You are here: Foswiki>MoM Web>WebGuide (28 Sep 2012, AnneHelmond)Edit Attach

Web and Blog Guide

1 News Portals

In order to stay up-to-date with events and developments in New Media, scholars follow journalistic reports from the industry. This is why becoming a regular reader of (at least) one tech news portal is an integral part of developing a knowledge background in the field.

The Verge was created by the ex-editor-in-chief of Engadget, Joshua Topolsky. Just months after its inception in November 2011, the website rose to global popularity due to its timely reports, great industry sources and top-notch visual editing. The Verge set a new all-time traffic record during the announcement of Apple’s iPhone 5,and with 5.5 million daily page views and more than 2 million unique visitors, is the obvious to-go place for tech information. The staff of The Verge also occasionally publishes interesting features on art, science and entertainment.

Read Write Web deals with web 2.0 trends and technology. The influential blog with its minimalist two-column design was founded almost one decade ago and, apart from general web news, looks into six specific categories: start-ups, business, enterprises, cloud storage and cloud computing, hacking and mobile communication.

CNET is a tech media website publishing podcasts, news articles, blogs and video reviews of consumer electronics and technology. The website is considered to be one of the largest and most used online technology websites due to its provision of free software downloads and reliant reviews of new technologies. Uses its CNET TV as a new media distribution method of Internet television. Owned by CBS Interactive.

Mashable is one of the most popular technology news websites, with some 20 million unique users visiting the page every month. Most of the articles revolve around social media, business and technology; other categories look at entertainment, lifestyle and politics from a digital perspective. The annual Mashable awards are given to innovative projects, apps or businesses, following a user voting.

[Back to top]

2 Business & Innovation

The rapid development of technology and the internet has given birth to innumerable start-up companies, along with a wide range of funding options supporting innovation. And while information surrounding events in this field is abundant online, several media outlets specialize in covering and analyzing both the technological and financial aspects of all businesses (ranging from startups to large scale corporations).

TechCrunch is a blog owned by the AOL media group and focuses on a wide spectrum of technological news. However, it is most notable for its insight on the funding and development of science and innovation.

Bloomberg Businessweek has a blog dedicated to innovation. There the financial and technological specialists analyze trends and developments in scientific breakthroughs ranging from space exploration to computer hardware. The staff of Bloomberg has unrivaled sources and expertise, which makes the blog one of the best sources of information and opinion in the field.

TechDirt is a blog that reports on technology trends, with a focus on economic policy issues. It's content is predominantly made up of user submissions, and has been praised by Businessweek for providing 'sharp, pithy analysis of current tech issues' [1], as well as by the executive editor's of both Wired magazine and The Wall Street Journal [2].

Ars Technica is a technology news and information website that is renowned for its in-depth features. Its subject matter is broad, including science and technology policy, as well as news and reviews of computer hardware and software. Ars Technica claims to be the first IT publication to begin covering Apple's resurgence in the technology world. [ 3]

[Back to top]

3 Social Media & Networking

The Internet as a platform has allowed for both civic and social journalism to become an everyday feature of modern society. Professional medias concerning themselves with political news and original content are able to generate revenue due to their popularity, yet it is also possible for any person who has access to the Internet to voice their own opinions through a variety of methods - most free of charge.

Nieman Lab claims itself to be an attempt to help journalism figure out its future in an Internet age. Because of the rapid transition to internet culture, many traditional news organisations and journalists fell victim to advancements in technology. The website aims to help reporters and editors adjust to digital journalism and to provide innovative tools and methods of new media in order for these companies and individuals to survive.

Media Shift is a blog supported by the Knight Foundation, a foundation promoting quality journalism and innovation. This page focuses on social media and particularly on the influence of new media platforms and social networks on society. They also show infographics.

The Stream defines itself as 'a social media community with its own daily TV show on Al Jazeera and an innovative attempt to combine traditional broadcasting and web-based citizen journalism. By asking 'What stories are you following today?', The Stream gathers stories and contributions from various social networks and incorporates them into a daily web TV show.

