Over a fairly short period of time, the internet has grown from a marginal cultural phenomenon to a significant site of cultural production and transformation. Internet culture (sometimes also referred to as Cyberculture) is the culture that is emerging from the use of new media technologies (primarily computers, smart phones and tablets, but also other types of ‘connected’ devices such as gaming consoles and e-readers, etc.) for general communication, social networking, entertainment, and business. Several emergent phenomena typically associated with internet culture make up the subject matter of the research here, e.g. online communities (in particular those focusing on fan-based participation in TV series, books and films), multi-player gaming, social gaming, social media, augmented reality, and computer-mediated communication. In addition, questions concerning the relation between digital media and identity, promotional culture, multimedia discourse, and network formation are also considered in relation to this research area.
Much like the cyberlandscape itself, our research interest in internet culture is developing and shifting. At present our work here typically explores the ways in which new technologies are impacting and reshaping cultural practices such as language (and communication in general), group and individual identity formation, as well as establishing new phenomena like participatory culture, so-called creative industries and trans-media story telling. Interestingly enough, though computer-mediation is perhaps the only identifiable, unifying and cohesive factor for the cultural phenomena noted here, much of what we consider to be typical of internet culture is not a technological revolution, but rather it is more a cultural shift, dependent on the active participation of internet users working in a social dynamic.
- Baron, N. S. (2008). Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Bruns, A. (2008). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
- Burgess, J., & Green, J. (2012). YouTube. Cambridge: Polity.
- Crystal, D. (2006). Language and the Internet. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Crystal, D. (2011). Internet Linguistics: A Student Guide. Oxon: Routledge.
- Herring, S. C. (2008). Language and the Internet. In W. Donsbach (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Communication. (pp. 2640-2645) Oxford: Blackwell.
- Herring, S. C. (Ed.). (1996). Computer-mediated communication: Linguistic, social and cross-cultural perspectives. Amsterdam & Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.
- Herring, S. C., Stein, D., & Virtanen, T., Eds. (2013). Handbook of pragmatics of computer-mediated communication. Berlin: Mouton
- Jenkins, H. (2008). Convergence culture : where old and new media collide. New York: New York Universtiy Press.
- Myers, G. (2010). The Discourse of Blogs and Wikis. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.
- Thurlow, C., Lengel, L., & Tomic, A. (2004). Computer mediated communication: social interaction online. London: SAGE.
- Thurlow, C. & Mroczek, K. (2011) Digital Discourse: Language in the New Media. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Some interesting/relevant links (in no particular order):
(please note that these links open in a new window)
- Participatory culture – (also known as ‘Convergence culture’) – this is merely link to the Wikipedia definition. A good starting point and particularly useful because of the references (especially Jenkins 2006) and links at the end of the article.
- Henry Jenkins’ Weblog – HJ is a leading authority on convergence culture and transmedia studies
- New Media Literacies – more new media and transmedia studies
- The Machine is (Changing) Us: YouTube and the Politics of Authenticity — A fantastic presentation by Michael Wesch, Kansas State University, on some aspects of today’s internet culture.
- Meme – another Wikipedia link as a general starting point; there are some good references and links at the end.
- Know your meme – a website dedicated to documenting internet phenomena: viral videos, image macros, catchphrases, web celebs and more. .
- Semiotics for Beginners – a very useful site, though it is a bit overwhelming. Lots of useful references and examples here – definitely worthwhile.
- Game studies – explores theoretical issues surrounding gaming both by common readings of critical texts and close “readings” of shared gaming experiences.
- Gameology – devoted to the study of videogames
- The International Journal of Computer Game Research
- Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
- New Media & Society
- Welcome to Language@Internet! — Language@Internet
- Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication – Wiley Online Library