Politics of Platforms

Given your experience with the various tools used in the course, what is your take on ‘participation’ within contemporary digital culture? Do you perceive yourself to be a participant? In what ways do you measure participation? Is participation emancipatory? Are there trade-offs to participation? Use concrete examples to support your answer. If you use sources outside of course material, please cite those sources.

My take on participating in a contemporary digital culture in regards to this class should be based on what people are ‘produsing’. We learned about this a couple weeks ago and were brought up again this week. A quote in this week’s lecture I found quite interesting comparing to the word ‘produsing’. “primarily unparalleled access to the thoughts, experiences , interests and documents of the daily life of real people , as they wish to be seen and heard”. (Zeffiro, A., 2014). This quote was tied into the Youtube platform, but I believe this quote can be tied into how people participate in the digital world.

Mark Deuze (2005) studied the components in a digital culture and the way people have networked today in the 21st century. Deuze examined the term ‘digital culture’ and the characteristics it has on our culture. “the actions and behaviours of peoples within digital culture can be summarized into principal components, which one can use to study and understand the role of (new) media and journalisms in particular as these are appropriated by people and technologies worldwide” (Deuze, M., 2005, p.8). This was interesting into how we are blogging online. Not only are we consuming outside material and lecture notes, but we are also producing our own and sharing it for others to study as well.

Measuring how you participate and how much make be difficult to understand. The reason being, measuring someone in a digital culture can be hard to differentiate from measuring someone through traditional media. The sources you see online might have first been published through traditional platforms (ex. newspapers, radio, and television). Can you consider publishing an older newspaper article online and credit it as being a participant? Another thing to consider is when you can measure someone being ‘online’ to ‘offline’. Although platforms such as Facebook can measure when you were last online, how can we assume that actual person was online?

Stefan Hrastinski (2008) developed a studied on What is Online Participation and how may it be studied in e-learning setting? Hrastinski was examining how participants can learn through the online environment. He drew from other researchers stating “online participation is a key driver for learning even though their perceptions of how online participation may be conceptualised is very different” (Hrastinki, S., 2008, p.1). This later compared two recent studied similar on the topic. One of the studies “indicated that online learner participation and patterns of participation are influenced by the following factors: technology and interface characteristics, content area experience, student roles and instructional tasks, and information overload” (Hrastinki, S., 2008, p.1). I would say then that the way we can measure ‘participating’ online is not only what you produce and consume online information, but how you experience it.

Is participation emancipator? Not necessary because people have different beliefs of how they use the Internet and the media platforms. Some use it like me, just going on Facebook or Twitter, and updating their life and providing their opinions on daily events. Others use it to educate people about certain experiences they have gone through. It depends on how people use the Internet. The trade off in participating in the digital culture is what people can learn and experience. People might find a different perspective on daily events that are happening every day. That is exactly is what blogs provide us, a different perspective. A person that might read this right now may or may not agree with me, but they understand my perspective on this topic.

From the storify timeline assignment, it does show that I am a participant in the digital culture. The way I interact with people today can show that I am a participant, majority of it through media platforms. Although having face to face communication is important because it teaches you how to present your ideas to others around you, having an online presence has become important as well. Many companies are using platforms to find new ideas and showcase them to people who might be interested. More people are using online to connect with people from across the world, either their relatives or close friends who they have not seen in ages. Communication is important in participating through the digital culture people are living in today.

Whatever the future holds for the digital culture, I know that I will be a participant in it.


Deuze, M. (2005) Participation, Remediation, Bricolage: Considering Principal Components of a Digital Culture. Dept of

telecommunications. Indiana University. Indiana. P. 1-28  Retrieved on June 11th, 2014 from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/2022/3200/Deuze+Dig?sequence=1

Hrastinski, S. (2008) What is Online Participation and how may it be studied in e-learning settings? Department of Information Science. Uppsala University. Sweden. Retrieved on June 11th, 2014 from http://is2.lse.ac.uk/asp/aspecis/20080174.pdf

Zeffiro, A. (2014) The Politics of Platforms. Week 6: Youtube. Department of Social Science. Brock University. St. Catherines. Retrieved on June 11th, 2014 from https://lms.brocku.ca/portal/site/COMM-FILM-PCUL2F00D01SP2014MAIN/page/2a8758a3-814f-4f06-b81d-9e54fc5994ad


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