“The Long Tail” was the central reading of the discussion in this weeks ‘unlecture’. The ‘panel’ discussed the recommendations hierarchy of the free-market model and how it has changed with the internet. The way taste is divided in to different networks today, when we search online is not only defined by our demographics (age, gender, etc) but also by the way we move around online by clicking, searching an so on. So network clusters form hereby but as Adrian said; different platforms have quite different recommendation hierarchies. With that being said, I’m not sure I totally understand the way this really works.
“Does a network have a center? Or do we all create centers for our own networks?” This question was also a part of this weeks ‘unlecture’. Brian don’t think so, Elliot said it depends on the subject, theme, etc. of the network. Adrian argued that networks outside of the internet do have centers, like for an example the center of the royal family in the UK would be Buckingham Palace. When it comes to networks in the internet they won’t have a center but there will be some sort of a power structure inside those. Lots of links gives power. According to Manuel Castells (2009) a network society is a society wherein the social structures are build upon networks and the links between those. Castells defines the power inside those networks as:
”Power is the relational capacity that enable a social actor to influence asymmetrically the decisions of other social actor(s) in ways that favor the empowered actor’s will, interest and values” (Castells, 2009, p. 10).
When Castells talks about power he makes it clear that power inside networks can’t be equally divided between the nodes (the different actors) and the different nodes can each possess different kinds of power. Castells argue that the nodes that possess the ability to create networks and to create relations between networks, possess the network-making power and this is where the actual power is located in the network society. As Adrian said it might not be possible to identify a center of networks but with Castells as a helping hand it is possible to identify power inside of networks. So maybe it is possible to claim that Adrian and “The Networked Media” blogsite have the actual power in the network of The Networked Media subject, because he acts like a programmer/switcher that combines the nodes in the network – the students studying Networked Media.