Geomedia Speaker Series - Carolin Gerlitz
Platform Studies beyond the Platform
Social media platforms have been characterised in two main ways, first by their programmability (Bogost and Montfort 2010), that is the capacity to build software or analytics on top of their data and functionalities. Secondly, they have been approached as assembling and negotiating the interests of a variety of stakeholders (Gillespie 2010), including among others users, developers, advertisers, companies, organisations, and governments who are addressed by distinct features of platforms. Taking these characteristics seriously, platform studies cannot focus on single platforms but need to move beyond their initial object of study into a wider ecosystem of actors, partners, apps, scripts, and data flows that contribute to their distributed accomplishment. This presentation outlines two pathways to take platform studies beyond the
platform by drawing on digital research methods (Rogers 2013), that is the repurposing of platform data for social and media research. It explores how developers build apps on top of platforms and in doing so alter, enhance, re-interpret or extend platform functionalities and use scenarios. Following from this, it traces the heterogeneous and proliferating origins of platform data by exploring the software, sources or devices from which users engage with platforms.
Doing so, digital research methods are deployed not to study user activity on platforms, but to account for the situated and distributed accomplishment of platforms.
January 19 - 14.15-16.00 Talk by Carolin Gerlitz, open session Venue: Minerva, Karlstad University
January 20 - 09.00-11.45 Presentations by the Geomedia research group, closed session Venue: 12A424, Karlstad University