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Keynote at the BRESTOLON symposium network

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Was nice to head back to ZEMKI Bremen where I did my fellowship last year to give a keynote talk on The Next Billion Users book with Harvard Press. This was for the BRESTOLON network which is an interesting formation of academic networks to sustain mentorship across diverse academic cultures and countries. The quality of questions and engagement was wonderful and am thrilled that one can accomplish such a network - a rare feat today! Basically, Brestolon is a research network collaboration between members of the Media and Communications Departments of Södertörn University(Stockholm, Sweden); Bremen University (Bremen, Germany); London School of Economics (London, UK), and Goldsmiths, University of London(London, UK) and Catholic University of Portugal (Lisbon, Portugal). The network was launched in 2013 with a grant by the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Reserach and Education (STINT). Since then, it has gathered annually at the member universities in Stockholm (tw…

Rhetoric vs. Reality unifies?

I like the Economist magazine...its not afraid of having a strong opinion. Not that I readily agree with their arguments but no one can accuse them of not taking a stand. For instance, they write about Al Jazeera (http://english.aljazeera.net/), one of the supposedly few independent media networks in the Gulf States as a natural unifier in a region that is seen as much fragmented. It is a fascinating argument of how a media network scales itself across the world now, by creating a sense of unity and identity through its rhetoric of shared Middle East concerns. Of course, the problem here is that the Economist, when it talks of the "fragmented Arab nations" implicitly reinforces such stereotypes of this region in a constant state of flux. Even though we all know that the State is not necessarily a representative of its people, we see this constantly at play when we talk of nations. Middle eastern leaders of States may not be able to work together or be united in a cause perha…

The future of the past: Digital evidence or new media fabrications?

If only the dead could talk, they would tell us what really happened… and sometimes they do. Rodrigo Rosenberg, a lawyer in Guatemala was murdered on May 10th 2009 by an unknown gunman. However, he continues to talk through YouTube, channeling his blame towards President Alvara Colom and others for his death. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxZptUp9a44&feature=fvst

This digital expose of claimed corruption and conspiracy is becoming a common phenomenon. In India, the Tehelka news magazine revealed tapes implicating Gujarat minister Narendra Modi and other politicians for the mass killings of Muslims in the infamous Gujarat riots in 2002 through their taped confessionals.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z114wnwXtQ

On a less grisly note, who could forget the Mexican Zapatista movement, an armed revolutionary group in Chiapas, Mexico that brought their movement into the international limelight through the strategic use of the Internet. Their desire for indigenous control of their local r…

The T-Mobile Dance

Do corporations now just want to be loved?
Is laughter a way to the consumer's heart?

CNN Paul R. La Monica from Media Biz complains that getting laughs comes at a high price..in fact, millions of dollars worth of corporate dollars only to find that after the first few chuckles, the consumer walks off not knowing whether you're selling cellphones or dance shoes...yes?

But there is something here- entertaining and marketing ..its not really one or the other but really on how to strike a hit with the right churning of the two...I, for one, have become an active promoter of T-mobile dancing...see the video below... but I haven't switched.

I currently stand as a consumer of their new media sales but not their products...not exactly what they were looking for.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ3d3KigPQM