Weekly round-up [01/15/10]: Culture Matters, Globalization and the networked world, and Google v. China

Like many, I’ve been following the whole Google/China situation with some interest, it part because it really touches upon one of the central tensions surrounding increasingly globalized cultural and information networks and technological/legal infrastructures still organized around the nation-state. There’s been a ton written on it, but a few more comprehensive/interesting pieces:

  • Of course, the official google blog statement regarding the matter and the Chinese government’s response.
  • Darmishta over at the Difficult Problems in Cyberlaw blog has a pretty solid news round-up of the issue, including a link to the open letter from Issac Mao, a blogger in China, appealing to Google not to pull out.
  • And I admit, I’m biased, but C3 also has a good roundup of key pieces in the discussion, as well as some commentary on the whole global/national tensions present in digital culture along the language and acess angle.
  • ReadWriteWeb’s Richard Macmanus also discusses how this relates to google’s big competitor, Baidu. And Sarah Lacy over at TechCrunch points out that the whole Google or Baidu question isn’t just about China.

On the globalization and media tip, a few less newsy and more thinky things:

  • Starting first with Aswin Punathambekar’s syllabus for his Media Globalization graduate seminar, which has lots and lots of great readings to dig into for anyone interested in how to think about media in a transnational context. Which, I think given how relevant we consider Google/China to our everyday lives, should be just about everyone.
  • In Aswin’s syllabus is a link to a piece by Amitava Kumar about the limits of postcolonial theory, which in a way is also about the limits of theory as a whole.
  • I’ve also recently been recommended the work of David Harvey, which I’ll start in on as soon as I procure some ebooks.

Back to more immediate media + culture stuff:

  • If you haven’t by now, everyone should be reading Grant McCracken’s new book Chief Culture Officer. I admit, it’s another bias of mine, not just because Grant is full of awesome 24/7, but also the book basically makes a case for why people like me and many of my friends and colleagues should exist. Cultural understanding is crucial to the health of corporations, brands, media producers and it isn’t just something that happens. It’s a studied, systematic process, a skill-set that should be nurtured and deployed.
  • A couple of pieces following Ford’s push into the media space: Karl Greenberg over at Marketing Daily and the AdAge Mediaworks piece from Craig Daitch. Have yet to gather my thoughts on this, but it does seem something worth watching.
  • Finally, in a back to roots kind of move, I’m looking to start in on some of the readings listed in Henry Jenkin’s Fandom, Participatory Culture, and Web 2.0 syllabus. I didn’t even realize it when I first glanced at it, but if you scroll down to the section on global media, there’s a chapter from my thesis in there.

On a totally random note, I just realized that the two videos that were part of a project that I did with Kevin Driscoll, Whitney Trettien, and Lauren Silberman at MIT regarding Soulja Boy back in 2007, where a bunch of us in lab coats and GNU Richard Stallman danced the Crank Dat dance now has nearly half a million hits (almost 390,000 on one, and 80,000) on another. Granted, these numbers are nothing by YouTube standards, but still, a bit trippy for a random class project video done on an east campus lawn.

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Possibly related posts:

  1. Weekly round-up [11/06/09]: Post-broadcast TV, piracy from porn to academia, and finally a manual for google wave
  2. weekly round-up [10/02/09]: China, Gift Economies, and Zombies
  3. Modern Love: what Google’s Superbowl ad teaches us about understanding culture
  4. Weekly round-up [10/30/09]: Audience measurement online, globalization, and more spreadable media in your future
  5. Weekly round-up [2/19/10]: Old media memes, new media TV audiences, race + tech, and awesome uses of twitter

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