Wednesday, August 7, 2013

2 New Papers Out on First Monday: Museum 2.0 & the Fashion Blogosphere

What a wonderful day to see 2 of my Masters students get their thesis published as papers in one of my favorite journals - First Monday. This journal is one of the first open access journals dedicated solely to the study of the Internet. It has published excellent and pioneering texts from several renowned scholars such as Howard Besser, danah boyd, John Seely Brown, Edward Castronova, Paul Duguid, Nathan Glazer, Eszter Hargittai, Lev Manovich, Helen Nissenbaum, Trevor Pinch, and Richard Wiggins.

So proud of Jessica Verboom, and Kristina Sedeke, both wonderful young scholars and practitioners.

So the first paper by Jessica Verboom , 'Museum 2.0: A study into the culture of expertise within the museum blogosphere' is on how museums are addressing the rise of social media and how this challenges the notion of expertise in the art world. The abstract below gives a glimpse of what its about:

Abstract
While studies on popular culture have a more vast understanding of the impact of the participatory culture on experts and expertise, there is a dearth of literature on the impact of Web 2.0 on museums, which are established authorities within the cultural field. We aim to answer the following research question here: who are the experts and what is the nature of their expertise in the museum blogosphere? In addition, we look at the spatial culture on these museum blogs and its role in shaping expertise. We address this question by conducting a content analysis on a sample of the top ten ranked museum blogs, and find that new experts have entered the playing field and expertise is constructed in the personal and social context of an entertainment-oriented blogosphere. Click here for the full text

The second paper by Kristina Sedeke, 'Top ranking fashion blogs and their role in the current fashion industry' is about how the fashion industry is responding to the rise of the blogosphere and the new role of experts in this realm and their influence in this fashion arena.The abstract below gives a glimpse of what its about:

Abstract
Within the last decade, fashion has become more of a global industry catering to complex and transnational customers of diverse lifestyles, religions, and cultures which makes the recognition and identification with particular customers more complex. Simultaneously the radical change in communication allows users to participate, follow and discuss any trends and fashion news easily for any collection and purchase them online. In particular, the blogosphere has become a prime arena within which fashion consumers reside online, bringing to question who and what are the influencers within these new digital and cultural spaces in the fashion industry. Blogging in general is considered as a new form of online journalism, enjoying great attention of users, based on a personal and interactive approach, versus the standardized treatment through mainstream media. Fashion blogs are perceived as a street of fashion, as a source of authenticity and a display of the actual use of fashion by the general public. However, fashion bloggers are looked upon skeptically by the fashion industry as they may not have the proper expertise guaranteeing quality and credible reporting. This new cultural sphere continues to be resisted by established and well-known fashion brands and designers who do not incorporate them into their corporate communication. This is not to say that fashion bloggers are not influential; in fact, these amateur-experts have proven an impressive capacity to build up a wide audience following, and have even influenced mainstream media and the fashion industry. While we are aware of these trends, few studies have shed light on the nature and characteristic of this new cultural and online domain of the fashion industry. Thereby, this paper focuses on some of the most effective blogs and bloggers, delving into who they are, what kinds of strategies do they employ to attract a wide audience and what are the range of characteristics that make an effective blog. The aim of this paper is to enhance the understanding of this new cultural realm, especially in three avenues: identity of bloggers, the culture of space of their blogs, and their actual or possible use as a tool of fashion marketing and brand management. Click here for the full text