McDowell & Proffitt guest edit The Information Society Journal

Stephen McDowell and Jennifer Proffitt, both in the School of Communication, served as guest editors for the newest issue of The Information Society Journal along with Hamid Ekbia from Indiana University.

The trio wrote the introduction to the journal titled, Introductory to the special forum on monetization of user-generated content – Marx revisited, which introduced the special forum of the issue: Monetization of user-generated content.

The articles in this special issue of The Information Society contribute to a broad debate about the characteristics of labor and value creation in information society, specifically user-generated content created in social media website and networks. The argument deepens, as some analysts argue that users’ time should be considered a form of audience labor. Audience time and attention is sold to advertisers, and in this way an economic surplus is generated. The users do not obtain any formal compensation for their role in producing this surplus value, and this is the basis for a new form of labor exploitation.

Other questions addressed in the special issue include the definitions of user-generated content, labor, value, price, production, commodities and class, all of which are difficult to define in the context of information and knowledge activities. More information can be found on The Information Society’s website.