The State of Publishing (ARTS 2090 Essay-in-lieu-of-examination)

Question: The history of publishing has been irrevocably changed due to the creation of digital publishing. This is made possible by the advent of an online landscape eliminating many of the core institutions of publishing, now replaced under a digital format. However, traditional modes of publishing are still utilised by the public (e.g. newspapers, paper books) but are being systematically replaced by new modes of publishing. 

Publishing refers to the production of information, text, literature or music that is disseminated to the general public.  This process traditionally involves a range of industries printing on paper via a printing press and distributing these final products through intermediaries such as retailers or booksellers who would sell to the public. However, in recent years, this process has been significantly affected by the advancement of digital media technology creating an interrelated global network media. An alteration of traditional forms of archival content e.g. (newspapers and books) have been largely replaced by new new modes of publishing under the innovation of an online landscape. This has ushered the shift from ink to digital formatting which has become commonplace within society. The advent of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo have also helped facilitated the shift to digital publishing by reaching the public with ease and capturing the reader’s attention. Therefore, this eliminates the “difficulty, complexity and expense” of the publishing industry, and re-defines the relation between public and private spheres (Shirky 2009).

The implications of the digital/technological climate of today is most prominent within the newspaper industry. Major newspaper companies initiating a “digital facelift” of core business practices and processes (Shirky 2009). While many news companies still implement the traditional method of printing presses, most have made the move towards digital publishing. This has systematically altered the business and financial models of these companies, and brought forth the dematerialisation of its resources. This has improved the efficiency of its product by replacing most of its industrial production with online formatting. Newspaper companies are re-directing their strategies towards an online audience due to the significant loss in aggregate advertising sales and to tap into the potential that various modes of publishing offer within an open online landscape. Traditionally, newspaper companies were limited to a “geographic or demographic segmentation”, or maintaining a monopoly on the “local mainstream audience” e.g. (‘The Guardian’ being exclusive to only a UK audience) (Shirky 2009). However, it is now under an international framework where newspaper companies need to compete with an increasing number of digital representatives. These not only include other news companies that have turned to digital distribution but social media agencies, major search engines such as Google or Yahoo, and even local bloggers/webmasters. Even though business advertising representatives still value news companies and the strong brands they represent, the changed landscape in which they operate in not only  yields strong competition, but “the commons” involved within a digital landscape have irrevocably changed (Walljasper 2010).

Ideas and trends are now being redefined with the “collection, (re) distribution and attention” being significantly altered due to transformation within the commons movement (Walljasper 2010). In accordance with this change, newspaper companies are continuously increasing their involvement within this immense technological and social innovation in hope of attracting younger and more diversified audiences (Mutter 2012). Newspaper companies have tried to access this market by offering digital versions of its news correspondence, making it accessible online, and/or providing the option for online subscription. This is done in order to increase its influence, relevance, readership and most importantly its revenue. Overall, newspaper companies have conducted a “feeble” attempt  in achieving this goal, within an already diverse and dynamic landscape where archives are limitless and access to news coverage is almost instantaneous (Mutter 2012). This real-time publication utilised within social media websites such as Twitter or Facebook offer increased interactivity, thereby increasing the awareness and involvement of today’s public self. The notion of “self-publication” is also exhibited within these social media networks, where grabbing the users “attention” through the use of marketing and slogans making the notion of the publishing industry and in particular, the newspaper company, largely irrelevant with there being no separation between publisher and distributer, instead are now simultaneous (Dodson 2009)  (Kinsley 2010). As a result, this has also caused the public to question the efficacy and integrity of journalism within an online landscape. With the elimination of intermediaries such as “proof” or final checking done by a credited publisher, many of these newspaper companies  now rely on amateurs as “researchers and writers”. These amateurs may provide falsified and/or unconfirmed reports to the public, hindering journalistic integrity. On the other hand, this information provided under self-publishing eliminates the traditional filtration of the media, providing a transparent form of reporting or what Kamdar has labelled as, “Cyborg Journalism” (Kamdar 2012).

With revenue being an incredibly important aspect of any company, digital advertising for newspaper companies is now one of the main mechanisms in serving this purpose. Integrated within newspaper websites, marketing messages are used to capture the attention of the user and attract customers. This is delivered in the form of banner ads and/or pop-ups shown alongside news articles or informational content, as demonstrated by the following images.

