Thursday, October 4, 2012

Digital Economy

In her book, Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age, Tiziana Terranova analyzes user power/freedom and against the misconception that there is horizontal distribution of said powers and freedoms under modern capitalism. She argues that capitalization of the internet destroys what was meant to be an equal playing field, as it relates to the status of labor in this “new” world context. On the internet, the language of production and consumption are blurred.

So what we see or are to understand in the text is that one’s experience of the digital is at first defined, in contrast to postmodern or “old” media, as liberating and self-fulfilling. With new media’s arrival at a convergent moment in time (participation culture), users are suddenly given license to become their own creative agents. If old media was isolationist, new media is concerned with connection and sharing info/knowledge.

I initially assumed that new media might be exclusive from capitalism’s umbrella, but this is an assumption Terranova contains in saying the digital economy is just an intensified mutation of late capitalism. Consumer desire on the internet feeds capitalism under the “new”. So, the digital economy is just at an intersection.

Terranova also says that users become the producers of content such that pleasurable experiences of the digital are made invisible; and invisible workers are among the new system of distributed management that capitalism takes advantage of.

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