Tag Archives: network

The Network Celebrity

Fred Turner and Christine Larson, both researchers at Stanford University, have just published an article in Public Culture on a new type of celebrity – the network intellectuals. Discussing the examples of Norbert Wiener, Stuart Brand and Tim O’Reily, the authors present a compelling account of how opinion leadership is both outcome of network effects and entrepreneurial zest to create those networks and opportunities in the first place.

In their historical and iconographic review of Wiener, O’Reilly and Brand, the authors find that the network intellectual is both a spokesperson, who condenses interests not yet formulated as an agenda, as someone who is actively pursuing to build a community to support his (or her) interests and who is committed to spreading a worldview beyond those circles.

Their power and their celebrity no longer come from the ability to express ideas in words or the ability of mass media technologies to broadcast images around the world. Rather, they come from the ability to build new social networks, to generate new ideas, new language, and new identities within them and, ultimately, to promulgate these networks’ labors—all in such a way that entrepreneurs can come to stand before the public as emblems of the worlds they have helped create. Celebrities in this model are hardly empty vessels. Rather, they are full to the brim with the cultural assumptions and social aspirations of the communities they represent (p. 80)

Turner, Fred, & Larson, Christine. (2015). “Network Celebrity: Entrepreneurship and The New Public Intellectuals.” Public Culture 27(1): 53-84. doi:10.1215/08992363-2798343

Further reading:

The Nodes in Academic Publishing

Back in 2010, Nicholas Knouf developed a visualization of journals belonging to Elsevier, John Wiley & Sons, Taylor & Francis, and Springer among others. His findings were published in Vol. 1, No. 1 of the open access Journal of Journal  Performance Studies, a publication created expressly for this task that never saw a second issue.

In total, Knouf analyzed 16,000 journals, rendering transparent what many scholars knew for a long time. The publishing of academic journals shows similar signs of concentration like other industries handling time-sensitive goods. The irony is of course that knowledge used to mature in far slower intervals, in which the quarterly appearance of a journal was merely a way to test new ideas and present preliminary findings. Before the book was out. Now, articles online “ahead of print” are already cited by colleagues before their author ever hold a printed copy in their hands. It’s online first (and soon only).

 

via Rogue Scholar Research Group