from The Guardian
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Zhu, J.J.H and He, Z. (2002). Information Accessibility, User Sophistication, and Source Credibility: The Impact of the Internet on Value Orientations in Mainland China. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol 7(2).
The Internet has penetrated China at a rapid rate. However, there exist a wide range of constraining forces, such as governmental control, inadequate infrastructure, economic affordability, cultural perceptions, and language barriers. This paper tests the impact of access to the Internet and other sources of information, perceived credibility of the Internet and conventional media, and cognitive sophistication of Chinese audiences on the choice of rival value orientations such as Communism, Materialism, and Post-materialism. The data come from a survey of 2,600 adults in Beijing and Guangzhou in November-December 2000. Multinomial logistic regression analyses show that perceived credibility of the Internet, cognitive sophistication, and access to Hong Kong-based television have a significant impact on the preference for particular value orientations. Analysis of the sub-sample of Internet users further reveals the importance of participation in online chatting. The findings bear important implications for the role of the Internet in the political development of transitional societies.
I wonder how much have things changed (in China, understanding so-called “value orientations”, in impact of web content (due to increase in consumption?)) in the decade since this paper was published?
Interesting to compare in light of recent work by Bill Dutton, Soumitra Dutta and Ginette Law at the Oxford Internet Institute and INSEAD.
Also: it is compelling to essentialise “value orientations” based on cultural orientation. Prof Richard E Nisbett does so in The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently - and Why.
Read More on jcmc.indiana.edu
Software systems that have been proven to operate efficiently within one culture can fail in the context of the other, especially if they are intended to support rich social interactions….The social interactions reflect the traditional Chinese idea of guanxi, or interpersonal influence and connectedness, while at the same time incorporating the norms of a new generation of Internet users.
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Evgeny Morozov’s erudite and beautifully written analysis of the evolution of the experience of the Web, from the mid-1990s (“For a brief moment in the mid-1990s, it did seem that the Internet might trigger an unexpected renaissance of flânerie.”) to now (“Cyberflâneurs are few and far between, while the very practice of cyberflânerie seems at odds with the world of social media”).
A couple of his observations that speak to my exploration of the ideologies embedded in web technologies:
Google, in its quest to organize all of the world’s information, is making it unnecessary to visit individual Web sites in much the same way that the Sears catalog made it unnecessary to visit physical stores several generations earlier. Google’s latest grand ambition is to answer our questions — about the weather, currency exchange rates, yesterday’s game — all by itself, without having us visit any other sites at all. Just plug in a question to the Google homepage, and your answer comes up at the top of the search results.
and of Facebook:
Facebook seems to believe that the quirky ingredients that make flânerie possible need to go. “We want everything to be social,” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, said…
Frictionless sharing makes us modern-day sandwich boards: advertising seamlessly, bombarded by attention-seeking behaviour.
Read More on www.nytimes.com
Spread and participate in culture. Remix, reuse, use, abuse. Make sure no one controls your mind. Create new systems and technology that circumvent the corruption. Start a religion. Start your own nation, or buy one. Buy a bus. Crush it to pieces.
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An example of hysterical contagion, like that described on a factory floor in this classic study by Kerchkoff & Back in 1965. Unsurprisingly, such physical contagions are now spreading online via social media.
The most interesting thing I find about this story is that it offers more evidence about how influence spreads via online connections, and specifically, that it spreads via proximate - both in terms of “physical” (common networks) and emotional - connections. This is identical to the many offline descriptions of diffusion behaviours, from hybrid corn seed adoption to phantom illnesses.
I write about this a lot in my PhD research (zipped pdf), which looked at how attitudes and behaviours spread through online social networks.
from HuffPo (HT @fitbitchuk).
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