Lecture: The Widgetized Self and the MacBook Reading Club

On: March 25, 2008
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About Esther Weltevrede
Esther Weltevrede is a second year Media Studies Research Master student at the University of Amsterdam. Before studying New Media she attended the School of Arts in Breda where she received a Bachelor degree in Graphic Design. She is involved as researcher and coordinator in the recently founded Digital Methods Initiative at the University of Amsterdam. DMI is dedicated to developing tools and methods for researching the ‘natively digital.’ Since this summer she is a member of GovComOrg, a foundation dedicated to creating and hosting political tools on the Web. Currently she is a part-time teacher Information Visualization at Master Editorial Design, Utrecht School of Art, and part-time teacher Public Design at Interactive Media, Hogeschool van Amsterdam.


This Thursday Anne Helmond will be giving a lecture on ‘The Widgetized Self‘ a term coined by Nancy Baym. Blogs are increasingly connected to search engines such as Google and Technorati through the blog software. This leads to practices that focus on identity building through the engines. What does the increasing popularity of widgets mean for the identity of the blog and the blogger? What role do blog software and blog templates play in identity construction?

The lecture is part of the Mediamatic Beauty Parlour lecture series which deals with self presentation on the net.

I will present our MacBook Reading Club. Digital camera technology advanced ego-photography and ways for self presentation. The web cam advanced camera technology as medium of selfpresentation further. The camera is always directed at the self. The image where the face is shot from a slightly upper angle is known as the “Youtube angle” or “MySpace angle”. With the built-in cam and Photobooth software, the first thing one does when installing a new mac is taking a snapshot of the self. MacBook Reading Club takes advantage of Photobooth and the build-in camera. MacBook Reading Club is a new phenomenon in ego-photography, and introduces the “MacBook Reading Club angle”.

Reading together

Admission is free and the presentations will be in English. Hope to see you there!

General information:

Place: Mediamatic, Amsterdam
Date: Thursday the 27th of March
Time: 18:00 hours
Language: English

More info on the Mediamatic page.

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