The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media

Paperback | January 24, 2013

byJose van Dijck

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Social media has come to deeply penetrate our lives: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and many other platforms define many of our daily habits of communication and creative production. The Culture of Connectivity studies the rise of social media in the first decade of the twenty-first century upuntil 2012, providing both a historical and a critical analysis of the emergence of major platforms in the context of a rapidly changing ecosystem of connective media. Such history is needed to understand how these media have come to profoundly affect our experience of online sociality. The firststage of their development shows a fundamental shift. While most sites started out as amateur-driven community platforms, half a decade later they have turned into large corporations that do not just facilitate user connectedness, but have become global information and data mining companiesextracting and exploiting user connectivity. Author and media scholar Jose van Dijck offers an analytical prism to examine techno-cultural as well as socio-economic aspects of this transformation. She dissects five major platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Wikipedia. Each of these microsystems occupies a distinct position in thelarger ecology of connective media, and yet, their underlying mechanisms for coding interfaces, steering users, and filtering content rely on shared ideological principles. At the level of management and organization, we can also observe striking similarities between these platforms' shiftingownership status, governance strategies, and business models.Reconstructing the premises on which these platforms are built, this study highlights how norms for online interaction and communication gradually changed. "Sharing," "friending," "liking," "following," "trending," and "favoriting" have come to denote online practices imbued with specifictechnological and economic meanings. This process of normalization, the author argues, is part of a larger political and ideological battle over information control in an online world where everything is bound to become social. Crossing lines of technological, historical, sociological, and culturalinquiry, The Culture of Connectivity will reshape the way we think about interpersonal connection in the digital age.

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Social media has come to deeply penetrate our lives: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and many other platforms define many of our daily habits of communication and creative production. The Culture of Connectivity studies the rise of social media in the first decade of the twenty-first century upuntil 2012, providing both a historical and a c...

Jose van Dijck is a professor of Comparative Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, where she also served as the Dean of Humanities. She has a PhD from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and previously taught at the Universities of Groningen and Maastricht. Her work covers a wide range of topics in media theory, medi...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:January 24, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199970785

ISBN - 13:9780199970780

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments1. Engineering Sociality in a Culture of Connectivity1.1 Introduction1.2 From Networked Communication to Platformed Sociality1.3 Making the Web Social: Coding Human Connections1.4 Making Sociality Saleable: Connectivity as a Resource1.5 The Ecosystem of Connective Media in a Culture of Connectivity2. Disassembling Platforms, Reassembling Sociality2.1 Introduction2.2 Combining Two Approaches2.3 Platforms as Techno-cultural Constructs2.4 Platforms as Socio-economic Structures2.5 Connecting Platforms, Reassembling Sociality3. Facebook and the Imperative of Sharing3.1 Introduction3.2 Coding Facebook: The Devil is in the Default3.3 Branding Facebook: What You Share Is What You Get3.4 Shared norms in the Ecosystem of Connective Media4. Twitter and the Paradox of Following and Trending4.1 Introduction4.2 Asking the Existential Question: What is Twitter?4.3 Asking the Strategic Question: What Does Twitter Want?4.4 Asking the Ecological Question: What Will Twitter Be?5. Flickr between Communities and Commerce5.1 Introduction5.2 Flickr Between Connedtedness and Connectivity5.3 Flickr Between Commons and Commerce5.4 Flickr Between Participatory and Connective Culture6. YouTube: The Intimate Connection between Television and Video-sharing6.1 Introduction6.2 Out of the Box: Video-sharing Challenges Television6.3 Boxed In: Channeling Television into the Connective Flow6.4 YouTube as A Gateway to Connective Culture7. Wikipedia and the Principle of Neutrality7.1 Introduction7.2 The Techno-cultural Construction of Consensus7.3 A Consensual Apparatus between Democracy and Bureaucracy7.4 A Nonmarket Space in the Ecosystem?8. The Ecosystem of Connective Media: Locked In, Fenced Off, Opt Out?8.1 Introduction8.2 Locked In: The Algorithmic Basis of Sociality8.3 Fenced Off: Vertical Integration and Interoperability8.4 Opt Out? Connectivity as IdeologyBibliographyIndex