Anthony J. Pennings, PhD

WRITINGS ON DIGITAL STRATEGIES, ICT ECONOMICS, AND GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS

Analyzing YouTube Channels

We are pushing the realms of media analysis here by taking film and television studies and applying it to a new visual medium – YouTube.

Building Dystopian Economies in Facebook’s Metaverse

Strangely relevant to the new emergence of virtual environments like Facebook’s Metaverse, the talk was held in downtown New York City at the Woolworth Building, known as the “Cathedral of Commerce” when it was built in 1913. The location was strangely appropriate given the topic, a wrap-up of a year-long project at New York University on Second Life. The project involved an animation class taught by Mechthild Schmidt-Feist, and my class, the Political Economy of Digital Media. I still have the tee-shirt my students gave me that says “Got Linden?” a reference to Second Life’s currency, the Linden.

Hypertext, Ad Inventory, and the Use of Behavioral Data

A new advertising environment emerged with the Internet and its click environment. The hypertext system, with its global connections to “new inventory” of browser-view-able webpage content divided into multiple sections of advertising potential, started a new era of personalizable “banner” ads. An offshoot of the ad economy emerged powerfully with keyword search and auctioning, exemplified by Google. This post discusses how the online ad economy emerged and became the basis of a new means of economic production based on the wide-scale collection of data and its processing into prediction products.

ARPA and the Formation of the Modern Computer Industry, Part 2: Memex, Personal Computing, and the NSF

With World War II winding down, President Roosevelt asked Vannevar Bush, his “czar” of all federally funded scientific research, for a set of recommendations on the application of the lessons learned during the war. The President was particularly interested in how the scientific and technological advances achieved in the war effort could improve issues like […]

Digital Disruption in the Film Industry – Gains and Losses – Part 1: The Camera

In this post I introduce some of the issues in the move to digital cameras, within the context of disruptive innovation theory. The transition, which has taken decades, is worth examining through the lens Clay Christensen provides through his theory of innovative disruption. His theory examines how technology can start out “under the radar” with an inferior and cheaper version that is continuously improved until it disrupts a major industry.

Games and Meaningful Play

What is a game? What makes it fun? How can you design a game to provide a meaningful and rewarding experience? Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals by Katie Salen Tekinba and Eric Zimmerman is a great blend of theory and practical application and helps us understand the importance of “gameplay” – the emotional relationship […]

We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us

One of Marshall McLuhan’s most celebrated intellectual “probes” was a paraphrase of Winston Churchill’s infamous “We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.” Churchill was addressing Parliament some two years after a devastating air raid by the Nazis destroyed the House of Commons and was arguing for its restoration, despite the major challenges […]

Computer Technology and Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

Many computer labs are now designed around the concept of problem-based learning (PBL), a student-centered approach where participants work in groups to solve open-ended problems. Instead of teachers presenting relevant material first and then have students applying the knowledge to solve problems, PBL engages the students in the problem, inviting them to engage higher-order thinking […]

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  • About Me

    Professor at State University of New York (SUNY) Korea since 2016. Moved to Austin, Texas in August 2012 to join the Digital Media Management program at St. Edwards University. Spent the previous decade on the faculty at New York University teaching and researching information systems, digital economics, and strategic communications.

    You can reach me at:

    apennings70@gmail.com
    anthony.pennings@sunykorea.ac.kr

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    The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of my employers, past or present.