(Source: Daily Telegraph 2012) The Daily Telegraph’s website prominently features three advertisements at the top of its homepage.

(Source: The Guardian 2012) The Guardian’s homepage is festooned with a large HTC Titan 4G banner ad, instantly drawing the attention of the consumer.

These advertisements are also architected for “multichannel media” including mobile devices or Kindle e-books. This source of revenue can be measured by  “cost per click” and/or “Cost per Acquisition” or purchase. However, this form of advertising can be expensive and time-consuming due to constant monitoring and need to test sites, placement or targeting strategies and developing new advertisements. Therefore, it can be extremely difficult to generate immediate results, with most newspaper companies still opting to invest in the traditional form of print advertising within newspapers while experiencing sharp decline in newspaper sales, it is still considered a main source of fulfilling marketing goals. As a result, many newspaper companies will rely on sponsorships or grants.

Another key component in generating revenue, comes in the form of “paywalls” (Gilmor 2011). This system prohibits the public from viewing informational content without paying for an online subscription. Companies like the ‘Financial Times’ and the ‘The Wall Street Journal’ implement paywalls, depriving the viewer of content if not payed for. This method relies heavily on the exclusivity of the company’s brand name and image, promoting the idea that it is only right to pay for something worth value. Conversely, the ‘NY Times’ provides free access to its content, proving to be beneficial towards attracting more readers and promoting the pleasure of viewing its content. The editor in chief, Alan Rusbridger of The Guardian, also shares this sentiment, ensuring that paywalls are an “unnecessary solution” (Busfield 2010). He describes revenue being generated from paywalls as simply a “hunch”, and is adamant on only charging for “specialised content” (e.g. mobile users who access their newspaper.) (Busfield 2010). This way it provides a landscape where the pleasure of reading its trusted content is promoted within an environment that already offers free viewable content.

For the public to have the capacity to instantly access free content can prove to be excessive and have a negative impact on the user. From what was traditionally seen as a privately consumed medium is now largely being consumed in public, redefining the relationship between the public and private spheres. This is expressed within John Naughton’s case where he describes his relationship with a digitalised version of “The Economist” as having experienced a loss of “intimacy” and “weekly routine”, depriving him of his undivided attention (Naughton 2010). This constant viewing can affect social and long-term memory of an individual and cause addictive behaviour or “archive fever” in which the individuals constant desire to engage within these digital practices under a “conscious” decision (Derrida 1997) (Ogle 2010).

The implications of the shift from publishing industries to digital publishing is also seen extensively within the book industry. The traditional process with the author publishing the book and distributors sending the books to retailers of which are then sold to the general public has been replaced. This process has been significantly affected by digital publishing, with the foreclosure of bookstores such as Borders and Dymocks and a number of independent book retailers around the world, proving that the traditional intermediaries  are being replaced by an online format.

With this digital transformation comes the proliferation of digital text replacing printed books, most prominently  in the form of e-books. This conversion of traditional archival content has affected an individual’s experience and perception which is now largely accessed through electronic versions of books that can be viewed through the computer, mobile phones or more recently, ebook readers with devices such as the Apple Ipad and Amazon Kindle.  These electronic books can be purchased directly via the internet, along with an aggregation of information being provided including, self-published opinions, reviews and comments regarding the electronic book, thus extending the influence on the consumer’s decision. This allows for an increased convenience not only in purchasing content but storage of archives. Digital publishing and the advent of ebooks has allowed  a permanent record and archive of electronic books and online publishing (e.g. blogs, providing an unlimited shelf-space for the publisher and also the ability to carry any number of electronic books.) The storage of texts, literature and articles are also made possible on these devices with the advent of “bookmarking applications” such as Read it Later and Instagram altering the “time shifts” of public and private consumption due to a flexible and efficient reading online (Schonfeld 2011). These mobile devices have replaced routine and constrained timelines restricted under traditional paper books.

