MSR New England is Hiring a Social Media Postdoc

The Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England (MSRNE) is looking for a social media postdoctoral researcher (start date: 1 July, 2015). This position is an ideal opportunity for a scholar whose work draws on anthropology, communication, media studies, sociology, and/or science and technology studies to bring empirical and critical perspectives to complex socio-technical issues. Application deadline: Monday 3 November, 2014.

Microsoft Research provides a vibrant multidisciplinary research environment with an open publications policy and close links to top academic institutions around the world. Postdoctoral researcher positions provide emerging scholars (PhDs received in 2014 or to be conferred by July 2015) an opportunity to develop their research career and to interact with some of the top minds in the research community. Postdoctoral researchers are invited to define their own research agenda and demonstrate their ability to drive forward an effective program of research. Successful candidates will have a well-established research track record as demonstrated by journal publications and conference papers, as well as participation on program committees, editorial boards, and advisory panels. The position offers the potential to have research realized in products and services that will be used world-wide.

Postdoctoral researchers receive a competitive salary and benefits package, and are eligible for relocation expenses.  Postdoctoral researchers are hired for a two-year term appointment following the academic calendar, starting in July 2015. Applicants must have completed the requirements for a PhD, including submission of their dissertation, prior to joining Microsoft Research. We do accept applicants with tenure-track job offers from other institutions so long as they are able to negotiate deferring their start date to accept our position.

While each of the Microsoft Research labs has openings in a variety of different disciplines, this position with the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England is especially interested in identifying social science/humanities candidates with critical approaches to their topics. SMC postdocs are based at Microsoft Research New England (located in Cambridge, MA) and enjoy opportunities to visit and collaborate with our sister Social Media Collective members in the New York City Lab.

Qualifications include a strong academic record in anthropology, communication, media studies, sociology, science and technology studies, or a related field. The ideal candidate may be trained in any number of disciplines, but should have a strong social scientific or humanistic methodological, analytical, and theoretical foundation, be interested in questions related to technology or the internet and society or culture, and be interested in working in a highly interdisciplinary environment that includes computer scientists, mathematicians, and economists.

The Social Media Collective is comprised of full-time researchers, postdocs, visiting faculty, PhD interns, and research assistants. Our current projects include:

– How does the use of social media affect relationships between artists and audiences in creative industries and what does that tell us about the future of work? (Nancy Baym)

– What are the cultural, political, and economic implications of crowdsourcing as a new form of semi-automated, globally-distributed digital labor? (Mary L. Gray)

– What are the social and political consequences of popular computing folklore? (Kevin Driscoll)

– How do online technologies shape countercultures and communities of alterity? (Jessa Lingel)

– What are the social and cultural issues arising from data-centric technological development? (danah boyd)

– What are the politics, ethics and policy implications of big data science? (Kate Crawford)

To apply for a postdoc position at MSRNE:

Submit an online application here.

– Indicate that your research area of interest is “Anthropology, Communication, Media Studies, and Sociology” and that your location preference is “New England, MA, U.S.”

– In addition to the CV and names of three referees (including your dissertation advisor) that the online application will require you to include, upload the following 3 attachments with your online application:

  1. two journal articles, book chapters, or equivalent writing samples (uploaded as 2 separate attachments);
  2. a single research statement (four page maximum length) that does the following: outlines the questions and methodologies central to your research agenda (~two page maximum length); provides an abstract and chapter outline of your dissertation (~one page maximum length); offers a description of how your research agenda relates to research conducted by the social media collective (~one page maximum length)

After you submit your application, a request for letters will be sent to your list of referees on your behalf. You can check the status of progress on individual reference requests at any time by clicking the status tab within your application page. Note that a complete application includes three submitted letters of reference.

THE APPLICATION SYSTEM WILL NOT REQUEST REFERENCE LETTERS UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE SUBMITTED YOUR APPLICATION! Please warn your letter writers in advance so that they will be ready to submit them when they receive the prompt. The email they receive will automatically tell them they have two weeks to respond but that an individual call for applicants may have an earlier deadline. Please ensure that they expect this and are prepared to submit your letter by the deadline. Please make sure to check back with your referees if you have any questions about the status of your requested letters of recommendation.

For more information, see here.

Feel free to ask questions about the position in the comments below.

Congress and 20 Organizations Urge FCC to End Discriminatory Blocking of Online LGBT Resources

Members of Congress and 20 LGBT and ally organizations, led by Congressman Mike Honda, Founder and Chair of the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus, are calling on the FCC to stop the indiscrimate blocking of online LGBT Resources. And, guess what? They used a report that Jessie Daniels and I wrote this summer to make the case and urge others to join the cause. Ok. I know that this is a small step forward but, today, I’m feeling really good about some tangible action on this front. Hey, industry leaders? Please take up the charge to make a difference?

New special issue of JOBEM: “Old Against New, or a Coming of Age? Rethinking Broadcasting in an Era of Electronic Media”

A little over a year ago, JOBEM editor Zizi Papacharissi approached me, R. Stuart Geiger (UC Berkeley) and Stacy Blasiola (University of Illinois at Chicago) with the idea of a JOBEM special issue hat would be edited and authored by graduate students. We were excited to accept the invitation and set out for the adventure.

The resulting special issue, titled Old Against New, or a Coming of Age? Rethinking Broadcasting in an Era of Electronic Media, has now been published. We are proud to present this issue that begins a new thread in the longstanding conversation about what it means for media to be ‘‘old’’ and ‘‘new.’’ While this distinction is not one we should take for granted, the articles in this issue all demonstrate how we can strategically approach the intricate intersections and interconnections of different media—both old and new.

We were very impressed by the thoughtful and provocative work graduate students across many disciplinary fields contributed in response to our call. Presenting a wide range of international scholarship from graduate students across many different disciplinary backgrounds, topical literatures, methodological approaches, and theoretical frameworks, this special issue represents an emerging approach to what it means to study broadcasting in an era of electronic media.

The guest-edited issue features the following seven articles, along with our Introduction:

We hope that you’ll find the collection inspiring and productive, and we invite you to share them with others who might enjoy them too!

Last but not least, if you are coming to IR15 in a few weeks, we hope to see you at the similarly named fishbowl on the first day of the conference. This will be an opportunity to take the conversation further, together with the community of Internet researchers!