ITH - Centrum för studier av IT ur ett
humanvetenskapligt perspektiv och
Center for Collaborative Innovation vid Högskolan i Borås
- Stefan Gelfgren
Participatory Media throughout History
[Book Review: Ekström, Anders et al. Eds. (2011). History of Participatory Media: Politics and
Publics, 1750-2000. New York: Routledge.]
We are happy to announce the completion of Human IT 11.3, a non-thematic issue containing four articles and one
book review. But before we introduce you to the contents of these contributions, we must turn your attention to an
editorial matter of some magnitude. Mats Dahlström, editor of Human IT for an impressive fourteen years
and one of the original founders, has stepped down from this assignment in favour of his own research pursuits. As
much as we lament the former though, we warmly welcome the latter. Mats’ creative mind and productive pen never fails
to produce highly interesting and not least enjoyably readable work in his field of digitisation and scholarly editions.
A heartfelt thank you Mats for all the incomparable and outstanding work over the years. Your skills and commitments
to everything from author relations and intellectual contents to editorial visions and management have resulted in a journal
that is not only a platform for publication of articles but truly a forum for networking and innovative cross-disciplinary
We who are left with the daunting task of trying to fill Mats’ shoes are Jonas Söderholm and Veronica Johansson.
And let us take this opportunity to assure our readers and authors that we will strive to make sure that the look and feel
of Human IT remains the same. We have the same policies, selection and acceptance criteria and visions as always.
We will do our best to live up to the thorough and committed close work with manuscripts and authors from reception to
publication that has always been a hallmark of Human IT.
Luckily we have both had the great fortune of being enrolled in the Mats Dahlström School of Journal Editing for several longer
periods each, and we like to think that we have managed to pick up a trick or two from the man himself. Also to our good fortune
and even more to that of our dedicated readers and authors, we continue to work in close collaboration with Mats; not only as
department colleagues and friends but also pertaining Human IT, pestering him for advice in his capacity as member of
our editorial board. We also hope to have Mats as a guest contributor for future occasions – as reviewer, as guest editor, and
dare we hope, author?
Unavoidably, the editorial shift has slowed down our work for a couple of weeks, but now we are back on track and picking
up speed again. And what better way to celebrate this than with a glossy, brand new issue, in a moment of inspiration titled
11.3? The contributions are as follows:
Jutta Haider and
Olof Sundin discover the ghost of the Enlightenment shaking
its sheets in one of contemporary
society’s aspiring knowledge utopias, the wiki. In dialogue with Foucault they discuss the heterotopian room of the participatory
online encyclopedia as the ongoing “marriage of modernity and late modernity”.
Next, Shahper Vodanovich,
Ching-shen Dong and
David Sundaram tackle the urgent topic
of youth wellbeing. Exploring web spaces as potent environments for positive impact on the lives of youths, they propose a
design framework in five dimensions.
Saadat M. Alhashmi and
Pervaiz K. Ahmed describe collaborative personalization as
an information retrieval strategy. Following their review of the present diversity of implementations, they conclude that while
promising examples exist there is still much development work to do not least in terms of privacy, trust and security – other
than by obvious measures such as precision and recall.
Michael Tse presents a thorough empirical
investigation that illustrates a drastic change in status for the e-commerce discipline in Australia between 2005 and 2010.
shift observed in quantitative terms is further discussed with reference to IT-bubbles and academician preferences in particular.
Finally, we also have a review by
Stefan Gelfgren of the anthology History of Participatory Media: Politics and Publics,
1750-2000. Gelfgren welcomes the historic perspectives on public participation, but he also
critiques the fact that in striving to answer the question “What is old?” with the Internet, the editors seem to have overlooked
the equally interesting question “What is new?”.
And on that note, warranted by that rare addition to this issue’s table of contents in the form of a book review, we would like to take this opportunity to encourage our readers to contribute with more of the same. The “Reviews” section is an
aspect of Human IT that we wish to see expanding in the near future, and we are open to reviews of not only books but
other relevant media, software and applications as well as in-brief reports and commentaries from conferences and workshops on
topics in line with the focus of our journal. In support of contributions to this section, we keep a list of books currently
available for review here: http://etjanst.hb.se/bhs/ith/rec.htm Have a look
if there is anything of interest to you and if so,
please contact us for reception of a copy for review. And if you have read, listened to, or tested and evaluated something else
of interest, contact us with a suggestion for a review.
Borås, March 15, 2012
Veronica Johansson and Jonas Söderholm