Monday, 22 December 2008

Visit to University of Peradeniya Library

The ASAA Conference in Kandy was a great success . There's a brief report about the conference in the 21st December 2008 edition of The Island which is the main independent English newspaper in Sri Lanka.

After the conference we visited the largest university in Sri Lanka which is 20 minutes drive from Kandy: University of Peradeniya

Their beautiful campus was established in 1954.

After speaking with the Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, I visited their Library which is the the oldest and the largest University Library in Sri Lanka. It was quite late in the day when we arrived, so I did not have a lot of time, but did have a meeting with the University Librarian, Harrison Perera, and took a photo of their atmospheric Periodicals Reading Room.

I'll hopefully find time to post more about some of the fabulous conference papers from this cross-disciplinary conference.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Media Participatory Activism Seminar in Perth

A small, but select group of students and academics attended this CREATEC seminar at ECU Mount Lawley yesterday: “Media Participatory Activism”, with the Keynote address delivered by Prof Geert Lovink.

Lovink is a Dutch/Australian media theorist and Research Professor of Interactive Media at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA) and an Associate Professor of New Media at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). His keynote topic was: “Publish Now: the Cultural Politics of Blogs and Web 2.0”

It was all stimulating, and too much to summarise in a blog post but some brief dots point might give an idea:

  • Blogging has moved on from being a separate entity and is now completely integrated into websites and embedded in social networking sites
  • Technorati reported on the phenomenal growth of blogging which has probably not yet peaked, but Technorati itself is undergoing changes and their annual report on blogging is no longer happening
  • Not enough is being done to map the Australian blogosphere
  • World internet statistics show use has reached saturation in North America, but growth in China or India has not nearly reached its peak
  • While the predominant language of the internet is still English, Mandarin is growing rapidly and will surpass English within the next few years
  • We are now at the end of the Web 2.0 economic cycle
  • The world economic crisis is putting enormous pressure on internet companies such as Yahoo and there is concern re the future of Flickr.
  • MySpace and Facebook are matched internationally by examples of other social networking sites, which have enormous take up in their countries/languages of origin such as: Studieverzeichnis (Germany) (Netherlands), SkyRock (France/Africa),
  • National webs are being created in an attempt to recreate the “nation state” online. One example of a national web is even Australia’s ABC website as it is closed to overseas access

You can follow up on Geert Lovink's work as he has written widely. His latest book is Zero comments : blogging and critical Internet culture, Routledge 2008

A great panel discussion followed consisted of: Mark Balnaves is Professor of New Media at Edith Cowan University, Associate Professor Matthew Allen is the foundation Head of the Department of Internet Studies, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia and Tama Leaver teaches Communication Studies at the University of Western Australia, focusing on digital media and participatory culture.