Week 4: Assembling Publishing-Publics/Archive Fever

I was a little confused reading the texts on Actor-Network Theory and the ideas it was trying to portray. 

I understand that the theory explores a concept where humans and the machine are in the equation in order to explore the concept of the internet culture in depth. 

With the little understanding I have of Actor-Network Theory the movie ‘Her’ released last year came into mind.  Where the IOS system is essentially a growing organism that grows intellectually by the day resulting in a computer to have an artificial mind like a human, however more intellectual as it has the ability to access the entire internet in millisecond (if we’re going by the movie anyway). So is it that the Actor-Network Theory is theory briefly based on IOS systems? Are IOS systems a personification of the Actor-Network Theory?…

Week 3: Genre, Processes, Tools and Techniques of Publishing

I really engaged with the three online journal articles on paywall. It’s a contemporary issue that isn’t bought up in the mainstream context. The Times article “The New York Times is Now Supported by Readers, Not Advertisers” really got my attention. I started to contemplate how relevant this topic is regarding publications I read today. It’s inevitable to think some if not most publications still solely run on advertisements - such as the daily MX or the sydney take on Vice Magazine, Sneaky Magazine. These publications are free to the public and each issues are packed with advertisements.

In regards to Sneaky Mag the dynamic of their publication is a lot more niche compared to the Times regarding the amount of people who contribute to each issue and the target market and this is a huge factor to the finances of the publication. In specifics of advertisement being their main source of funds, It would be easier for the magazine to get enough advertisements in each issue because the magazine has established a specific aesthetics. A specific aesthetic the readers agree to, making the magazine a perfect platform for specific brands with similar aesthetics to advertise their label.

With the digital transition, I understand that businesses have different platforms to advertise eliminating the more traditional forms of advertisements - e.g. print but as long as there are still printed publications, prints are still very relevant and should not be ruled out. 

With the extensive consumer culture we actively participate in today, It’s inevitable to believe paywall to be a logical conclusion to the issue. It’s the cycle of ‘people want this therefore they will pay for it”, even if there is a online platform to obtain it illegally, things like magazines and editorials are unobtainable online or do not have the same quality online and therefore people will purchase them. 

Week 2: History of Tools and Techniques

Through this week’s readings I got a brief insight into the complicated mechanism of publishing. I particularly found nano-publishing fascinating merely because it was something very applicable in our contemporary, everyday life. Nano-publishing is mainly used by scientists to share their knowledge/theories with other scientists in the same field, but it was interesting to consider a mundane tweet containing 140 characters or less was considered nano-publishing.

Nano-publishing is a very niche concept compared to the spectrum of publishing; but even the wide perspective of publishing and it’s history was something that seemed very mundane yet surprisingly interesting. The Elizabeth Eisenstein ‘Defining the initial shift: some features of printing culture’ gave me an insight into the history of printing. Although some of the information seemed quite self explanatory it was nevertheless very insightful especially in the aspect of standardisation and the power books gave the public to educate themselves.