Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ad Hoc Archivists: MP3 bloggers and digital provenance

Now in print and in databases at your local research library:
Ad Hoc Archivists: mp3 blogs and digital provenance
Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies
Vol. 26, No. 1, February 2012, pp. 1-10

Abstract: This paper develops a theoretical framework for understanding mp3 blogging as a form of networked expression. Drawing on a qualitative study of mp3 blogs, this paper sets forth an understanding of the practice as a performance of listening and the blog as a registry of understanding. It argues that mp3 blogs deserve special attention because of the particular audio format at its core – the mp3 – a format that shapes the practice and its reception in particular ways. It considers not only how the practice generates perfect copies of such digital artefacts but also how the generation of provenance helps us to understand the propagation and circulation of copies in digital networks.

Errata: There is a typesetting error on page 8. The line: The insistence is palpable...etc Should not be in the block quote.

Note: This is the first publication based on listening to mp3 blogs and interviews I conducted in 2006-2007. It is not an empirical study but a conceptual investigation of form. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Association of Internet Researchers annual conference in Copenhagen October 16–18, 2008 and an even earlier talk was given at the Australasian Sound Recording Association conference in Melbourne in August 2007. A companion article on the persistence of romantic ideals of creativity in networked discourse is forthcoming and I will post a link here when it is available.

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