Category: Software Studies

Slides and notes from my presentation on Blogging, Software Standards and Template Culture

Last week I gave a lecture on ‘Blogging, software standards and template culture’ at the Dutch Film Festival at the SuperPowerPointCinema mini-conference with Bruce Sterling and Eboman organized by Mieke Gerritzen and Koert van Mensvoort. Blogging, software standards and template culture View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: blogging software_studies) I do not have a transcript of the actual presentation (which included a few improvised extras) but here are my prepared notes: 1. Blogging, software standards and template culture Thank you very much for inviting me. My name is Anne Helmond and I am a New Media Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam where I conduct research with the Digital Methods Initiative within the emerging field of Software Studies. 2. The “new” media effect: Software Studies // Software Culture // Template Culture This SuperPowerPoint Cinema mini conference is part of the re:vision2008 series titled ‘The New Media Effect’ which aims to address important questions including Is there such a thing as a language of new media & Does this lead to a new image aesthetics? Lev Manovich addressed the first question in his book, appropriately titled, The Language of New Media (2001) in which he argued that new media […]

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Lecture on ‘Blogging, software standards and template culture’

Tomorrow I will give a lecture (in English) on ‘Blogging, software standards and template culture’ in Utrecht at the Dutch Film Festival. Unfortunately Lev Manovich won’t be able to make it but Eboman and Bruce Sterling are! We’d love to see you there. General Information Mini Conferentie SuperPowerPointCinema Datum: Woensdag 1 Oktober Locatie Hoogt1, Utrecht Aanvang: 14:00 – 16:00 uur Tickets: 8,50 (Met Gouden Kalf pas: 5,00)

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Blogging for Engines. Blogs under the Influence of Software-Engine Relations

In February I graduated cum laude with a thesis on blog software and search engines titled ‘Blogging for Engines. Blogs under the Influence of Software-Engine Relations.’ It aims to add the study of software-engine relations to the emerging field of Software Studies, which may open up a new avenue in the field by accounting for the increasing entanglement of the engines with software thus further shaping the field. This thesis wishes to contribute to the understanding of blogs by approaching blogs as both a medium and bi-product of practice that are both entangled in software-engine relations. In the history of blogging both the medium and practice are constantly being shaped by the search and indexing engines. Not only did the introduction of the ‘nofollow’ attribute have a major impact on the construction of the blogosphere, it also points to how the blogger is (un)willingly entangled in a relationship that the blog software establishes with the engines. The common blog practices of tagging, social bookmarking and the obsessive checking of blog statistics raise the question if we are now blogging to feed the engines. Continue to read an excerpt of my PhD proposal to continue my research on software-engine relations, or […]

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Review: Software Studies a Lexicon Edited by Matthew Fuller

This review of the Software Studies Lexicon was written in June 2007 after Matthew Fuller was kind enough to send me a sneak preview pre-publication copy. I sent the PDF of the Software Studies Review to Fuller to which he replied with some insightful remarks on my suggestion for a digital working environment, see update below. Fuller, Matthew. Software Studies: A Lexicon. Cambridge, USA: The MIT Press, 2008. 334 pp. $28.00 USD. ISBN-10: 0262062747 Reviewed by Anne Helmond. June 2007, University of Amsterdam Software Studies, a forthcoming lexicon edited by Matthew Fuller, consists of thirty-nine entries from mostly different authors. The title refers both to the object of study and the form of the project consisting of numerous short studies. Each of the “software studies” in the book stands on its own and Fuller celebrates the multi-disciplinary diversity of the authors. They come from different fields of study including art and design, literary theory, computation and free and open source software. Fuller has not gone as far as to attempt to start a new field of study but instead Software Studies calls for new theorizations of software from areas that “have not historically ‘owned’ software” such as media studies. The […]

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Amsterdam New Media Summer Talks: Networked Content

Warren Sack, Alexander Galloway, Greg Elmer and Anat Ben-David explore the contents of networks. The Summer Talks are hosted by Richard Rogers. The program is part of the 10-year Jubilee of, the group responsible for the Issue Crawler and other info-political tools for the Web. It is also part of the Digital Methods Summer School as well as the New Media Research Lecture Series, Media Studies, University of Amsterdam. Monday, 11 August 2008, 1 – 5 pm Location: Nina van Leer Zaal, Allard Pierson Museum, Oude Turfmarkt 129 (“Bijzondere Collecties” Entrance), Amsterdam. Free entry, followed by drinks, 5 – 6.30pm Digital Methods Summer Program Substance Networked Content: Turning Away From the User The Amsterdam Digital Summer program re-introduces the turn away from the user as content-organizing agent on the Web. Instead, it puts forward a device-centric approach to the study of what may be termed networked content. As valuable as the importation of fan studies has been in showing how a participatory culture gives rise to collective intelligence, it neglects what may be termed algorithmic consequences, that is, the manner in which content is delivered by devices in the first instance. The turn away from the user is at […]

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Video, slides and notes from my presentation on Software-Engine Relations at HASTAC II and SoftWhere 2008

Download the hi-resolution Quicktime movie from the SoftWhere08 website. | View | Upload your own Software-engine relations in the blogosphere Thank you very much for inviting me. My name is Anne Helmond and I am currently a New Media Lecturer at the Media Studies department at the University of Amsterdam. I also work at the Institute of Network Cultures, an Amsterdam based media research center. I am focusing my current research on software-engine relations, analyzing the entanglement of the engines into software. I would like to propose to redefine the current perception we have of the blogger because people might think of the blogger as a pajama clad revolutionary or the lonely writer who sits in the dark in his room. However, the blogger is an active researcher. One would have to admit that the main amount of this activity is engine based. A lot of research is done via engines, it is engine work. Then one starts to think about engines and bloggers and how are the software-engine relations are build into the medium and practice of blogging. Then one would have to think about the engines: What is missing from the current studies into software is the recognition […]

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