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The 20th Century was the epoch of mass production, mass communication, and mass movements. But ours is the era of collaborative production and interactive media. What are the new forms of public assembly when organizing cannot be separated from the organization of the digital interface?

Social Times of Network Spaces: Network Sequences and Foreign Investment in Hungary

In this paper, Balazs Vedres and I develop a social sequence analysis to identify distinctive pathways whereby firms use network resources to buffer uncertainty, hide or restructure assets, or gain knowledge and legitimacy. In place of properties of the global network, we focus on variation in local properties. In place of a single system time, we model the processes of social times. Our contribution to a more historical network analysis does not simply include time as a variable but, instead, recognizes time as variable.

American Journal of Sociology, March 2006, 111(5):1367-1411.

Socio-technologies of Assembly: Sense-making and Demonstration in Rebuilding Lower Manhattan

Drawing on Science and Technology Studies, Monique Girard and I propose that forms of public assemby vary as distinct combinations of social networks, technologies, and protocols. The key technologies of a public hearing, for example, are a microphone and a stopwatch, combined with rules for who can speak and for how long.

Governance and Information: The Rewiring of Governing and Deliberation in the 21st Century. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Socio-technologies of Assembly: Sense-making and Demonstration in Rebuilding Lower Manhattan

This PowerPoint augments the argument that Monique Girard and I make in our published paper, presenting more visual materials about the diverse forms of public assembly in which New Yorkers imagined the possibilities of urban space at and around the World Trade Center site.

PowerPoint in Public: Digital Technologies and the New Morphology of Demonstration

This paper examines the use of PowerPoint to make demonstrations in the public arena. Our first set of demonstrations are the PowerPoint presentations in December 2002 by the seven finalist architectural teams in the Innovative Design competition for rebuilding the World Trade Center. Our second case occurred some blocks away, several months later: Colin Powell's PowerPoint demonstration at the United Nations. We argue that Edward Tufte's denunciation of PowerPoint does not capture the cognitive style made possible by this pervasive new technology.

Theory, Culture & Society 2008, 25(5):31-56.

Observing Finance as a Network of Observations

You can observe a lot just by watching,” says Yogi Berra. I use quips by Yogi as a device to organize a commentary on a paper contributing to observation theory by Elena Esposito. The exchange is published in the online journal Sociologica. Yogi's observation that “The future ain't what it used to be,” turns out to be a nice summary of Esposito's analysis of the role of financial models. The second half of the paper is itself a second-order observation. It uses another viewpoint (that of observation theory) to reinterpret my earlier ethnographic and network analytic research on finance.

Sociologica, 2/2013:1-12.