My dissertation research has exploded, with various subjects being introduced as I try to narrow down my focus point. I'm keeping all my notes in a (local based) wiki, which allows for a fairly massive array of notes to be compiled in little time.
My initial research looked at open source/media and more importantly the community-centric explosion through technologies (ideas?) such as wikis and podcasts. From this, the topic range has moved massively across social and political areas, the (over-saturated) exploration of digital identity and extensions of physical existence.
There is a wealth of cultural and socio-political impact through connective technologies, and a couple of books appear very useful in researching further this subject.
Smart Mobs (Howard Rheingold, 2002) predicts the future of the social landscape as independent connected technologies are integrated into our lives.
Digital Mcluhan (Paul Levinson, 2001) interprets some of the main observations made by Marshal Mcluhan in a modern-day context. Mcluhan's text will no doubt feature in my dissertation.
Unfortunately, however, it seems that defining a specific angle for my dissertation is still a difficult task. Several previous texts have covered some of the areas I am looking at, although I intend on exploring the impact on the collaborative and socio-political environments more than the impact upon the individual.
I hope to continue researching with a focus on innovations such as Wikipedia, the reactive and proactive transformation of modern media, and the freedom of cultural innovation.
I would also like to explore more the concept of information and knowledge in the digital plane, and how maybe these ideas could be mapped into a social context; an organisational methodology of our virtual life, extended to us and our cultures.