Reddit is a social news website based on user submitted content from alternate websites and original content, following what is essentially a bulletin board system. Posts are either upvoted or downvoted by users in order for them to be brought nearer the ‘front page’ allowing for an effective filter and steady stream of up to date information. With a commenting and friend system, the site is also considered to be a social networking platform with a focus on news and specific interests. Reddit is based in California USA, part of Advance Publications.

Digg is a social news website that implements a user story submission and voting system. Its users can choose to submit content, which will then be voted up or down by others, determining its ranking. The popularity of this format prompted the development of a number of copycat sites using the same system (such asReddit.

Socialight is a location-based social media platform that local experts (and brands) use to share stories and information about the places that matter. People can create, browse and share virtual ‘Sticky Notes’ linked to real-world physical locations worldwide: share places to eat, rate their favorite hot-spots, and tag secret bars for friends. Socialight was founded by Dan Melinger as an extension of his project during his master’s degree in New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).

[Back to top]

4 Software & Hardware

An awareness of technological developments taking place is essential to new media research. As Marshall McLuhan famously stated, 'the medium is the message'; and as the medium is continually changing -- with software becoming smarter, and hardware becoming increasingly smaller and more powerful -- an academic's knowledge and understanding of new media forms should keep pace with the industry and its users.

Techi is a website that allows for community input and discussion.The blog provides diverse daily technology news, new designs, reviews and in-depth editorial articles. Whilst focusing on new gadgets and web applications, Techi also considers political implications of technology industries and government legislation.

LifeHacker provides daily guides that improve everyday life and online experience, as its motto suggests, it is a platform that provides "Tips and Downloads for getting things done". Covering Microsoft Windows/Mac/Linux software, Life Hacker pools information on new media/new technologies and adjusts them to an easy to understand format.

Gizmodo is a blog, part of the Gawker Media network run by Nick Denton, and is known for its up-to-date coverage of the technology industry, with a primary focus in hardware. The vast network of sources in Chinese factories provides the editorial staff with unique insight and the blog is often the source of many leaked images of devices.

Software Studies features a blog highlighting the latest news from the project of the same name. Founded by Lev Manovich in 2007, the Software Studies initiative looks into how software affects contemporary societies from a humanities and cultural perspective. The project also uses software-based tools and methods to process and visualise cultural data.

Engadget aims at providing its readers "with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics", from rumours about the new iPhone’s technical specification to the latest developments in digital photography. The award-winning blog is published in a number of languages and updated on a daily basis.

[Back to top]

5 New Media Art & Data Visualisation

New Media Technology enlarges the range of tools for art and information communication. At the same time, it alters the concepts of art and information communication. Art involves new media as a means of expression but it also involves abstract/philosophical issues challenged by new media. The infinite amount of information is floating around and being communicated in new media. It now aims to be presented not only with the aesthetically beautiful design but also in the functionally effective way: the data is visualized. All this change is clearly witnessed as 'New Media Art' and 'Data Visualization' has been quickly establishing their own fields. For the art section, we focus on the websites and blogs that capture the interaction and relation between new media and art rather than those heavily oriented to art. For detailed information, visit this wiki's pages about data visualization, new media events and Amsterdam's new media scene.

Boing Boing emerged from a print magazine titled bOING bOING with essential influence on the cyberpunk subculture. It then turned into a web-only magazine and eventually became a collaborative group blog of illustrators, writers, art directors and engineers. Boing Boing covers new technological concepts and innovations and looks at their scientific background and their beneficial or negative effects on society. Boing Boing is closely related to Gizmodo and Wired.

Information Is Beautiful is, as the name suggests, about data visualization. The author is David McCandless, a london based journalist and information designer. He was/is published in Wired, The Guardian, Die Zeit and regularly contributes to the Guardian’s Data Blog. He likes to cross borders and has a feet in digital art with some pieces exhibited at the Tate Britain (London) and the Museum of Modern Art (New York).

