From the social media-based 2008 Obama election campaign to the civic protest and political revolutions of the 2011 Arab Spring, the past few years have been marked by a widespread and complex shift in the political landscape, as the rise of participatory platforms - such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs - have multiplied the venues for political communication and activism. This book explores the emergence of a permanent campaign - the need for constant readiness - on networked communication platforms, focusing on political moments, crises and elections in Canada, the U.S.A., and Australia. The book chapters investigate the proliferation of new political actors and communicators: political bloggers, advocacy groups, diverse publics, and political party staff as they engage in political maneuvers across participatory platforms. With in-depth analyses of some of the most well-known participatory media today, this book offers a critical assessment of the constant efforts at managing the plurality of voices that characterize contemporary politics.
Greg Elmer (PhD, University of Massachusetts) is Bell Globemedia Research Chair, Associate Professor of Radio TV Arts, and Director of the Infoscape Research Lab at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is coauthor of Infrastructure Critical (with A. Renzi, 2012), Preempting Dissent (with A. Opel, 2008), and author of Profiling Machines: Mapping the Personal Information Economy (2004). Ganaele Langlois (PhD, York University) is Assistant Professor in the Communication Program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Associate Director at the Infoscape Centre for the Study of Social Media. Her research focuses on the intersection between software, capitalism, subjectivity, and language, and is influenced by software studies and autonomist theories. Her articles have been published in Culture Machine, Fibreculture, New Media & Society, and the Canadian Journal of Communication. Fenwick McKelvey (PhD, York-Ryerson University) is Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. His research questions the relationship between communication and control in digital media. He explores this relationship through studies of Internet routing algorithms and, more recently, political campaign management software.
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