Digitial Frontiers: Going Mobile

electronic publishing,internet,media,UK — Tags: , , , — Danica @ 7:55 pm, December 13, 2012

Index on Censorship Cover[an update 13.02.2013.] you can download the article directly from SSRN database.

Who controls our free speech online? What are the limits of free expression on social media? Index on Censorship launched Digitial Frontiers, the latest issue of its award-winning magazine,  and the only publication dedicated to freedom of expression with an expert discussion on internet freedom.

I’ve contributed an article on how mobile technology plays  a vital role in activism, spreading news, and bridging digital divides. An excerpt:

…it takes more than a computer to bridge the gap. The mobile phone is emerging as a powerful tool for social engagement; mobile technology and social media applications are playing a vital role in giving excluded groups a voice. And mobile technologies are almost ubiquitous. Around 70 per cent of mobile phone users are in developing countries, mostly in the global South, according to the UN agency the International Telecommunications Union.
Mobile phones are the first telecommunications technology in history to have more users in the developing rather than developed world – with no legacy infrastructure to service, new providers are jumping straight to mobile. Advances in technology have made mobile phones an indispensable part of development. New mobile platforms are simple and portable.

Many thanks to Global Voices community for the insight information and conversations with citizen media activists, and to Simon Phipps for contributing. Subscription options are available from Index and Amazon. The publication will be available to order from December 15th.


Radovanovic, Danica (2012). “Going Mobile: digital divides must be bridged”. In Digital Frontiers – Index on Censorship. SAGE, Vol. 41, No.4, 2012. pp: 112-116.

DOI: 10.1177/0306422012466804

Problems of Adolescence and Facebook

teens browsing Facebook, Internet center in Belgrade, Serbia

For those who are in Oxford these days for parallel conferences that are happening around (TransferSummit/UK, BarCamp), I want to let you know that I’m giving a talk at the interdisciplinary conference  on ‘Problems of Adolescence”.

Oxford University Centre for the History of Childhood is organising one day event, this Saturday, 26 June 2010, at Magdalen college.  The speakers (the program)come from different backgrounds: anthropology, clinical psychology, history of education, science and medicine, childhood studies, and social sciences and Web (moi).

I will talk about Adolescents and the Web: in particular social network sites (SNS), and communication, social, dynamics and practices on Facebook. This will be very interesting event, and I’m thankful to, both, UK and overseas peers, OII colleagues, and friends who’ve shared some data (British stats and references), as I’ve been analysing teen profiles and came to interesting observations that I’ll share later on with you either through an article (text of talk or proceedings) or slides.

If you are around this Saturday, come and say Hi.

upcoming events/travels

From Thursday I’m off to UK tour visiting friends around England’s, ending up far North, and after New years Eve returning back to pack for States. I won’t be checking my email regularly, but will be here and there online. My mobile will be on, I receive and send tweet DM’s regularly, and wherever wifi allows me to be present – I’ll be networked. You can check my schedule on Dopplr (if you’re a friend and using it, let me know), and of course – my Twitter stream updates. I’ll bring with me lot of eBooks and literature to read, some of those are good old paper books that I’m looking forward to hold and read.

Also, I’m ready for Science Online conference on the east coast, USA this/next January, to meet again wonderful folks from all over the globe, interact and collaborate. I miss my friends and colleagues, so I’m looking forward to see you all very soon. If you didn’t signed up for the Friday morning workshop I’m giving on social media tools and services, please do register. The only requirement is to bring yourself and laptop.

Next year will be super-excited and challenging for me in every field, as the 2009. was absolutely wonderful bringing lot of great events, people, awards, places I’ve been living/working, and the great adventures. I’m looking forward to 2010, hoping to be even better, as the same I wish to all of you who are reading these words. In the next year, I’ll be writing for different media too, so you’ll read me on other places on Web. It will be challenging both for work and PhD research, dissertation and other activities, I don’t know where I’ll be next. All I know that I’d need to get disciplined and make some time during the year for myself and my personal life as 2009. was insanely working fun mixture of random nature escapades.

