reconstructive postmodernism • theoretical contextthesisUniversity of Hertfordshireview of nature

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 APRIL 2011

Demise of first generation meme tracker 'Popdex'

"Popdex was initially created and developed as a website popularity index. As such, many people, bloggers especially, linked in to Popdex in order to increase their popularity. A site would receive its popularity ranking based on the number of visitors and pings it sent to Popdex through the link on its site. In fact, you may have arrived at this article as a result of one of those links! If so, we welcome you!

Popdex also used to be a place to get the latest news or post an online gamer's profile. Within the profile, many gamers would leave tips, strategies and cheats for their favorite online games.

Times have changed since those days and now Popdex has entered a new phase of web development. The site is hanging in the balance between what it once was, a website popularity index; what it now is, a collection of informational articles on a variety of subjects and what it will become, yet unknown.

Take some time to browse around the site. You may find some wisdom here. Give yourself a moment to think and to imagine what you would like to see the Popdex website become. How would you develop this website if you were given the title of Podex web developer? Then, send us a message and tell us about it. If we like your idea, you could be featured on the front page of the new Popdex as a premier web idea developer!"

(Popdex admin, http://www.popdex.com/computers/internet/web–development/popdex–web–development)

TAGS

oggers • blogospherecessationchanging timescollectionDiggdigitaldigital culture • digital recycling • discontinued • first generation • historyICTindex • InfoSearch Media • linking activity • marginalisationmeme • meme tracker • memetracker • new medianewsonline profiles • pings • Popdex • popularity index • popularity rankingrankingReddit • Shanti Bradford • social ranking • spam • tool • top blog posts • visitors

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
28 DECEMBER 2010

Web directory: My Virtual Reference Desk

"In June 1995, I began refdesk in an attempt to bring some semblance of order to the chaos of the Internet. Somewhere along the way, refdesk became my passion, my source of bliss. ...

Refdesk has three goals: (1) fast access, (2) intuitive and easy navigation and (3) comprehensive content, rationally indexed. The prevailing philosophy here is: simplicity. 'Simplicity is the natural result of profound thought.' And, very difficult to achieve."

(Bob Drudge)

TAGS

1995archive • Bob Drudge • cataloguecategoryclassificationcoherencecollectioncontentdirectoryhierarchical orderinghierarchyindexInternetknowledge managementorderorderingpioneering • Refdesk • reference desk • repositoryresourcetechnologyweb directory

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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