However, there has been much scrutiny under  the innovation of digital publishing, with such technology prohibiting an “understanding for perception” as a result of the display of underlined and highlighted words may become accustomed to an individual and subsequently develop a “mindless clarity” (Jonah 2010).  These issues have also permeated the schooling system. While students are now  offered an extensive list of academic material and instant news updates increasing initiative and knowledge, they have matched unwillingness to engage in and comprehend complex texts due to the exaggerated ease-of-use. (e.g. adjustable font size or “shimmering” text) (Jonah 2010). This is the result of a new form of meta-attention, “infotention”, developed within the technological era, involving an individual making  a conscious perception when interacting with an online format by categorising input, yet, decreasing our attention as a whole (demonstrated by the following image) (O’Malley 2010).

(Source: Tech F5) The Kindle Fire allows users to change the font size, line spacing and text/background colour of any text.

Within this online landscape, there are legal constraints that prohibit the infringement of copyright online, unauthorised media use and unlicensed distribution under digital rights management technologies. Although these technologies attempt to keep consumers and businesses safe, it ultimately inhibits our freedom of rights (Naughton 2010). While traditional paper books allowed for the circulation of a copy of a book without legal constraint, expressed by Naughton’s example of his original paper book copy of ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ by Orson Wells where he pronounces his loss fulfilment of being unable to legally rent and distribute digital copy of this ebook, thus losing the freedom of the owner’s content within the heavily regulated digital landscape (Naughton 2010).

While digital publishing and ebooks are in high demand, print books are still largely utilised within the public. Primarily exhibited within older generations having a strong connection with traditional paper books and may not be technologically savvy. Many impoverished and developing companies also do not utilise ebooks or electronic versions of books as they do not have the resources or education, with the commons differing significantly amongst communities within low and high socio-economic backgrounds. These limitations are faced by the South African people whose low bandwidth and inferior “data cables” decrease speed and increase cost of provider (Bhaskar 2009). South Africa is also incapable of attaining e-reading devices as Amazon has no presence within its nation. In a country with more than eleven official languages and a history of division amongst communities, it would be difficult to cater to all regional languages and dialects (Bhaskar 2009).

The shift to digital publishing has for the most part replaced the processes and products of traditional publishing, making the notion of the publishing industry largely irrelevant within today’s modern technological society. The online landscape is now largely the aggregation of digital news and electronic books, even though  there are still users of print newspaper and books. The Digital landscape has permeated a multitude of modern societal practices, and in the long term only further eliminates the relationship between the private and public self. New generations adopting this digital landscape will cause the further stagnation of traditional printing, for the most part eliminating core publishing institutions.


Bhaskar, M. 2009, E-books in AfricaThe Digitalist, May 28,           <> Last accessed 7 June 2012.

Busfield, S. 2010, Guardian editor hits back at paywalls, The Guardian, January 25,             <> Last     accessed 7 June 2012.

Derrida, J. 1997, Archive Fever, University of Chicago Press, <UNSW Blackboard> Last             accessed 7 June 2012.

Dodson, W. 2009, Dawn of the Systems Age,             <> Last           accessed 7 June 2012.

Gillmor, D. 2011, The New York Times paywall: the faint smell of successThe Guardian, August 3, <   york-times-paywall> Last accessed 7 June 2012.

Kamdar, S. 2012, Why Publishers are about to go Data CrazyMediashift: Your Guide to the      Digital Revolution, January 17, <  publishers-are-about-to-go-data-crazy017.html> Last accessed 7 June 2012.

Kinsley, S. 2010, The Technics of AttentionPaying Attention, <> Last      accessed 7 June 2012.

Lehrer, J. 2010, The Future of ReadingWired, September 8,             <> Last accessed      7 June 2012.

Mutter, A. 2012, Four ways newspapers are failing at digital,           <>            Last accessed 7 June 2012.

Naughton, J. 2010, Publishers take note: the iPad is altering the very concept of a   ‘book’The Guardian, December 19,

<          apple> Last accessed 7 June 2012.

Ogle, M. 2010, Archive Fever: A love letter to the post real-time,           December 16, <> Last accessed 7 June 2012.

O’Malley, M. 2010, Attention and InformationThe Aporetic,          <> Last accessed 7 June 2012.

Schonfeld, E. 2011, How the iPad time shifts online reading,                     <> Last accessed 7 June 2012.

Shirky, C. 2009, Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable,             <>       Last accessed 7 June 2012.

Walljasper, J. 2010, The Commons Moment is,              <> Last accessed 7 June 2012.

