SUPERHUMAN knowledge workers in the world of cyberspace

Liquid labour: global media industries and the costs of immaterial production

First, telegraph to cyberspace and next the fundamental changes in the global perception of culture and daily life. In 1969 when Peter Ducker coined the term ‘knowledge worker’ there would be little to no expectation that the industries of the future would change from manual workers to knowledge workers but in fact this concept changed the practical foundation of modern day businesses.

Why has this only happened now? The answer is hidden within microelectronics and software-based communication technologies. Bradwell (2008) has identified this formed relationship within the ‘increasing importance and visibility of social networks at work’. These networks are powering everything from professional service firms to at home businesses. I say this with first-hand experience as I witnessed an international cake maker (and my neighbour- Verusca Walker) give up her fundamental job of working or should I say the physical concept of walking into a workplace to becoming a networking capitalist online or in other words a ‘Youtuber’. She has utilised the fact social media is ‘cheaper, faster and more widespread’ (Bradwell, 2008) to promote her work. Taking advantage of the way social networks are constructed and therefore embracing the connections it allows her to ‘share’ her work.

This is the new era which utilizing social networking to promote businesses can lead to the entire business being moved online. This seems like a great idea, right? Not only distributing and controlling information through our own computers but being products of platforms like Google. We are the surplus value, the connectors keeping the information flowing. Ideal? Not so much. It is argued that we are blurring the borders between work and leisure and implementing homogenization in our use of cyberspace.

However, I say blur these borders. Witnessing my neighbor utilizing the new paradigm, the internet and changing from physically flying overseas every few weeks to now (literally) rolling out of bed to her kitchen to film Youtube tutorials and get paid by the platform is a framework for the ideal framework of our era of information flow. Who knows, one day we might all be knowledge workers in the world of cyberspace. Sounds superhuman !

Skærmbillede-2014-08-28-kl.-10.01.30

This video compares the way we interact with social media like the effects of a drug.

‘Changed our verbal communication with increased separation’

References:

Bradwell, P., and Reeves, R. (2008) Economies. In Networked Citizens (pp. 25-31)File

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5 thoughts on “SUPERHUMAN knowledge workers in the world of cyberspace

  1. Absolutely fantastic! Your thoughts are well balanced, informative and you engage brilliantly with the Bradwell reading. It’s interesting that you support homogenisation of the online world (though I wouldn’t mind my job being a YouTube personality so I can see the appeal). I am inclined to agree with you – when Bradwell speaks of visible networks I can’t help but compare my experience with social medias (what Bradley encourages) and the negative traits that seem to be more popular such as cyberbullying. BUT would homogenisation make this occurance worse or better?

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  2. Very well structured post with a great blend of informative/academic materiel and personal thought and opinion content. Social Media is definetely the way of the future when it comes to the marketing or a business/idea/concept and using your neighbour as an idea and example of this was a great way to put that concept into practice. I have witnessed many people try to start small businesses, but eventually failing without having an online presence; usually one that can be relatable or hold a emotional connection with their audience. Being a product of the platform is much a concern of mine as it is with any successful person in the industry. Take these YouTubers for example, once they become big enough to earn a reasonable amount of revenue and make a profit for themselves, the platforms they broadcast on eventually start using their content and their viewer base as an opportunity for marketing strategies, often taking a share of their revenue and having these Internet personalities change significantly to suit what they want. Freelance internet use is all well and good until someone sees your success and uses it for their own political or wealth driven opportunities.
    Very insightful post, kept interesting with the short video you provided. 🙂

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  3. This really helped my understanding of the lecture, thanks!
    I think it’s also interesting to note how new professions have also come around due to homogenization of professional and personal life. For instance, playing video games was widely considered to be a personal pass-time, but through exposure using YouTube and Twitch, playing, reviewing and commentating on video games as both entertainment products and E-sports have become viable professions.
    http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/games/its-sport-but-not-as-you-know-it-aussie-chiefs-eye-1m-prize-money-20150810-givysv.html

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  4. Brilliant take on liquid labour Remy. Your first hand account through your neighbour is interesting to read and really shows that the changing workplace environment can certainly be beneficial. I share your view that if you could pull it off and stay motivated then why wouldn’t you? It’s awesome! Very clever and easy to understand video as well.
    Only query is a shared view with Ernie that homogenisation could impact it either negatively or positively.

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