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Michael Wesch October 12, 2014

Posted by Tony Randall in Blogging, Teaching MM4J.
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If you haven’t seen this yet, make sure you take time to.

It’s fun and seriously fascinating, partly because Michael Wesch seems to be a genius at communicating ideas using social networking tools.

One way this lecture is useful to us is because it shows society’s developing confidence in its use of social media to express itself. It also makes us think about what is attractive about social media, its perhaps (once) surprisingly viral nature.

Thus it triggers ideas about opportunities for creating, distributing and interacting with social media content in very effective ways. Or in other words, getting messages across, perhaps millions of times over. That surely applies to journalism equally as much as any dance video craze or Charlie biting his brother’s finger.

Dubbed “the explainer” by Wired magazine*, Wesch is a cultural anthropologist exploring the impact of new media on society and culture. After two years studying the impact of writing in Papua New Guinea (yes, now), he has turned his attention to the effects of social media and digital technology on global society.  His videos on culture, technology, education, and information have been viewed by millions, translated in over 15 languages, and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences worldwide. Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award, the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology, and he was recently named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic. He has also won several teaching awards, including the 2008 CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities.

*From here on in this bit of blurb is lifted from the New Media Consortium website.

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