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A Companion to New Media Dynamics by Axel Bruns, Jean Burgess, John Hartley

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Chapter 17

Evolutionary Dynamics of the Mobile Web

Indrek Ibrus

Introduction

The conceptual presumption of this chapter is that, in relation to media change, both the media and the process of change should be taken as organic phenomena. This is effectively to conceptualize the media as an ensemble that consists of an infinite number of representational forms and conventions; of practices of consumption and production of these forms; of institutional forms of these practices; and of the industrial organization of these institutions. When such an ensemble changes it does so organically. Its components are in their evolution only semiautonomous; they condition each other reciprocally and coevolve, affecting the evolution of the whole of which they are parts. This chapter will investigate these kinds of interdependencies in the evolution of mobile media as an ensemble. It will do this both conceptually and empirically.

Traditionally, the component domains of the “media ensemble” and their specific dynamics have been studied in isolation, by disciplinarily distant academic domains. For instance, semiotics or various forms of cultural studies have been used for studying the evolution of media's textual forms; “media archaeology” among others has focused on the changes in media technologies; political economy approaches or media economics has investigated the changes in markets and in forms of media production. To break out of these closed disciplinary perspectives, I propose the use ...

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