Monthly Archives: March 2011

Archive Fever

The emergence of Internet made a profound change to the entire modes and structure of publics and publishing. Internet, the fancy and problematic tool, provides a new platform for publishing, which creates new sets of archives and the potentiality of archives in the future. It seems that the influence or potential influence of archives might not even noticed by ourselves when we engaging with them. However, personally, these kinds of impacts are just options or possibilities for individuals. People, in their nature, they have the capabilities to select from the options for which they want to become. This blog will involve and make you think of how archives impact our sense of who we are, individually and collectively. Also, the potential that archives structure our experience differently and the extent of institutions and even individuals are their archives.

Try to recall yourself the archives you have built since childhood: the collection of fancy toys series, the diaries you kept for your special “events” or complaints, the collections of brand tags after you cut them off from new clothes or bags… What happened after internet involves in our daily lives? Have you transformed your diaries in your blogs? How many social networking sites have you participated in for expressing yourself? Do the contents published on the social networking sites influence your published content, your archives? The spring up of millions of new sets of archives, such as the tags on social networking sites and the bookmark or comment made by people in the online environment and so on. The online archives seem to shape our perception of the society and the assessment of who we are and what we should behave in the contemporary society. In a way, possibly, individuals tend to immerse themselves into the majority groups in a society. However, people themselves may not really feel like that.

These days the complaints and abuses on “arrogance” of Google Corporation are “popular”, which causes lots of journalists to write about that.  This kind of issue makes me think of the view of Jacques Derrida who is the philosopher and author of Archive Fever (1996, Chicago: University of Chicago Press). He contends that all media construct archives, and destroy other archives as well, differently. This is largely what drives our engagement with publishing. Another good example for that is the competition among various social networking sites. Each site is the potential replacement or destroy of other archives of social networking sites. Just like several years ago, Myspace is the in fashion. It tends to be forgot or less used by people after the appearance of Facebook. This is a way of destroy previous archives because people quit Myspace and transfer to another one.

Anther refreshing and valuable idea that Jacques Derrida asserts is the future possibilities or potentials of current and old archives. The archives for the past may become possible innovation or inspiration of future possibilities. People use archives not only for record, but also for the potential value or hint in the future. It will be the footprint in the past and the foundation for future possibilities.


Archive Overview, youtube,

Derrida, Jacques 1996, Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression

Chicago:University of Chicago Press

Howard, Sharon (2005) ‘Archive fever (a dusty digression)’, Early Modern Notes, < digression/>

Stokes, J. 2003, Reading Notes: Archive Fever’, Ars Technica, June 27,





The Networked Societies and Society

People collectively exist in the world in a way of building networks, which makes sense for people’s existence. It is impossible for a person to live in a one-way network. It is truth that people sometimes do not realize they connect to certain networks in a situation of figuring out complex problems. Therefore, it would be informative for us to understanding our connection with the world if we apply some theory and concepts. In this blog, I will discuss about the “Actor-network theory”,  a new philosophy of society and some related concepts.

ANT, standing for Actor-network theory, is a distinctive method of social theory for the explanation of how material-semiotic networks work as one. For instance, an university is related both a network and an actor, and hook together and perform as a single entity with certain intentions. When it comes to the forming parts of university, the components work conhereently as a whole. Besides, this kind of actor-networks act repeatedly and constantly or the potential repetition stops while the networks will fall apart. However, it assumes that “networks of relations are not intrinsically coherent, and may indeed contain conflicts (there may be adversarial relations between teachers/children, or computer software may be incompatible).”

Moreover, the concept of distinguishing Intermediaries and Mediators is pivotal to ANT. Intermediaries refer to the ignorable entities which make no difference. However, Mediators multiply the variations therefore it is supposed to be the object of study. For example, Ipod amd Meizu mp4, a sociologist might take them as intermediaries, holding that the former “symbolises” the upper classes or tastes and the latter the lower classes. With this opinion the real world Ipod-Meizu mp4 difference is irrelevant because many brand differences do also reveal the class or taste differences. However, acted as mediators the brand differences have to be associated with by the analyst in their specificity: “the internal real-world complexities” of Ipod and Meizu immediately show the relevance.

In addition, a new philosophy of society (ANPS) conceptualizes components into the assemblage theory and social complexity. The main idea primarily focuses on two dimensions: a material-expressive axis and territorializing-deterritorializing axis, implying the progresses in which an element is contained. Taking Ipod as the example again, the mate.rial here can be performed as metal, plastic, aluminum etc. the expressive role is play as its style, type, color etc. territorializing role would be played by factors such as culture trend, available resources, transaction etc. deterritorializing role would be played by factors like technology revolution, updating trend, resource shortage etc. personally, I think this example well presented the role that various components performed in different axis within a networked societies.

To sum up, each networked societies act as components to consist a society as a whole. It works under the theory updating social complexities and human-beings themselves. Individuals perform consciously or subconsciously within the parameters of the societies and ongoing variables.


“A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity”,

Callon M. 1986, “Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation: Domestication of the Scallops and the Fishermen of St Brieuc Bay.” In John Law (ed.), Power, Action and Belief: A New Sociology of Knowledge (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul)

Law J. 1992, “Notes on the Theory of the Actor Network: Ordering, Strategy, and Heterogeneity.”