I may post in the mid-0f-travel adventure more of my thoughts or announcements, so stay tuned.


Instead of Paradise Circus: Online social media kills TV star

amusements,art,Facebook,internet,media,Music,social networking,technology,UK — Danica @ 11:58 pm, December 21, 2009

For those who are not familiar with the rock music in the 90′s, Rage Against the Machine is American alternative, rock, punk band, notable for revolutionary and political lyrics. If you grew up in the post-communist under sanctions country such as Serbia (former Yugoslavia), you’d probably heard for their popular song “Killing in the name” released in 1992. This song was explained as “a howling, expletive-driven tirade against the ills of American society”, but also it marked the music, political, social scene in Serbia in that period. Why am I writing about RATM and not  about new and so waited Massive Attack LP?

For those who do not live in UK, or do not watch TV (moi included!), there’s a TV reality competition show called X Factor (equivalent to American Idol or Talent), where one of the most unexpected turn outs and victories of this decade happened: RATM’s “Killing in the Name” beat out X Factor’s winner Joe McElderry’s “The Climb”, and became the U.K.’s Christmas Number One single.

This all happened thanks to social network site Facebook, campaign in the form of a group, launched by Jon Morter, a 35-year-old part-time dj and logistics expert from Essex, and his wife Tracy, as they had become jaded by the inevitable annual rise of Cowell’s judge newest pop star to the top of the charts and were determined to stop it, using the power of social networking and obviously a humor.

Facebook group gathered almost 1 million people and the band’s single sold 500,000 downloads gaining Christmas no.1 charts. Some interesting BBC chart analysis show how in short time (only a week of Internet campagne) this single won the charts. Beside Facebook activism, British comedian Peter Serafinowicz urged his 268,000-plus Twitter followers to join this campaign, as later on RATM’s guitarist Tom Morello twittered on this historic event.

The power of social Web created not only the public sphere in political, economic and global context after all, but is also influencing the music business industry where corruption’s time is coming to an end. I’m looking forward to see these kind of activities and campaigns in governmental sector where some policy and political issues can be changed on better if majority learn network and media literacy. It’s interesting video – interview of RATM’s leader Zack De La Rocha with Noam Chomsky. Here’s the video of BBC’s interview with RATM and their live performance.

on global nomading

Wikipedia says that nomad is a Greek word νομάδες, nomádes, meaning “those who let pasture herds”, denoting communities of people who move from  one place to another, in other words a practice of continual movement with no fixed settlement. This rough definition implies to early communities of hunter-gatherers in Tibet or Siberia, but in industrial and information society it is a metaphor for aimless wandering, vagabonding from place to place. Modern nomads are high tech creators, frequent miles flyer’s, restless minds who have chosen nomadic way of life with no permanent residence, but rather moving from place to place. Either for work, education or personal reasons.

I didn’t think about this on deeper level, always took for granted when people would say: ah you’re world traveller, global nomad, as labeling in this context doesn’t mean much to me. And last night I had chat with an old colleague and friend residing in Amsterdam who recently returned from San Diego, California (one of the places I used to live) sharing the photos from the conference and time on the cliffs, as I was reminiscenting warm sunny winter Californian days from my studio in cold and foggy Oxford, when he said that we travellers, nomads never get bored. Which made me think: have I, by often travelling and changing place of living, working, studying, actually created in my subconsciousness denial not to be bored so I’d run for adventure, excitement, upgrading my knowledge and practice in work, meet new people, collaborate, search without the search, helping out where needed, being everywhere and nowhere? I assume a bit of all stated. And some more.

