Digital Labour Seminar Series

This seminar series brings together researchers from the UK and USA for two events at Highfield (7th February) and Winchester School of Art (16th April) to explore transformations, debates, and tensions associated with digital labour. The first seminar focused on the home-work conflicts of digital labour for those endeavouring to make a living on digital platforms. The second seminar focuses on social media careers and fashion blogging. This series is convened by Dr Dan Ashton (Transforming Creativity/Winchester School of Art) and Dr Rebecca Taylor (Work Futures/Sociology) with support from the Web Sciences Institute.

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Seminar 2: Negotiating professional/amateur boundaries in the digital economy

Brooke Erin Duffy
‘Digital Dream Jobs: The Promises and Perils of a Social Media Career’
Against the backdrop of profound transformations in the technologies, economies, and politics of creative labor, enterprising young people are flocking to social media with aspirations of capitalizing on their passion projects. To these digitally networked content creators, fashion blogs, YouTube, and Instagram represent prospective paths to lucrative and rewarding careers. But to what extent do their investments pay off? In this talk, I draw upon dozens of in-depth interviews to highlight both the promises and perils of a social media-enabled career.

Agnès Rocamora
‘Fashion Blogging as Invented Labour’
In this talk, drawing on a series of semi-structured interviews I have been conducting with a broad range of UK-based fashion bloggers since 2013, I interrogate the strategies they have developed to invent and legitimate their practice. I engage with the work of Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu to look at the idea of the discursive construction of fashion blogging as well as at the rules and techniques that have emerged to regulate it. In particular, I comment on the journalists vs bloggers debate; on the idea of authenticity; and on the issue of monetization.


Data Visualisation symposium

On Wednesday 14th June MA Global Media Management hosted its third annual symposium. This year’s theme, connecting to our earlier study visit and guest lecture, was on data visualisation. Three speakers presented their research and the concluded with a roundtable discussion:

  • Dr Anna Feigenbaum (Bournemouth): Scraping, Sorting and Storytelling: Dealing with Data in Social Justice Research
  • Cath Sleeman (Nesta): Data visualisation in practice
  • Cristian Hernández (data scientist): From Open to Public Data: a Citizen Data Science Approach (presentation available here)

There was also a selection of student work from the MA Communication Design programme’s 2016 “Data Physicalisation” exhibition. The project asked students to collect data on the topic of E-Waste and to represent that data in physical form. The brief provides further information and there is an overview of images from the exhibition.

Here are some of the tweets and pictures from the day:

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Industry Insights

On Tuesday 25th April, GMM held its “Industry Insights” afternoon. We we joined by three excellent speakers sharing their careers and exploring debates in relation to social media, technological innovation, organisational structures, and crowdfunding.

Pictures from the afternoon and speaker biographies are below:

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Chris Buckingham is a crowdfunding specialist and author of several books on the topic. His research interest with Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton) is looking at how serious games might help crowdfunding campaign management. He is the founder of the crowdfunding education platform, minivation, an international speaker and guest lecturer for several universities.

Howard van Rooijen is co-founder and director of two businesses: endjin – a consultancy who enable organizations of all sizes to deliver on the vision of a modern, data-driven enterprise, and benchpeg – which aims to support the British Jewellery Industry and Allied Trades and has over 10,000 subscribers / 60k page views a month. He is also a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and a Microsoft Accelerator Mentor.

Rebecca van Rooijen is the creator of Benchpeg, she has 20 years of experience in the Creative Industries spanning Art and Craft Galleries, Arts Centres, the Jewellery Industry: jewellery design and making, communication projects, marketing, PR and branding, events management, website management, social media management, workspace management, Creative Industry business support programmes, mentoring and even capital build projects within the Public, Private and the Third Sectors. Alongside her ‘formal’ career she created Benchpeg, a website and weekly newsletter for the jewellery industry. Her vision was to create a digital resource where the jewellery industry could share and access information. 10 years on she now concentrates on developing Benchpeg as a business with a team of helpers. As an alumni of Winchester School of Art and the School of Jewellery in Birmingham, Rebecca holds an MA in Arts Management from City University, London. Rebecca is a Committee Member for the Communications and Marketing Committee at The Goldsmiths’ Company, she sits on the Selection Committee for the Goldsmiths’ Directory, is a business mentor for the Crafts Council, and was elected a Committee Member of the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council (retired). She has acted as an ambassador for many jewellery industry events and has been a regular speaker at International Jewellery London. In 2013 she was awarded the Freedom of the Goldsmiths’ Company and is a Freeman of the City of London.


Social Network Platforms and Digital Existence

On Tuesday GMM was very pleased to welcomed Ganale Langlois and Greg Elmer for the AMT seminar, ‘Social Network Platforms and Digital Existence’. Abstracts here.

Blueberry Soup served up at WSA

On Monday 9th November, the MA in Global Media Management welcomed filmmaker Eileen Jerrett to the Winchester School of Art for a screening of her documentary, Blueberry Soup.

The film takes a close look at how the people of Iceland reacted to the financial crisis of 2008. It examines how they rewrote their national constitution in order to recover from the crash and to prevent it from happening to them again. The focus of the documentary is on the ordinary people and how as a community they acted in concert to overcome the problems.

Of particular interest for the Global Media Management students was how crowdsourcing featured as part of the unique constitutional drafting process. As Eileen describes, “Every decision was documented in an open source format for Icelanders and the rest of the world to provide input. This is the world’s first crowdsourced constitution.”

Eileen continued “Blueberry Soup spent the Fall on a whirlwind European screening/discussion tour. Here we found ways of looking at the Icelandic constitutional process as a template for participatory democracy. Incredible projects and initiatives have already begun popping up from these events and we are witnessing a real shift in creative thinking within the sphere of civic engagement.”

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She described her visit to Winchester as one of her favourite stops on the tour. “Here we took a new approach to post-screening discussions and asked students to write questions on post-its. We then grouped the questions into like categories and discussed them collectively. This gave all a chance to participate without the pressure of speaking before the class.”

Dr Dan Ashton, MA Pathway Leader commented: “It was very exciting to have Eileen on campus for a screening of the documentary and for discussion/Q&A sessions with students. Through using the #blueberrysoup hashtag we were able to enter into a conversation with others from around the world who had also watched the documentary. Students were able to explore issues of global citizenship and link these to their own experiences. The visit was also a great opportunity to learn more about the filmmaking process, including how Eileen crowdfunded a film about crowdsourcing, and for budding filmmakers to pick up some tips and insights.”

Eileen has received a lot of praise for her documentary, and it has had an extensive screening tour. More information about the film and about Eileen’s production company, Wilma’s Wish – a name based on Eileen’s grandmother – can be found at, and the film can be rented or purchased online at