Mirko Tobias Schäfer / Assistant Professor
University of Utrecht Department for Media and Culture Studies


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Date July 2009 / Category News

YouTube made a profound impact on digital culture owing to its vast number of users, and enormous and continuous repository of on-demand-video. Commentators praised it as democratizing media use, facilitating the revolution that turns the user into the producer and changes everything, or condemned it for the same or many other reasons. The popular discourse has often simultaneously overestimated and underestimated YouTube in the many often hasty and superficial statements. Few attempts have been made so far to approach YouTube critically and analytically. A first collection of articles has been provided by Geert Lovink and Sabine Niederer in their 2008 publication Video Vortext Reader: Responses to YouTube.

With the recently published YouTube Reader, edited by Pelle Snickars and Patrick Vonderau, a comprehensive book is available that attempts to go beyond mere description to theorize an emerging media phenomenon from different perspectives. The entire book is available as free download (.pdf).

Tags Article Book

Date December 2008 / Category Publications

Participation Inside? User Activities between Design and Appropriation. In Marianne van den Boomen, Sybille Lammes, Ann-Sophie Lehmann, Joost Raessens, Mirko Tobias Schaefer: Digital Material. Tracing New Media in Everday Life and Technology, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009, pp. 147-158.

Tags Article User-Participation

Date September 2007 / Category Publications

with Bernhard Rieder: Beyond Engineering. Software Design as Bridge over the Culture/Technology Dichotomy, in: Pieter E. Vermaas, Peter Kroes, Andrew Light, and Steven A. Moore (eds.), Philosophy and Design: From Engineering to Architecture, Dordrecht: Springer, 2008, pp. 152-164.

Tags Article culture Software-Design Technology

Date December 2006 / Category Publications

with Patrick Kranzlmüller: RTFM! Teach-Yourself Culture in Open Source Software Projects, in Hug, Theo (ed.): Didactics of Microlearning, Berlin, New York: Waxmann, 2007, pp. 324-240.

Tags Article Software-Design User-Participation

Date November 2002 / Category News

Der 80er Jahre-Kern der Sache (oder, das ist halt Geschichtsschreibung)
translated by Olga Kessaris

Tags Article Computer History

Date March 2009 / Category Publications

With Frank Kessler: Navigating YouTube. Constituting a Hybrid Information Management System, in: Patrick Vonderau, and Pelle Snickars (eds), The YouTube Reader. Stockholm: National Library of Sweden, 2009, pp. 275-291.

The entire book is available as free download (.pdf)

Tags Article YouTube

Date September 2007 / Category Publications

with Hans Bernhard: Subversion ist Schnellbeton. Zur Ambivalenz des Subversiven in Medienproduktionen, in Thomas Ernst, Patricia Gozalbez Cantó, Sebastian Richter, Nadja Sennewald, Julia Tieke (eds),
SUBversionen. Zum Verhältnis von Politik und Ästhetik in der Gegenwart. Bielefeld: transcript, 2008, pp. 63-81 .

Tags Article Communication German

Date January 2007 / Category News

A plethora of different tools are supposed to help the user to get along with a certain software application. FAQs, Wikis, forums, read-me texts, tutorials, manuals and the documentation should help the user to set up and use the software. These tools are frequently provided in a misleading way and often difficult to understand. In discussion with software designer Patrick Kranzlmüller we asked whether a solution would be based on an improved information management system or on a different way of organizing the development process. The Austrian communication scientist Theo Hug pointed us to the terminology of Microlearning. In microlearning we recognized the teach yourself processes that are established practices in digital culture. But further more microlearning can offer a way to diminish the gap between users and developers.

In our article "RTFM! Teach-Yourself Culture in Open Source Software Projects" we evaluate tools used for documenting and explaining software and analyze how microlearning could offer a methodology for integrating the user and stimulating the teach yourself processes. In consequence a list of recommendations for software developers is provided. Communicating the complexity of software to users is not only a matter of information design but a social challenge, too.

Tags Article Book Software-Design User-Participation

Date September 2006 / Category News

Before I became a junior teacher at Utrecht University I spent a year as Erasmus student there, back in 1999. When I left Utrecht in 2000 I was asked to write a review on my time in the Netherlands. It was published in the student magazine De Marge.

Tags Article Opinion

Date June 2004 / Category Publications

with Bernhard Rieder, in Sinn Haft Nr. 10/ Mai 2001

This article describes the 80's roots of the new economy and how the whiz kids are now starting to write their own history. We wrote this article while preparing the [d]vision 2001 festival electronic kindergarten which celebrated the computer technology from the 80ies and reflected the subcultures of computer users.
Read the english translation or the german article at Sinn-Haft

Tags Article Computer German History

2000 - 2022 Mirko Tobias Schäfer

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