First Monday

First Monday is one of the first openly accessible, peer–reviewed journals solely devoted to research about the Internet. First Monday has published 1,718 papers in 259 issues, written by 2,392 different authors, over the past 21 years. No subscription fees, no submission fees, no advertisements, no fundraisers, no walls.

This month: December 2017
Stewardship in the “Age of Algorithms”
This paper explores pragmatic approaches that might be employed to document the behavior of large, complex socio-technical systems (“algorithms”) that involve some mixture of personalization, opaque rules, and machine learning components. Thinking rooted in traditional archival methodology — focusing on the preservation of physical and digital objects, and perhaps the accompanying preservation of their environments to permit subsequent interpretation or performance — has been a total failure for many reasons. If we are to successfully cope with the new “Age of Algorithms,” there must be shift from artifacts requiring mediation and curation, to experiences. Specifically, it must focus on making pragmatic sense of an incredibly vast number of unique, personalized performances that can potentially be recorded.
Also this month
Conflict in a digital place
There are situations where disagreements between users connect with specific choices executed in the design of a digital infrastructure. Engagement in design activities can be used as a tool to analyse and probe these issues. This study presents an ethnographic study of VOCI, a community of students based in Syria, that witnessed a major conflict between its core members during the early 2010s. Problems revolved around issues of control and governance, and eventually translated into a shared concern of how access and ownership of digital places are configured.



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