Archive for April, 2010

15th Apr 2010

First election TV debate

Dull, dull, dull, dull, dull…

Bring back Question Time! Sound-bites, stage management, pre-prepared waffle – and an audience gagged and handcuffed, made to appear like mindless, voice-less puppets.

Sky and the BBC need to learn from this that no one is going to turn on to politics when democracy is made to look like leaders speaking down to the un-opinionated mob. Why are audience members not allowed to speak back, challenge, laugh, call out, make their views and biases clear? Of course, ITV et al have negotiated a format with the politicians that suits them by facilitating the facade of impartiality – BUT what’s wrong with letting loose a reasonably representative cross-section of the British public on Brown, Cameron and Clegg? Surely what matters is maximising the conditions for debate, NOT stifling debate for fear of unintentionally appearing to curry favour with any particular party.

So NO, this was not a momentous occasion in the history of British politics and British television – it was a stage-managed, points-scoring, 1980s Grandstand-backdrop-looking turn-off. (That’s why I listened to most of it on the radio – a medium better fit for such an event, it seemed to me)

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11th Apr 2010

eBay article out now!

At last! After much to-ing and fro-ing, and the usual lack of organisation endemic in academic journalism, my eBay article has been published in the Journal of Consumer Culture. University students may be able to access the article via their online library resources, but if not, there is a one-off payment facility for the especially keen.

The abstract goes something like this…

This paper will attempt to outline the most significant implications posed by eBay to traditional relationships between producers and consumers. In several respects eBay provides greater seller-buyer interactivity and inclusiveness than any other marketplace. The new forms of mediated interaction opened up by eBay seem to accommodate greater scope for what I will call ‘user authority’ than have ever existed previously. This paper will apply theories of productive consumption, consumer authority and mediated interactions to an empirical study of eBay-in-use, drawing on the author’s autobiographical experiences alongside those from a network of sellers of antique and collectable items.

Once copyright clearance is approved, I’ll make the full article available on this site.

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