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W11 – Aggregation & Distribution

Aggregation is the collection of information, ideas, knowledge, opinions and data collaborated from a multitude of archival sources. Distribution is the conveyance of these specific types of information via various mediums e.g. online, newspapers, television (connecting by video, writing, blogging); being made available to and being consumed by the public.  This present-day open public contributes to, as Spivack denotes as “flows” ( Within these flows exists the “stream” or flow of information via social Media e.g. Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, in which this open social public consumes, redirects and adds to this flow.

Now, within the present-day “Systems Age”, with the shift from print to digital, within a relatively closed social public and slow and clear separation between publisher and distributer and public. However, separation no longer exists between publisher and the distributer and the public or what Dodson refers to as the “leader or follower”.  Now devoid of separation, these bodies operate simultaneously e.g. Google aggregates and sends off different data pages that the public can has published and consumed presenting a multitude of sources. This is a direct result of the implementation of the concept of self-publication in which manipulating, sensing and collecting data in near real-time publications through online mediums such as Twitter or Facebook, with “little to no human supervision”, with Artificial Intelligence driving the “digital sphere”.

However, with this innovation of technology comes criticism and disadvantages of such a revolution. This new technology is plagued with an overload of information of which particularly important data may be lost within a sea of excessive and/or irrelevant/inappropriate/useless data. Also the issue of data privacy in which a former temporal publication of information has now moved to permanent archives, information can be conveniently accessed at any particular point in time, (in which individuals may regret posting/publishing). Also this privacy can be easily hacked within an unsafe online environment e.g. The public now becoming more aware of the lack of privacy or safety within websites such as Facebook, where personal information and details are available to anyone around the world and these profile have the potential to be hacked with information and details stolen and used for own personal gain (credit card details/Nigerian credit scams). Similarly, fraudulent details can also be published in hope of gaining employment, in which the individual may not be qualified.

Furthermore, technology may be difficult to use for older generation as they may not be accustomed to the “frustrating tools” that are essential within real-time publication. (compared to former broadcast media to a now networked media – “FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGING THEH WAY INFORMATION FLOWS”).

This new technology may also prove to involve difficulty in a narrow specific search that an individual desires due to the anticipation of own enquiry being based on the basis of others. E.g. this can be seen within a Google enquiry or Youtube search in which the desired information to be viewed can be based on popularity through hits, views, ratings etc. This vague appropriation of an individuals enquiry can also cause the individual to become sidetracked by viewing different options as they are available of which I describe as being excessively convenient, and lose focus and become sidetracked, forgetting the task-at-hand (FORGETTING PRIORITIES). – this can be described as “Democratisation?”.

In turn, these websites not only narrows our intellectual path e.g. following certain celebrities on Twitter or subscribing to certain Youtube channels may in turn, reduce our ability to attain knowledge from other different and various sources due to only vieweing what was requested, segmenting a group of individuals to whom they follow or what they view on a routine basis etc.

Furthermore consumers may be attracted to the more sensationalist eye-catching reports-exaggerated and visually stimulating reports through headlines or font (CAPS or bold print within a comment section or subject section of an online forum). These scandalous, controversial reports can cause the viewer to spend most of their time decoding this information rather than taking the option to look at a somewhat bland representation of a report but with intellectually stimulating articles and informational content and data.




Words like ‘Secret’, ‘Exclsuive’ and ‘Shocking’, being plastered on the front cover of ‘OK Magazine’ show the technique and ability to entice viewers. Similarly, the use of avatars (profile pictures) and online adverts further entice the viewer through colorful and seductive imagery which may cause the individual to get sidetracked within a potentially unsafe online environment, in which publishing comments can be viewed by a potential international audience. Furthermore, showing why print publication newspapers are a dying business with a lack of appeal to the younger generation.

However, the potential windfalls of publicity through the online environment reaching the mainstream consciousness. E.g. the advent of memes (an online initiation) becoming mainstream with international news shows broadcasting images of memes etc. Also Medical data to the public are now being made available to view e.g. an individual can diagnose himself through viewing symptoms etc. however this can be problematic as the public may have no medical training and as a result may diagnose themselves with a wrong illness.

