Anthony J. Pennings, PhD

WRITINGS ON DIGITAL ECONOMICS, ENERGY STRATEGIES, AND GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS

The Future of US Democracy: Getting Excessive Money Out of Elections

Excessive money in political elections corrodes the democratic process by distorting representation, undermining public trust, and prioritizing the interests of wealthy donors over the common good. Efforts to reduce the influence of money in politics aim to promote greater transparency, accountability, and fairness in the political process. Addressing the issue of money in politics requires a combination of legal challenges, legislative reforms, grassroots activism, and civic engagement to create a more equitable and democratic political system.

Public and Private Goods: Social and Policy Implications

In a previous related posts, I wrote about how digital content and services can be considered “misbehaving economic goods” because most don’t conform to the standard product that is individually owned and consumed in its entirety. In this post, I expand that analysis to a wider continuum of different types of public and private goods. […]

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.

US Internet Policy, Part 3: The FCC and Consolidation of Broadband

Despite the design and the efforts of the Clinton-Gore administration to create a competitive environment, the Internet came to be increasingly controlled by a small number of ISPs. It is important to understand the policy environment and administrative actions that changed the Internet into the oligopolistic market structure that dominates broadband today. Policy changes allowed telcos to transition from the neutral transmitters of communication to the communicators themselves.

YouTube Meaning-Creating (and Money-Making) Practices

Note: This is required reading for my Visual Rhetoric and IT class. Youtube has emerged as the primary global televisual medium, attracting about 1.3 billion viewers from countries around the world with over 5 billion videos watched every day. People suck up some 3.25 billion hours of YouTube videos each month and over ten thousand […]

The CDA’s Section 230: How Facebook and other ISPs became Exempt from Third Party Content Liabilities

The Telecommunications Act of 1996’s Section 230 effectively immunized both ISPs and Internet users from torts committed by others using their online services.

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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.