Data Blog is hosted by The Guardian, the British newspaper who collaborated closely with Assange, the New York Times and a few other European newspapers to release the Afghanistan war logs. This collaboration came to an end but since then The Guardian is still working on data journalism -with success- and a lot is published on this blog.

Infostetics - The name is a tribute to Lev Manovich. Curated by Andrew Vande Moere, an Associate Professor at K.U. Leuven university, Belgium, it highlights data visualization projects. Some are in direct relation with the news while some are more oriented toward uses of new medias and even historical topics. Each data visualization comes with a description, the author’s comment and links. (Including links to academical articles)

Rhizome started in 1996 with a mailing list of digital media artists. Meanwhile, the NY-based nonprofit has grown to an integral community 'dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology'. The Rhizome website features a new media arts archive, a blog and a weekly e-newsletter.

Chrome Experiments is a JavaScript showcase of user-submitted projects, which have been built using the latest open web technologies, including HTML5, Canvas, SVG and Web GL . Developed by Google Creative Labs to demonstrate the capabilities of their own browser; a small number of the experiments have even been optimised for mobile. The website also includes a data-visualisation tool called the WebGL Globe, for which the website's users can copy the code and add their own data.

Urban Studies Scholarly Interest Group: Cinema, Media and Urban Studies is a scholarly interest group within the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, formed in March 2010. It provides a forum from which to explore the relationship between media and the built environment. Since many students and scholars are actively updating the website and archiving the resources, it is very informative. Its Zotero Group page is especially helpful as it provides a comprehensive bibliography of texts related to cinema, media and urban studies.

The THING is a non-profit organization is committed to the development of new media culture and the arts and works as a social network. It has built an exceptional array of programs and initiatives, in both technological and cultural networks. During its first five years, it became widely recognized as one of the founding and leading online centers for new media culture.

[Back to top]

6 Personal Blogs & Projects

Many scholars and technology/venture capital experts run their own blogs. From their blogs, you can read the current trend in new media related issues and find the valuable resources. In this section, you can also find the innovative and successful projects in relation to New Media Studies. You can get some inspirations from these prior projects based on multidisciplinary/transdisciplinary research.

Masters of Media is the collaborative blog of the new media master students of the University of Amsterdam. The blog launched in September 2006, as part of the new media practises course tought by Geert Lovink, the founder and coordinator of this project. Now in its seventh year the blog is populated by about 60 Masters of Media students of the 2012-2013 one year New Media MA programme with additional postings by those nearing completion or recently graduated.

UnCrunched is the personal blog of tech and venture funding guru Michael Arrington, previously founder and editor-in-chief of TechCrunch. He uses the blog to express his views on current developments in innovation and media. Arrington is considered one of the most insightful Silicon Valley journalists and is an opinion leader worth following.

Sree Sreenivasan, digital media professor and Chief Digital Officer at renowned Columbia Journalism School is among the most influential people when it comes to social media journalism. In addition to his weekly CNet blog Sree Tips , Sree has published an ever-growing social media guide as well as a Twitter guide for newbies and sceptics.

Michiel de Lange's blog is a research blog about mobile media and urbanism by Michiel de Lange, a co-founder of The Mobile City. He has a wide spectrum of experiences related to the digital media in the urban context and you can trace his activities and thoughts on this issue from the blog.

Urban Screens is a project by Mirjam Struppek, investigating how the currently commercial use of outdoor screens and related infrastructure for digital moving images in urban space can be broadened with cultural content. It addresses cultural fields as digital media culture, urbanism, architecture and art. It now grows into the Urban Screens Movement at an international level.

Urban Tapestries was made as an experimental platform that allows people to author and access place-based content: their own virtual annotations of the city, enabling a community’s collective memory to grow organically, and allowing ordinary citizens to embed social knowledge in the new wireless landscape of the city. This website documented not only the project’s process and results but also participant feedback, evaluation and a discussion forum during the project.

Networked Publics was a book project from September 2005 to June 2006. A team of thirteen scholars at the University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for Communication explored the ways that the social and cultural shifts created by these technologies have transformed our relationships to place, culture, politics, and infrastructure. The website provides the detailed information on the project’s process and results.