References [Accessed 12/5/23] [Accessed 13/5/23]

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W8 – Visualisation

Visualisation is the conveyance of a message/idea through a variety of techniques for creating such messages e.g. images, animations or diagrams. Within the contemporary framework, new forms of visualisation e.g. educational visualisation, informational visualisation, knowledge visualisation have been created, and with this comes differing forms of expression, content affecting the public.

The relatively new notion of real-time publication – twitter, iphone ipad – presenting technologically innovative features, such as touch interfaces, and Wifi connectivity has altered public forms of expression and informational content. Images and textual content can be posted/uploaded through real-time allowing a new dimension of expressionism and perception by the public that was not possible in the past, with up-to-date content being able to be viewed. Being wireless internationally a communication that crosses physical borders allows the views of different publics worldwide to be perceived by individuals, and expressing one’s ideas has never been more convenient, with virtually anyone in the world have the ability to post views and opinions. With the introduction of an online language in the form of slang and jargon the structure of expression has also been altered between an online and physical landscape.

This implementation of technology is also seen with Vjing (real-time interaction) in which the practice of audiovisual performance also converges with the contemporary landscape, affecting the public’s communication (audience). This interactivity (INTERACTION DESIGN) with the public allows for ‘real-time feedback’ between the audience and the artists that perform. These participation devices have altered the conceptual relation between engagement and consumption, allowing the artists to finely tune their performances and giving the public a voice on the matter (EXPERIENCE DESIGN). However, the engagement of Vj’s to creators/artists, has affected forms of expression and content. This is seen within the now problematic notion of the Vj. With differences of interpretations of artists within social political discourse – such as the act of re-visioning an event such as ‘Jackson 2bear’s’ video piece on the problematic representations of first nations people in popular culture. Artists implementation of technology have also affected the history of fine-art, with artists such as – ‘Neubau & Kero’s’ presentation vehicle industrial design – de/reconstructing its architecture, relating mechanical to organic (THESE TWO EXAMPLES IMPLEMENT ‘GRAPHIC DESIGN’ – where the client and artists(designer) in conjunction with form producers e.g. printers. undertake the specific message). In turn, these examples also affect society’s perception and psychological space due to the dynamic visualisation and informational content provided to them. Information graphics within this conveyance uses data/statistics to tell a story about that data. Thus, the audience percieves this data (decodes) and produces a message from it. Smoking advertisements have allowed us to visualise the effects of smoking e.g. real/direct imagery of lungs with tar; showing the internal effects that smoking has on organs and body parts, showing the true gruesome imagery that is necessary in combating and deterring smoking.

The relation between the 3 designs mentioned above e.g. Design, Interaction, and Experience. are all related in the act of conveying a message to the user audience through a visual communication or presentation, highlighting the innovation of technology within the contemporary landscape, altering the conceptual framework of the visualisation of history – with a variety of ever-expanding applications to technology creating diagrams and images etc. in the pursuit of communicating a message to the audience, now producing new terms such as education visualisation e.g. (multimedia interactivity in classrooms through laptops/ipads online).

However, with implementation of technology there comes debate against the materialistic -testament to 1964 Beijing’s ‘proletarian and bourgeois’ conception – reflecting upon the ideological level of – the acute and complex class struggle. Within the modern day society, the struggle for an equal and fair socio-economic system for differing developed and underdeveloped nations shows a huge differentiation of respective public’s perception, forms of content and expression, visualisation. Poorer nations may not be able to continually receive updated informational content/factual information due to lack of funds and technological development within that country even though globalisation has allowed for reduction of barriers and introduced the concept of interconnectedness. Therefore the perceptions of issues may be different from more developed economies e.g. Middle Eastern views versus western ideals.

Although, the concept of history should always be looked at as a guide, it is a natural order of life in which through time update technological innovations are necessary in enhancing public visualisation altering public perception and forms of expression. Yet, we must still look to the past and never lose our connections toward tradition, preserving archival content from the past.

