Chapter

The Ecosystem of Connective Media: Lock In, Fence Off, Opt Out?

José van Dijck

in The Culture of Connectivity

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199970773
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199307425 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199970773.003.0008
The Ecosystem of Connective Media: Lock In, Fence Off, Opt Out?

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The last chapter reassembles the histories of individual microsystems and identifies critical questions about the changing nature of the ecosystem and online sociality. Although each of the dissected five major platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Wikipedia) nurses its own mechanisms, they are staked in the same values or principles: popularity, hierarchical ranking, neutrality, quick growth, large traffic volumes, fast turnovers and personalized recommendations. The cultivation of online sociality is increasingly fenced off by three major chains of platforms (Facebook, Google and Apple); these chains share some operational principles even if they differ on some ideological premises (open versus closed systems). Questioning the role of algorithms in the steering of desires and the power of users to control their data—their ability to opt out—this chapter articulates larger political and social concerns, such as the changing meaning of “social,” “public,” “community,” and “nonprofit” in an ecosystem dominated by corporate forces.

Keywords: vertical integration; interoperability; ideologies; media literacy; media history

Chapter.  9954 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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