Which reminded me on one of my favourite novels – Baltasar and Blimunda, epic novel by Jose Saramago, where intuitive Blimunda who can see inside people, wanders for years for the search of millions of human “will” and together with soldier Baltasar in a quest of helping Bartolomeu, a renegade priest, to construct a flying machine. It all happens during inquisition time, in 18th century Portugal. We are living in 21st century where collaboration form of gathering inner “will” and building a flying machine is changed for gathering data and creating other forms of innovative endeavours where technomading is without the borders (even if it requires physical visa forms or paper) and individuum is free to move more than ever.

That provisory freedom may look for someone from aside as a great adventure, free spiritualism, carefreeness, but after years and years of global nomading, it becomes, in political, economical under threat to-become-insane-society, an urge to find a place or settle somewhere what would one call a base or a home. This apres nomading time was noticed even at our ancestors. Internet has gathered us into global tribe where many do practice global nomading online, but what about us who spend nights in hotels, waiting at the airports, celebrating important events in the air or conferences, out from family or friends?

I will return to this over and over, and maybe start writing somewhere my global travel notes (as I was suggested many times by my friends and family) and share them with you. This December and January is pretty full of travels and conferences [Englands, USA, Englands,  France?], everything is open. What is for sure is that I’m looking forward to sail the calm seas in the next period, looking for my future base. Encouraging news for the people in my country is visa-free system from December 19th, and is a reason plus for nomading around Europe, and beyond.

Relationships and the Internet

academia,communication,events,Oxford,Science,social networking,technology,UK — Danica @ 8:26 pm, December 2, 2009

For those in UK, don’t miss this weeks’ OII forum on Relationships and the Internet, that will take place this Friday, 4 December at 10am, followed by the public panel at 4pm. The forum will gather researchers in the fields of social networking, online dating, practitioners from a growing and international relationship industry and policy-makers concerned with consumer protection and media literacy in a digital age. Taken from the background to the forum:

Research on the role of the Internet in meeting new people is an increasingly vital area of inquiry, and is illustrated by a burgeoning literature on such topics as online dating. However, the Internet may shape many other aspects of relationships beyond introducing individuals, such as in undermining or maintaining ongoing relationships, from courtship to marriage.

This forum will look at the state of the art of academic research on relationships and the Internet and how this research informs research on the social aspects of the Internet in general, such as issues of trust and identity. Cross-national and cross-cultural aspects will be addressed in ways that can illuminate general cross-cultural trends and responses shaping use of the Internet in building and maintaining relationships. The forum will draw out the connections between this research and such emerging issues of policy and practice as involved in efforts to foster a digital economy in Europe.

More about the speakers and the panel here.

Lectures at OII

academia,events,internet,media,Oxford,technology,UK — Danica @ 12:08 am, October 21, 2009

Oxford Internet Institute (OII) blog introduced new student group photos and pages (pages to be updated), as the 2009/10 generation of DPhils settled in. Soon new bio pages will be posted at OII web site as well as blogs of us who want to maintain one, and I will inform you about the URLs.

This week we have two interesting professors visiting OII. Manuel Castells, OII Visiting Professor of Internet Studies, Research Professor, Open University of Catalonia, this Thursday, 22 October 2009, 4.30pm at Oxford University Press. Prof. Castells will give a lecture on The crisis of global capitalism: towards a new economic culture. More about this lecture here.

Another visit is professors’ Duncan Watts, principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research and professor of sociology at Columbia University. This lecture is set up for this Friday, 23 October 2009, 4pm, at Said Business School, and is more affiliated with my research: Using the Web to do Social Science.

Updates about future events at the Institute you can follow on my Twitter stream, and I’m looking forward to hear and meet with super interesting folks who are visiting Oxford this autumn/winter, sharing the ideas and knowledge and interacting.

I will be joining Oxford Internet Institute this fall!

“So, you can take the girl out of academia, but you can’t take the academia out of the girl, eh?”

Those were the words of a friend of mine after I announced the news. Well, guess who can has PhD scholarship?

