Category: Software Studies

New ASCA PhD Candidate: Introduction to my research

Short introduction to my research in the ASCA newsletter #119, October 2009. Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam Anne Helmond, Software‐Engine relations in the Social Web (Docent‐Promovendus, Promotor: Richard Rogers) The research contributes to the emerging field of software studies as a branch within media studies. Software is an understudied object within media studies, yet it shapes our current media use, production and distribution. As software is increasingly moving from the desktop to the web it becomes part of a larger network where search engines play an important role. My research has found that search engines establish tight relationships with blog software, which alter both the medium and the practice of blogging. Acknowledging the important role of the engines on the web by further theorizing software‐engine relations will definitely add to the field of software studies. Therefore, I propose, to study software and engines in conjunction rather than separately and I will especially look into this new phenomenon of software‐engine relations. The question is whether it is possible to demarcate an area of study that deals with these software‐engine relations. By rethinking the role of search engines as part of the software platforms that constitute the social web […]

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New job and new blog design

It’s been pretty quiet here in contrast to my Twitter account (in Dutch). While finishing my publication for the Networked book I applied for a PhD position at the University of Amsterdam. I am happy to announce that I will continue my research on software-engine relations as a PhD within the emerging field of Software Studies with my colleagues of the Digital Methods Initiative. Of course this also means that the summer break is officially over for my blog. I redesigned it as a fresh start to enter a new era of my blog as a research tool, a place for discussion and publication. My new workplace at the UvA.

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Lifetracing. The Traces of a Networked Life online at Networked: A Networked Book

My chapter for Networked: a (networked_book) about (networked_art), Lifetracing. The Traces of a Networked Life,  is now officially online and open to comments. Thanks to and and the National Endowment for the Arts for supporting my research. Lifetracing. The Traces of a Networked Life Identity on the web has changed by the assemblage of social software platforms, engines and users. Four major platforms for presenting the self online have developed over time: the homepage, the blog, the social networking profile and the lifestream. They each have their own specific way for presenting the self online. It should be mentioned that the shift has taken place from the centralized identity on the homepage to the distributed identity on a website with the lifestream. The homepage is a self-secluded manually coded website containing its content on its own server. With the introduction of blog software the act of self publishing was made available to the public and the blog shows that it is part of a larger network with the embedding of external content from other services and platforms. In this era of the social web, the social networking profile has become a popular way to present the self online. The […]

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Goodbye Geocities: On Archiving Websites

In 1996 I created one of my first homepages, a tribute website to the Canadian band Eric’s Trip. I was able to claim a beautiful Geocities url: It’s one big piece of pure nostalgia and 1996 web aesthetics: Photoshop flares, optimized for Netscape and hand-coded with HTML Notepad. The Last Update JavaScript stamp reads 08/30/1997 18:50:02 but I haven’t updated the page since 1996. The stamp says 1997 because Geocities used to insert advertising which would fool the script into thinking the page had been updated. ASCII and the Archive Team have started to archive Geocities and the progress is described in ‘Geocities: Lessons So Far.’ There are two great applications to backup your own, long forgotten, Geocities website: PC: Website Ripper Copier MAC: SiteSucker (Thanks Daniel Rehn!) I now host The Unofficial Eric’s Trip Homepage on this webserver, have a look at my 1996 design skills (watch your steps: broken links, hint: choose l0-fi). PC World wrote a great nostalgic article on the end of the Geocities era: ‘So Long, GeoCities: We Forgot You Still Existed‘ Esther Weltevrede, my colleague at the Digital Methods Initiative, will be talking about Archiving Web dynamics at the Archive 2020 meeting which […]

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Twitter Interview “Ik begin de dag met mijn RSS Reader”

Ik werd vanmiddag door Sanne Brand en Mark Zaremba via Twitter geïnterviewd voor hun project Social Networkz aan de Fontys Hogeschool voor Journalistiek in Tilburg. Het “origineel” is te vinden op de blog van Sanne Brand. Wat ik met name interessant vind aan deze vorm van een interview is dat ik door de “restricties” van het medium Twitter als het ware gedwongen word binnen 140 karakters (of een meervoud daarvan) te antwoorden. Hierdoor zijn enkele antwoorden misschien wat meer kort door de bocht als ik ze in een andere context zou geven, maar toont tevens hoe men de communicatie aanpast aan het medium. “Ik begin de dag met mijn RSS Reader” Een krant en een televisie heeft ze niet. Anne Helmond begint haar dag met haar RSS reader waarin ze abonnementen op honderden blogs en websites heeft verzameld. Anne studeerde Nieuwe Media van 2004 tot 2008 aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam, de plek die nu ook haar werkplek is. Anne is docente Nieuwe Media van de afdeling Mediastudies aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Deze vlotte dame houdt zich vooral bezig met Software Studies en dan met name de rol die software speelt in onze samenleving. Social Networkz was benieuwd naar […]

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Software Takes Command by Lev Manovich

Lev Manovich published a .doc and .pdf of his upcoming book Software Takes Command online. You may download it, send in suggestions and remarks and design your own cover. Here’s my design for Software Takes Command by Lev Manovich using an image I took while visiting the Software Studies Workshop led by Manovich at UCSD.

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