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<nettime> Digital Methods Winter School 2016 - Call for Participation
Carolin Gerlitz on Thu, 8 Oct 2015 19:26:41 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Digital Methods Winter School 2016 - Call for Participation

Otherwise Engaged.

Analytics and the New Meanings of Engagement Online

Digital Methods Winter School 2016
11-15 January 2016


Digital Methods Initiative
University of Amsterdam
Turfdraagsterpad 9
1012 XT Amsterdam
the Netherlands

Digital Methods Winter School, Data Sprint and Mini-Conference

The Digital Methods Initiative (DMI), Amsterdam, is holding its annual Winter
School on Critical Analytics and the New Meanings of Engagement Online. The
format is that of a data sprint, with hands-on work on engagement metrics in
for political, social and media research, together with a Mini-conference,
where PhD candidates, motivated scholars and advanced graduate students
present short papers on digital methods and new media related topics, and
receive feedback from the Amsterdam DMI researchers and international
participants. Participants need not give a paper at the Mini-conference to
attend the Winter School.

`Otherwise engaged', the title of the Winter School, implies two projects.
The first refers to the (interface) politics of attention whereby online
services are variously vying to gain recognition through jumpy banners, push
notifications and metrification, including those little red badge numbers on
the iPhone that call for labouring and at least marking as read. The other
sense refers to how engagement online is currently measured, and how it may
be thought of differently and critically if one substitutes return visits and
retention rates for forms of political engagement.

Given the medium's power to distract and produce continuous partial
attention, the term engagement appears oxymoronic when discussing online
attention. However, "user engagement metrics" on the web, such as unique
visitors, click-throughs, page views, duration and returns, have been joined
by social media measures as likes, shares, comments, liked comments summed to
indicate most engaged with content. In Google Analytics an entire vocabulary
and set of measures exist to capture engagement. More conceptually the idea
that content enlivens and animates, continually, has led to distinctions
between liveness and liveliness, where the latter would be considered more
meaningful engagement. Whilst there is thus the question of when there is
only an appearance of engagement and when one is truly engaged, we are also
interested in disengagement, and developing metrics for attention-less
content, and that which makes one leave the scene.
There is also the question of the relationship between engagement metrics and
more established notions of political engagement. Is the online making one
more of a remote observer than an on-the-ground actor, as political
engagement theorist have discussed over and again in terms of slacktivism and
clicktivism. Are there techniques to grasp content and activity that lead to
apathy? The accompanying data sprint will seek to work with engagement
metrics (and create others) to capture the meaning of activity, inquiring
into when one is fully, multiply or otherwise engaged, with data from online
media organisations (and selected new-form journalism) as well as campaigning
by NGOs.

Digital Methods Mini-Conference at the Winter School

   The annual Digital Methods Mini-Conference at the Winter School,
   normally a one-day affair, provides the opportunity for digital methods
   and allied researchers to present short yet complete papers
   (5,000-7,500 words) and serve as respondents, providing feedback. Often
   the work presented follows from previous Digital Methods Summer
   Schools. The mini-conference accepts papers in the general digital
   methods and allied areas: the hyperlink and other natively digital
   objects, the website as archived object, web historiographies, search
   engine critique, Google as globalizing machine, cross-spherical
   analysis and other approaches to comparative media studies, device
   cultures, national web studies, Wikipedia as cultural reference, the
   technicity of (networked) content, post-demographics, platform studies,
   crawling and scraping, graphing and clouding, and similar.

Key dates

The deadline for application is 10 December 2015. To apply please send along
a letter of motivation, your CV (including postal address), a headshot photo,
100-word bio as well as a copy of your passport (details page only) to
winterschool [at] digitalmethods.net. Please indicate whether you would
like to follow the Digital Methods Winter School for 6 ECTS credits, or the
non-credits option. Notifications of acceptance will be sent on 11 December.
If you are participating in the mini-conference the deadline for submission
of your paper is 5 January. The mini-conference takes place on Friday 15
January 2016. Please send your mini-conference paper to winterschool
[at] digitalmethods.net . To attend the Winter School, you need not
participate in the mini-conference. The full program and schedule of the
Winter School and Mini-conference are available on 7 January 2016.

Fees & Logistics

   The fee for the Digital Methods Winter School 2016 is EUR 595, or if
   you would like to receive 6 ECTS credits the fee is EUR 695. Bank
   transfer information will be sent along with the notification on 11
   December 2015.
   Students at the University of Amsterdam do not pay fees. Participants
   from LERU as well as U21 universities receive a tuition waver
   of EUR 500.

   The Winter School is self-catered. The venue is in the center of
   Amsterdam with abundant coffee houses and lunch places. Participants
   are expected to find their own housing (airbnb and other short-stay
   sites are helpful), or we have available accommodations at the Student
   The Student Hotel Amsterdam
   Jan van Galenstraat 335
   1061 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
   Tel: +31 20 760 4000
   info-amsterdam [at] thestudenthotel.com

   Arrival: 10 January 2016
   Departure: 16 January 2016
   EUR 440
   The Student Hotel Amsterdam West website
   If you would like to have accommodations at the Student Hotel, please
   notify the organizers when applying on 10 December.

   The Winter School closes on Friday with a festive event, after the
   final presentations. Here is a guide to the Amsterdam new media
   scene. For further questions, please contact the organizers, Jonathan
   Gray and Natalia Sanchez at winterschool[at] digitalmethods.net .
   Please bring your laptop computer, your European plug as well as the
   VGA adaptor for connecting to the projector.

About DMI

   The Digital Methods Winter School is part of the Digital Methods
   Initiative, Amsterdam, dedicated to reworking method for
   Internet-related research. The Digital Methods Initiative holds the
   annual Digital Methods Summer Schools (nine to date), which are
   intensive and full time, 2-week undertakings in the Summertime. The
   2016 Summer School will take place 27 June - 8 July 2016. The
   coordinators of the Digital Methods Initiative are Sabine Niederer and
   Esther Weltevrede (PhD candidates in New Media & Digital Culture,
   University of Amsterdam), and the director is Richard Rogers, Professor
   of New Media & Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam. Liliana
   Bounegru is the managing director. Digital methods are online
   at http://www.digitalmethods.net/. The DMI about page includes
   a substantive introduction (or founding narrative), and also a list
   of Digital Methods people, with bios. DMI holds occasional Autumn
   and Spring workshops, such as ones on mapping climate change and
   vulnerability indexes as well as on studying right-wing extremism
   and populism online. There are also a Digital Methods book (MIT
   Press, 2013), papers and articles by DMI researchers as well
   as Digital Methods tools. Recently a complimentary Issue
   Mapping book was published.


   For those of you that use Twitter we are using the #DMI16
   hashtag as the backchannel for communication. Some pictures
   from Winter School 2015. Here is the Facebook Group from last
   year's Winter School. Here are pictures from a variety of DMI
   Summer and Winter School flickr streams.
   We look forward to welcoming you to Amsterdam in January.
   Dr. Carolin Gerlitz
   Assistant Professor in New Media
   Program Director MA New Media & Digital Culture
   University of Amsterdam
   Turfdraagsterpad 9
   1012 XT Amsterdam
   c.gerlitz {AT} uva.nl

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