Last year I applied for Oxford PhD scholarships for 2009-2010, and completely forgot about it. Then in the April I was told I was selected and invited for an interview. All happened very fast and unexpected. It began with a call from British Council and professors from Oxford, when I was asked to come in person to the interview (last minute call) to Belgrade. Since I reside in Rome, I had to take the first plane next morning and I appeared in the early afternoon as the last candidate to be interviewed for this great opportunity. Actually I was about not to go, because it seemed impossible to make it to Belgrade in such short time, but my UN supervisor was encouraging me to give it a try.

Shall I mention that the interview was more like great, nice interaction between professors and me, carefree chat on social networks and media since professor and BC representative wanted to know more about the usage of the social networks in Serbia and they were all ears when I started passionately to talk about Facebook. Anyway, at the end of the interview I was told I will know the final result soon. So I went back to Rome, and seven weeks ago (I know, I know – I was and I am very busy at work to announce this to all of you officially) good news came right into my inbox: the official email from the Oxford University. I was super-happy and ecstatic and wanted to keep this to myself to summarize my thoughts and to think about this very well, and also to talk to my closest ones, to consult with the allies, and with my UN supervisor.

As much as I was happy – I had a huge dilemma that I was not facing for the first time, to choose between two good things: research or work. There is an eternal battle in me between academic/research life and practical work. The thing is I am equally engaged into both -academia and practical work, and since it has been two years since my Master thesis – I found myself still writing papers, publishing, going to conferences, storing for my research I’ve been developing in my head, travelling over the Europe and the United States, soaking and exchanging information, getting inspired. All in between, I’ve been working on practical things, still creating and contributing to the interwebs, interacting with people, making connections.

I officially accepted the offer to spend school year at Oxford Internet Institute, to work on my PhD research, and to interact with supersmart people, including my mentor dr Hogan. w00t!!! Or shall I say Blimey! I couldn’t be any more pleased. Yes, this means I am going to start the end of my research and writing of PhD dissertation.

For those who don’t know [and I doubt that those of you reading this don't know – there is zero % that you didn’t hear for Oxford Internet Institute] – OII is the academic mecca for scholars, researchers, web creators, superb centre for the study of the social implications of the Internet. Going to OII will allow me to continue my PhD research that is focused on communication practices in virtual communities of the young adults in Serbia, especially focused on Facebook. Spending time at OII will bring me a productive, collaborative, inspiring environment in which I can accomplish my plan. Plus, there’s amazing work at OII concerning social web and media.

I am aware that PhD process is painful, but I strongly believe that knowledge is power. I wouldn’t be working on things I did in the past, and now for the UN on developing projects, which foster the technology, sharing of knowledge, web of science, semantic web, if I didn’t believe in them. Also, being surrounded with wonderful and supportive people, I am even more determined to start writing the dissertation and continue my research, because this is what I want. I realized that PhD is worth all the craziness around and inside the academia, as well as there are things that I can do with a PhD that aren’t academia.

The practice and work will keep me to the ground and sane as much as I can be – I won’t quit my UN job, this was one of the first issues I was concerned about, but luckily I have really fantastic supervisor, dr Keizer, who fully supports and encourages me. So, with all “blessings” I shall continue working on science and technology, semantic web project and return back to my research for the final dissertation. It sounds difficult and it is, but I am enjoying it and I see great benefits for my long-term goals.

I can’t wait to begin my research and writing, exploring, examining, publishing, interacting, soaking energy from experienced and smart people, that will inspire me to produce interesting ideas and the outcomes for the future projects and work. Also, I miss UK at some points, I have friends and colleagues there, and oh I love British countryside, and London is very near. I am aware about H1N1/09 virus, but I hope British people are working on it, and I’ll try to boost up my immune system. All in all, I am grateful for this great opportunity and for the all good people who supported me in this, and in general. I couldn’t be more happier. w00t!

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