[Back to top]

7 Piracy, Politics & Activism

From the protesters on Tahrir square to the hackers of Anonymous: Digital media and global networks have not only changed the game for traditional ways of civic engagement, but also led to entirely new forms of political and cultural activism. The ever-expanding netizen community challenges political elites and social injustice, but also questions established concepts of copyright and cultural ownership.

Global Voices is a community of bloggers and translators from across the world who pool together their collective resources in order to amalgamate citizen media and provide a voice to those who cannot reach mainstream media. It is also incorporated in the Netherlands as Stichting Global Voices. The non-profit network was started by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School in 2004.

OWNI (acronym of Object Web Non Identifié, looks like OVNI which means UFO) defines itself as a think tank. It is french website launched in 2009, focusing on open data, privacy and usage of the new media. OWNI helped Wikileaks to publish the Iraki warlogs, and was a partner for the operation Spy Files. They are responsible of an application allowing to view and sort the warlogs given by Wikileaks.

TorrentFreak is a blog that is dedicated to reporting news surrounding the BitTorrent protocol, as well as other methods of peer-to-peer filesharing and copyright law. It has regular contributions from the founder of Sweden's Pirate Party, Rick Falkvinge. The website has been featured as a source by a number of mainstream news outlets such as the BBC and New York Times. [ 4, 5]

ACLU Free Future - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a non-profit organisation that - through lobbying and litigation - has been working to defend individual rights and freedoms in the United States since 1920. Their more recent work surrounding civil liberties in the digital age takes a more global stance, with their Free Future blog providing insight into the many ways that technology is affecting our civil rights.

Avaaz is a progressive, global NGO that utilizes the potential of the internet for activism, relying on online petitions and small donations from individual members to do its work. One of its most recent success stories is its involvement in defeating ACTA in European Parliament; with the help of an anti-ACTA petition signed by 2.8 million people.

[Back to top]

8 Gaming

Computer games have become one of the most profitable branches of the digital world and, along with receiving recognition for their cultural value, are increasingly becoming a field of academic study and research. Games are also a subject of some good journalistic analysis, and the most prominent websites that specialize in this are:

Joystiq is a video gaming blog founded in June 2004 as part of the Weblogs, Inc. family of weblogs, now owned by AOL. Along with news from the industry, the blog specializes in game reviews and trends analysis. The editorial staff also puts up a podcast with interviews and analysis twice a week.

The Escapist is an online magazine for digital entertainment (primarily video games, but also movies). Along with the standard reviews, the website provides a large spectrum of “feature” video sections for a staff of “columnists”. The commentary and critique found there are unrivaled and truly distinguish The Escapist from the rest of the game media outlets

Polygon is, for the time being, a subsection of the large technology portal The Verge. It is expected that in the upcoming months the media will become a standalone website. The content of the website rarely contains product reviews and instead focuses on dissecting the large-scale trends in game development, along with in-depth analysis of potential fields for innovation in the field. One notable work in the short life of Polygon is the series of features on independent game development and the state of AAA games of the large studios.

Rock Paper Shotgun is a UK-based PC specific gaming website which provides reviews and analysis of both AAA titles and underground/indie developers. Launched in 2007, the website considers the state of the gaming industry and its influence on social media, as well as the political effects of digital rights management.

[Back to top]

9 Latest News

For an up to date RSS feed of a selection of recommended websites and blogs from each category, please click here

To subscribe to this feed using your own news aggregator such as Google Reader, please click here, and copy and paste the resulting URL into your client software or web application.

[Back to top]


[1] The Dirt on Techdirt's New Blogger Community, Business Week, 11 Oct 2006

[2] Techdirt Press Room

[3] Ars Technica - About Us

[4] Spore at top of the piracy charts, BBC News, 10 Dec 2008

[5] Digital Pirates Winning Battle With Studios, New York Times, 4 Feb 2009
Topic revision: r17 - 28 Sep 2012, AnneHelmond
This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding Foswiki? Send feedback