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W7 – Provenance and Online Privacy/Censorship

Posting or publishing personal information online has now become commonplace allowing the individual to view data that would otherwise be unobtainable during the pre-online era. The convenience and ease in which this information can be accessed has advocated a strong relationship with the viewer, altering their public and private sphere (time of consumption) and causing the individual to demonstrate archive fever due to a compulsive/obsessive desire now being established towards archives within this modern day framework. Websites such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Wikileaks have initiated this fever by providing up-to-date informational content of its own and others provenance. This provenance or the (location or ownership of archives by an organization, group or individual) has been under increased scrutiny and controversy within recent years regarding information being published that is not done so by the original creator/publisher. This has been categorized in the form of plagiarisim, P2P file sharing, and government private records/documentation being made accessible to the general public etc. Therefore, issues of online piracy and censorship have been brought to attention with legal authorities and government jurisdiction trying to pass/advocate laws such as SOPA/ACTA and Privacy/Censorship laws.

This idea of making the invisible visible is seen with such sites as Facebook, with up-to-date information about oneself being published of what would otherwise be private, being made public. Viewers may develop an emotional and obsessive desire to continually check up on others updates or compulsively post or keep-up-to-date on one’s own profile. Facebook’s online piracy has been continually challenged, with identities being stolen or accounts being hacked. Issues with pedophilia have also been a problem with children younger and younger joining social networking sites. Children have been stalked with images and private information of themselves being made accessible to the public, even including location of residence and phone number. Now more than ever, parents continually monitoring their child’s internet activity or disallowing their child to create an account. Google has also been the target of criticism regarding the provenance of what information is being shared through it’s search engine. Providing a shared/integrated informational content between its services e.g. Youtube, Gmail, Google books etc. being the subject of legal problems. Much like Facebook, privacy is also an issue with Google with social networking information being tied across multiple sites into its search engines.  

The idea of censorship has been a contentious issue within today’s online society with acts such as SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and ACTA (Anti-counterfeiting trade Agreement) being signed by a number of countries e.g. US. This has seen the closing down of many P2P file-sharing sites such as Megaupload, btjunkie, fileserver etc. being in direct breach of its intellectual property rights and copyright infringement. This had adversely affected the freedom rights and expressions of the public with governments now having the ability to criminally enforce and extradite individuals who are breaking the laws stated within this new bill.

Although issues of piracy are largely in breach of civil law, it can also be a necessary and essential enforcement of laws and regulations in which can keep us safer within the online environment, copyright infringement and the sharing of intellectual property are mostly inappropriate and unnecessary within the online landscape as it is our freedom to publicly share and obtain information without government  or organizational intervention. 

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W6 – ‘The Commons’ within the Digital Landscape – Infotention

The immense social change taking part in today’s digital/technological climate have imposed tremendous implications. A now interrelated international framework with access to instantaneous news coverage and feeds provide both a diverse and dynamic commons. With ‘the commons’ encompassing – collection & (re) distribution & attention – the possibilities of interacting and producing archives are limitless ultimately re-defining the relation between public and private spheres.

Re-emerging ideas and thoughts that are presumed to have stayed dormant within our consciousness have been re-awakened due to sweeping transformations of commons movements which have been spread around the world. Traditional conservatives did not as easily assemble attention as a result of a continuous and non-stop cycle of collection and (re) distribution of archives and informational content/news feeds. These commons from a traditional and modern day are significantly different from each other e.g. natural vs digital commons and preserving vs generating commons – with these opposing perceptions highlighting a large increase in the development of the today public’s self – awareness, conviction and moreover – ATTENTION!. Although with a constant barrage of informational content, it may be visibly unclear to the individual but through marketing and use of slogans etc.. these interpretations can be understood. Furthermore scientists have ascertained that this constant indulging within a ceaseless disruption of information isn’t good for our brains – impeding social-memory and potentially hinder long-term memory as well. Additionally processes of constant multi-tasking and constant performance of what was traditionally a privately consumed medium with now being largely consumed in a public space, the public is now demonstrating addict-like behaviour. This has also hindered focus and attention (with many media platforms such as advertising upon television or online are demonstrating more direct/overt commercial/marketing elements within ads, aware of a public who demonstrate alarmingly shore attention spans and memory banks, making it as direct and explicit as possible. e.g. the advertisement for the alcoholic beverage *can’t remember which one* directed at the younger audience and shows clips of people making distinct/different noises blasting on your TV screen.

