Summer School Day 4

This morning I gave my presentation on my research subject Social Media: Three Generations of Sharing, Creativity and Collaboration (left). On the whole I think it went fairly well. I timed it just about right and finished just a few seconds ahead of time. My main self-critisicm of the presentation was that I ended the last few slides by reading them out word for word without elaboration. It’s what is known as the Karaoke delivery. But this was due to me not wanting to go over time and end with my final slide.

My three respondents were Ates Gursimsek (student) Francois Heinderyckx and Nico Carpentier (flow manager). Generally the proposal was met with a positive response. The panel thought that the subject matter and area of research was appropriate and agreed that this was a subject that had not been addressed sufficiently and that it was “our duty (as researchers) to look at this subject”.

All three thought that my proposed two-step methodology was well developed. There was a comment from Francois that suggested that I might find it more difficult than I envisaged to get enough participants for the first phase of the research. Francois also raised issues about certain wording within the proposal. Using phrases like “reaches maturity” he felt were inappropriate. He challenged the Chris Anderson quote “When the tools of production are available to everyone, everyone becomes a producer” as this implies uncritical and partisan thinking.

`Part of this research will address Media/digital literacy from a technical and critical standpoint. Francois suggested that young people may use digital media intuitively but they “know it in a certain way” lacking critical understanding. “Technology helping generations get back in contact with each other”. This is an area to explore further.

The issues of how I define creativity, the meaning of creativity and how I measure it were raised but I was expecting them. Francois and Nico also thought that the use of Sharing, Creativity and Collaboration may be too much for me to cover comprehensively in my PhD. They suggested it may be better for me to concentrate on one. They thought my presentation suggested that my primary focus was ‘Creativity’. ‘Collaboration and Sharing’ should have a lower emphasis in the research. I should work on my research question to reflect this. There was a lot to take in but this will be invaluable advise to take home.

In the afternoon we had a lecture by Heiner Stahl on Getting the Sound of Radio out of the Archive: European Broadcasting History in a Transnational Perspective. I’d spoken to Heiner earlier in the week about our love of Krautrock bands of the early 70s like Can, Faust, Neu!  Cluster, Amon Düül II and Tangerine Dream so this lecture really interested me.

The evening was the first real night out for me. I felt I’d deserved a few drinks after the presentation and ended up in the artist area of the city and a bar that was playing Dub Reggae and a very bohemian looking clientele. Left is a picture of Ates, my student respondent, and myself at the bar.

The temperature out here is now in the late 20s centigrade. So it’s still quite warm with no need for jackets. The beer is ok but it is all lager. This bar is very cheap though.

Left the bar about 1.30 am and walked for about half-an-hour from the city centre back to the accommodation.

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