It’s officially official, I’m a University student again! I’m studying Cultural Anthropology at the U of M. Entirely internet-based, of course.
Buying textbooks was entirely not internet-based, as I needed them faster than the 2 weeks proposed by ordering online. So with a certain new-erasers-in-Autumn joie de vivre I headed down to campus.
Loud indie rock! Post-adolescent flirting! And MTS, pimping their social networking campaign (sans QR code):
I think I get the conspicuously-absent dirty pigeon now. I think he was a back-up idea the designers were proud of & the much-maligned marketing manager didn’t want to go to waste.
Anyways, I’m studying Cultural Anthropology because now that I work in social media and deal with people, I need to learn their ways.
What can Cultural Anthropology teach us about Social Media (and vice versa)?
I’m very interested in the impact social technologies have on our culture. Network-derived cultural change is transmitting through Canada and the world at the speed of wifi.
- Our public behaviour and indeed notion of ‘public’ is changing (think Google’s Eric Schmidt warning us to toe the line because Big Brother is watching),
- New cultural practices are developing to cope with change (think Schmidty also suggesting we may want to just change our names when we’re 18 to Google-erase our embarassing online youth)
- Social norms are being redefined with or without us in the service of marketing products (think Mark Zuckerberg informing us our society doesn’t care about privacy anymore)
I’ve learned something about online communities already
The course instructions request that we not cite Wikipedia, and I came across this project that neatly underscores why—a 12-volume book set comprised of every Wikipedia edit to “the Iraq War” entry over a 4 year span. Talk about “warring” worldviews, in a unique record of and comment on crowdsourced cultural bias.