Tweets, applications, updates due to the advent of digital technology able to be published or broadcasted all over the globe within an online landscape (re) distributing through the television, radio, and ink-to-paper newspapers and also through the public. This collection of data has never been made more easily accessible to the individual ever before. This primarily online format as a mechanism for catapulting your attention has produced a new term for the technological era entitled – ‘Infotention’ (meta-attention). This new cognitive mind-skill provides a conscious perception conjuring and categorising intelligent input via a technological/digital format – however this is also decreasing our attention as a whole.

Infotention is largely seen in commons regarding open-source coding. However, accessing different forms of publishing have labeled a large number of social groups via an online landscape as illegal/unethical/immoral. These social groups are shifting composition to collaboration and effectively ‘short-circuiting’ the market economy – P2P, file sharing, torrent sites where the public can collect information, video, content for free. Many major music and movie companies are against these social groups and continue to lobby to make these illegal. With some P2P sites operating within a foreign nation abroad, countries like the U.S do not have sovereignty over these nations so are largely unable to prosecute the founders of these social groups. However, with the continued lobbying to sign SOPA or ACTA bills through congress and look for other nations to ratify this bill they continue to lock down on individuals internationally. Thus trying to limit the collection and (re) distribution of copyrighted content by not only enforcing laws physically but garnering the attention globally through use of deterrence e.g. -extraditing members of foreign nations to be prosecuted within the U.S. – recently early 2012 uni student from Britain trialed and found guilty of downloading illegal content – sentenced to 12 years in American prison.  and also scare tactics. This common is also seen in the now free-to-view academic journals via the online format.

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W5 – Archive Fever, Provenance, Structuring data

An archive stores information conceived at a specific time, constituting individual and social institutions and practices (law texts, Religion bible), determines what has been destroyed, preserved or accessible; laying the foundation for future societies and cultures. However, these future societies, now modern day realities have altered the way in which archivable content is accessed, distributed and viewed affecting the individual’s perception and experience.

Differing modes of publishing have been conceived due to the advent of the digital age. This has significantly increased the potential and possibilities of recording and preserving information, now being categorised within tags, comments, likes, blogs, key words via search engines etc; creating a permanent record of the event. This has changed the readers ‘archive fever’ at the point of view of engagement. The individual’s ‘archive Fever’, a phrase coined by Derrida, describes the way in which publishing constitutes individual and collective institution, mode of living, and sense of who we are. At the dawn of the Internet age constant desire and archival fever is stronger than it has ever been with a ‘single-minded’ Ogle (2010) and ‘conscious’ Ogle (2010) decision and strong desire to continually and on a communal bases view digital/categorised content on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Bebo, Moby, affecting facets of happiness, human existence and communication.

Another modern day site that has enabled a more accessible archivable content is displaying over 10,000 Australian schools. This site compares the performance in literacy, numeracy, english etc. tabulating and forming the results of the respective schools comparing them on a national basis. This allows parents to view archives of schools that are rated highly and poorly with open discussion, providing parents more information on where they should send their child. Before the advent of the digital age, or even this particular website, word-of-mouth or physical communication was the sole basis/foundation of hearing the good/bad of a particular school, impacting upon where a parent may send their child or children. This experimentation upon publishing this information on this digital mode has provoked controversy regarding the validity and utility of the data contained and represented discouraging schools who were rated lower. However this archivable content is considered to be a large reflection on the teaching abilities and school education which parents show large consideration for and continual monitoring of progress adds a new archival fever for parents and students of primary and middle school education statistics.

Stokes has a problem of mentioning Derrida, labeling it ‘pretentious’, Stokes (2003), validating the largely informal nature of the new age modes of publishing within blogs/websites, effecting future archivable content. Thus, technology’s relationship to human concepts and memory can determine the structure and content of future archivable content e.g. the slang/verbage now used in digital texts has affected younger generation’s english grammar. This record of event produces collective groups that view or comment on the site. These groups are what Stokes labels as ‘discontented masses’ Stokes (2003), has effectively changed the archive fever of the general public, narrowing it to ‘engine optimisers’ Stokes (2003) and ‘bloggers’ Stokes (2003) (also for someone new to the internet search may find it difficult to find and access archives). Although this narrowing of the viewing public is evident sites like Google has made it possible to provide archivable and up-to-date content to the public which would otherwise be unattainable with deteriorating texts and the pure form of the ink-to-paper medium. This large and extensive library of archivable content is also present within other particular websites such as ‘Omeka’ effectively changing the ways in which distribution and access of archivable content is viewed/received by the individual. Schools and universities can access professional academic journal articles and library content within digital collection systems and museum online exhibition systems and digital collections. This grants ability to access such a wide variety of categorised archivable content online.

