sabato, febbraio 04, 2006

Europe: What does it seem?

it's a couple of day I've worked on an abstract for a "young sociologists meeting" that is hold every years in Pontignano (near Siena) [oh, such a wonderful place ]. This year main theme is Europe and european Integration process. Well this is not my area at all, I've never worked on this kind of subject, so what am I'm going to say once I'll be (luckily) there? The main focus of my paper will be on methodology. Specifically on visual sociology and how it changes when has to face such a growing phenomena that is the online publication of personal photos. Flickr, MSN spaces and others give to users the chance to publish and organize their own personal photo album: a nice way to share pics with friends living far away but a great opportunity for researchers that gain access to a huge amount of visual information, self produced and self organized from the users. That's a completely new way to look at visual sociology research. But there's even more: when you upload a picture on flickr you describe it using your own tags, later the system analyze all the tags and visualize them in tag clouds or (even more interesting) in tag clusters. Now the question is: when we are looking at flickr's tag clouds or clusters what are we looking at? The main idea/hypothesys is that tag clouds/clusters a some kind of visualisazion of the Semantic of the Society: subjects and concepts that Social System uses to reproduce it's own communication. What's really cool here is the possibility to shift quickly from a single point of view (the world as it's saw from an individual point of view: the specific picture) to a wider social system perspective (the tag aggregation visualization). A double layer logic that's usually so hard to understand and to explain. And in Pontignano? double layer and European integration process!