From McLuhan to Web 2.0: A one-day panel held in the Applied Communication Technology (ACT) Lab from 1:30PM to 3:00PM of May 9th, 2008. Featured presenters and titles for the panel were:

1. Maria Bakardjieva, U of Calgary (http://www.ucalgary.ca/~bakardji/): “Web 2.0 in Everyday Life”

2. Theo Hug, Innsbruk U (http://homepage.uibk.ac.at/~c60357/): “The Competence of Framing Media Literacy and Media Literacy as Framing Competence”

3. Norm Friesen, Thompson Rivers U ( http://www.learningspaces.org/n/): “McLuhan &Mediawissenshaften: Canadian contributions to Media Studies in German-Speaking Europe”

From McLuhan to Web 2.0: Abstract of Papers

Presentation Abstracts

Web 2.0 in Everyday Life (Maria Bakardjieva)

Although no consensus exists on the issue, it can be reasonably argued that a substantive reconfiguration of the Internet has occurred in the beginning of the 2000s. The label tentatively chosen for the new turn in the medium’s social shaping is Web 2.0. The developments constituting this reshaping have been contemplated from different perspectives in technical and business publications (O’Reilly, 2005), in treatises  on “convergence” or “participatory” culture (Jenkins, 2006) and could be usefully interrogated by means of political-economy concepts such as the “social factory” and “free labour” (Terranova, 2003). Marked, or rather symbolically constructed, by these discursive pickets lies a field of practice that the members of the participatory culture, the “produsers” (Bruns, undated) of open journalism, blogs, social networking sites and other characteristic Web 2.0 applications inhabit and animate with their everyday thought, decision-making and action. This study is driven by the objective to explore the practices of everyday life (de Certeau, 1984; Silverstone, 1994) emerging and consolidating around the new technological and organizational models making up Web 2.0.  How are users responding to the affordances and opportunities for participatory engagement offered by the newest generation of Internet platforms and applications? What do they do with them? Where and why do they find the motivation, the time and energy to dedicate to participatory activities online? What do these activities mean to them?

The Competence of Framing Media Literacy and Media Literacy as Framing Competence (Theo Hug)

There are various ways of conceptualizing media literacy: As the enhancement of traditional literacies in the light of processes of medialization, as the expansion of information and communication skills urgently needed in the knowledge society, as the ability to move between different media and realities, as a mode of fusing information competence with digital fluency, as the capacity for understanding the nature of (post)modern media communications, or as the ability to access, analyse and evaluate the images, sounds and messages which interpenetrate our contemporary culture. But what does it mean to be competent in conceptualizing and framing media literacy? The paper seeks to elucidate the relationship of this competence with an understanding of media literacy as framing competence itself. Furthermore, it will consider some consequences of this relationship for media ethics and media education.

McLuhan & Mediawissenshaften: Canadian contributions to Media Studies in German-Speaking Europe (Norm Friesen)

In German-speaking Europe, popular and academic interest in McLuhan and the "Toronto School" of communiction is currently at a highpoint. McLuhan, Innis and others are widely referenced as aMedienphilosophen; Mcluhan himself is the subject of Fueilleton or “cultural feature” articles in newspapers (e.g., Boltz, 2007), and the focus of German-language academic conferences (e.g., Universität Bayreuth, 2007), and of at least one edited collection (Leeker & Schmidt, 2008). Academically speaking, McLuhan is seen as no less than “the founder and figurehead of modern media theory” (Margreiter, 2007, p. 135). In this presentation,  Norm Friesen will describe the present prominence of McLuhan and other Canadian media theorists in German-speaking Europe, focusing on the way that these Canadian contributions have been brought into rich interrelationship with the German intellectual tradition.