“Social Machine” needs Emergent Guidelines

The advancement of  “social machine” tends to alarm a sign of proper guidelines for the performances of contemporary online journalism. “Social machine” here refers to the modern communication devices such as iphones, ipads and ipods etc. The so-called guidelines here mean the codes of ethics when it comes to online journalism. Generally, the codes of ethics cover honesty, fairness, independence, and respect for the rights of others.  Since the codes of ethics are hardly able to update simultaneously as the technological devices progress. Certain problems put pressure on the updating of ethical codes for the suitability of online journalism. In this blog, I will focus on three points: Speed v.s. Accuracy, Advertising Pressure and Hyperlink.

Speed and anonymity provided by the Internet can play fast and loose with journalistic ethics at the same time. The immediacy brought by the online environment makes everyone who can access to the Internet a potential publisher and “allows for even less deliberation by journalists and editor.”  (Bowd, 2002). In addition, with the increase number of amateur journalists online, for example, the professional bloggers, they tend to devalue the news or story content and there is always being a debate of quality online journalism. What is quality jounalism? I think the basic thing is the facity. It’s unfair for the readers to spend hours to experience paragraphs of “lie”. With the mixture of professional and amateur journalist, the conflict on which one to choose to trust on and rely on as a daily informer. However, the balance between the immediacy and refreshness of journalistic content and the verification of the fact of the content that has been published is often struggling.

Moreover, the pressures of the advertisement is importantly regarded as independence, which is a critical part of  journalistic ethics.  It is because readers are not the potential payers for the content they see online except from special reasons. Even, most of the readers take for granted that online reading is free. In this case,  it forces the online news organizations to gain their revenue from sources like advertising. This, in some way betray the newsworthiness of the online content because people are not online for jams of advertisement, however, the online news organization seems to enjoy the feeling of making a fortune.

Lastly, the intensity of the Hyperlink drives the order of online journalism down. it seems that the gate keepers for  codes of ethics to keep online journalism suitable is a faraway fairytale. It is normal phenomenon that when we use search engine to find out certain content, the hyperlink we click on link you to irrelevant websites and mostly they are negative such as porn or violence or a special way of online advertising etc.

Richard said in ‘uncharted water: journalism ethics in the 21st century’ – “New forms of journalism require new approaches to ethics. Many current ethical issues will remain, and other will emerge. Increasing consolidation of corporate media and the continued evolution of the Internet complicate the ethics of online journalism further. The need for a global approach, requiring a shared set of values, also poses a challenge for journalists in all media.” (cited in Osborn, 2001, pp.4)


AJA Code of Ethics. [Online], (2004). Available: (Accessed  16/03/2011)

Bowd, K. (2002) “Left in technology’s wake? Codes of ethics and online news,” Australian Journalism Review, vol.24, no.2, pp.41-59

Carr D., January 20,2010, ‘Dialing in a Plan: The Times Installs a Meter on Its Future’ in Media Decoder,The New York Times, Available: (Accessed  16/03/2011)

Cohen, E. (2002) “Online Journalism as Market-Driven Journalism”, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 46, no. 4, pp.532-548

Osborn B., 2001, ‘Ethics and Credibility in Online Jounalism’, journal 6702: Current Issues in Jounalism, The University of Memphis, Tennessee



IPAD-Pad Out What We Want?

What a cozy feeling to “flip” through pages in your IPAD while lying in the lounge with a cup of coffee in a leisure afternoon! The “amour” performs between Mr. IPAD and you~ The availability of newspaper, magazine and e-books etc. in IPAD dramatically alter the modes and patterns of publishing. It impacts or even changes the past consumption habit of audience, which also establishes new relationship between readers and publishers. In this blog, I will clarify the concept of “publishing” in a modern day basis. Then I am going to take IPAD as a contemporary case to discuss the publishing in IPAD.

Though the publishing is filled in our everyday lives, the understanding of publishing still seems to be unclear for most of us. When it comes to publishing, the first thought or even the only idea comes up to your mind might be printing or press. In this case, people subconsciously limit the parameters of the field of publishing. So, for a brief definition, publishing is the process of dissemination and production of information or anything has the possibility to be viewed in public. People who read the definition may argue or question: can it be “anything”? Personally, “YES”! In modern days, with the digitalization of the publishing mode, the parameter of what is publishing is even wider. In the first week lecture of ARTS 2090, I was surprised that even organs can be “published ” for use nowadays. What amazing! But somehow it makes me feel a little bit strange. Breakthrough or disaster?

After the clarity of publishing in present days, let’s continue the journey of publishing in IPAD.  What makes IPAD so irresistible?  The magic tools! It enriches the reading experience to be more entertaining and interactive. Such tools, for example, In Design Magazine, Promo clip etc., which demonstrates the ease-of-use of cross-media publishing system. Moreover, just drag and drop, you can also create stunning digital publications for the IPAD.

With a bunch of compliment of IPAD, however, the weaknesses of it and other Apple series products are acknowledged. Such as the closed platform, tied-to-iTunes limitations, “monopoly” in the distribution of media and so on. People become to reconsider the role of IPAD in their lives: whether it is fancy improvements or the sacrifices of other potential great products.

Does IPAD pad out what you want?!



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Posted by on March 7, 2011 in Uncategorized