This Up-to-Date & storing of real-time data is also evident in social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, create a permanent and preserved record of the event with the ability to view personal information on facebook on what your favourite soundtrack or what song was #1 on the day you were born. However creating this storing of real-time text/data has changed the process of conception of Derrida’s conception or ‘Exergue’ Enszer (2008). This is the initial process of printing ensuring the possibility of ‘memorisation, repetition, reproduction’ Enszer (2008), and possessing possibility of forgetfulness. Derrida then explains the process of which the text has been constructed to reaching the individual; (signs/inscription -> word/notion -> impression left.) Sites like Twitter and Facebook, displaying information on a reverse chronological order make it extremely difficult or largely impossible to repeat or reproduce information due to trademarks and legal constraints and view from even a day to a week of old content as the continued update of information makes it impossible to retrieve historical data. This exploration of digital histories needs to be rectified through structuring elements of mainstream accessibility or use of key word search or data bases within social networking sites like twitter, facebook, bebo.

Upon a digital platform has made it undoubtedly easier to access and influence our fever to relive nostalgic moments that can be viewed via videos posted on Youtube, facebook, Twitter and search information through countless categorised archives through search engines such as Google, Yahoo etc. However, personal archives within the digital landscape have made it increasingly difficult to view, through constant updating of website programming, losing personal information, constant and continual updating of current information, losing memory of what may have happened in the past and making it impossible to access. This has deprived our archival fever in which would be easier to access in the past with physical photo books and documentation i.e. address books, phones, newspapers, containing personal archives.


Enszer, Julie R. (2008) Julie R. Enszer (personal blog), ‘Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression by Jacques Derrida’, November 16, <>

Ogle, Matthew (2010) ‘Archive Fever: A love letter to the post real-time web’,, December 16, <>

Stokes, Jon (2003) ‘Reading Notes: Archive Fever’, Ars Technica, June 27, <>

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W4 – Actor Network Theory and ANPS – Assemblage

The history of publishing has taken significant turns in the history of time, and as a result, various Schools of thought have emerged in defining the methods involved with within these eras. Within these publishing innovations a significant determinant in relating these network of elements is the theory of assemblage within a flat ontology – equal representation of elements.  Within these elements a significant factor to acknowledge is also human and non-human factors. This means that non-living breathing tangible goods also have agency. Initially the Actor Network Theory is what encapsulated the general public’s definition of multifaceted nature of materials. This was assumed as possessing both material and semiotic – simultaneously. This means between things and between concepts forming a single network. Eg. Teacher, students, desks—interactivity classified as a coherent whole. In terms of the printing press in the late 1400’s this innovation would be regarded as possessing human and non human traits upon assemblages in which could be considered in relation to technology and humans and the social public. However, this has been largely criticized due to relation of agency between humans and non-humans with heterogenous associations.

The new philosophy has attempted to redefine ontology relating it to the level of individuals and society as a whole. With this new distinction it defines the variable roles a component may play defined within axis’s – territorialing and deteritorialising <—- with these defined by relations of exteriority. This means that the way in which the user or individual is related to the material by wither plugging or unplugging without losing its identity. Similarly the notions of decoding and encoding are involved within this in which the individual processes the information of the text of the form of publishing e.g. through digital or physical ink printing and how the indivudal defines and perceives this information. The assemblage of digital techonology within the definition of this new philosophy can define the material role of manufacturing the good e.g. machinery/plastic, the expressive role – formation of text e..g bold, colours, digital print, territorializing – the components and relationships regarding the iphone digital elements of durability and assemblage. Deterritorialisng – change in climate of the digital publishing e.g. reformulation of material e..g. ipad 1 being upgraded to the ipad 2.

This was a largely complicated topic, however I’d like to think I grasped some significant concepts within this weeks readings and incorporated them appropriately with the history of publishing. Providing a coherent distinction between the  original and new philosophies and what they prescribe an effective idea of what is encapsulated. 

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