November 2022

The end of Twitter (?) and alternative platforms

Hi there,

This month I’m handing over the intro of the newsletter to co-director Jessamy Perriam. But I also just wanted to check in quickly to thank you all for reading along and to wish you a happy December! 

- Henriette 


Since our last newsletter, a lot has happened in relation to Twitter. Here in the lab, Twitter forms a part of our yearly rhythm. In the autumn term, we often encourage our students to come up with research questions that can be investigated through Twitter-based digital methods. We also problematize and discuss the ethics of gathering and analysing Twitter data, along with the impacts that our research has on society. Last year, we were excited about the possibility of scraping past tweets to allow us and our students to tell stories of technology and society in different ways. As the year now draws to a close, we reference twitter in conversations and lectures with a suffix of ‘if it’s even around this time next year.’ We recognize the space and potency that it has held in the academic space, but also now we realise that its ubiquity in the space hindered our imaginations to consider other modes of digital sociality and community-building. 

Over email threads, in research seminars and over lunchtime conversations we find ourselves - both as lab members and part of the broader ITU community - talking about the possibilities of Mastodon, not to replicate what we had on Twitter, but to imagine how we could strengthen our communities of practice and solidarity. We’re still at the discussion and experimentation phase of thinking about Mastodon and other alternative platforms, but nevertheless, it’s a discussion that is exciting and enriching.

- Jess


We’d always love to hear your feedback on the newsletter. Reach us here: 


What’s new?  

Reimagining Platforms Symposium in Edinburgh
At the very end of October, lab co-director Jessamy Perriam went to the Reimagining Platforms symposium at the University of Edinburgh. It was a great chance to catch up with some of our European and North American colleagues who work with digital methods and ethnography in relation to platforms. Jessamy sat on a panel which discussed using ethnography to investigate how people use platforms and talked a bit about her experience of doing an ethnography with a customer service team to understand how they use Twitter. There were some great panels on web archive research, platforms and work, the gig economy and a fascinating keynote from Anne Helmond. Artist and researcher Pip Thornton also had her Google adwords inspired installations (pictured) in the foyer for us to think about the value of texts and poetry. Thanks to the organisers!

JR Pitch and Play #1
On November 1st this year’s Junior Researcher cohort participated in their first Pitch & Play. It was a great lineup of presentations - and thought provoking feedback from lab faculty (big thanks to Baki, Sunniva, and Katrine). We collectively reflected on the projects and asked open questions such as: How do you include something that is invisible in a dataset? How might publishing under certain names be a political decision? What is Spotify’s motivation to preemptively address fairness? What are the narratives and discourses tied to AI? And how is privacy performed by different people?

Feminist hackathon planning workshops
In other exciting news, we’ve gotten a real move on our hackathon planning. We’ve brought together a great little team of organisers from ITU and beyond, and we’ve got some really wonderful ideas and plans up our sleeve. Again, if you’re interested in getting involved, always feel free to reach out to Lab Manager Henriette ( 

Reminder: New open hours in the lab
Please note a change in the lab's open hours: 

- Tuesdays 10:00-11:30
- Thursdays 11:00-14:00

What's next?

Decorating the lab for Christmas 
Tomorrow, on December 1st, we will be making Christmas decorations and bringing the holiday spirit into the lab. Feel free to stop by between 14:00-15:00. 

Pitch and Play #2
The JRs are now gearing up for their second Pitch & Play coming up on December 7th - and we’re all looking very much forward to hearing about their progress. 

Python Study Group seeks volunteers for Spring 2023
In mid-November Python Study Group (PSG) held their last study group session of the year and can look back at another great semester of coding and problem solving in good company.

For the next semester, Spring 2023, PSG would like a couple of new volunteers to join the team. As a volunteer you would need to be comfortable in the programming language Python (in both theory and practice), and be available a couple of hours during the week to attend Python Study Group and help out others succeed in their coding journey. As of now the PSG team consists of 4 members (3 volunteers and 1 coordinator) and just as much as they like to help the attendees with their coding problems during a session, they like to socialise and have fun while doing it.

Sounds interesting? Send an email to PSG coordinator Edith ( with a couple of sentences about your experience with Python and why you would like to become a volunteer.

Christmas holidays
Since the lab will be in full rest mode as we move into 2023, you will receive the next newsletter at the end of January. Wishing you all a warm and cosy time, and sending special thoughts to those for whom this season is especially difficult. 



PhD Fellow in STS; Living Materials, Participatory Prototyping and Future Making
A PhD position is available at the TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo as part of the FUNGATERIA project. FUNGATERIA is an interdisciplinary project funded by the European Commission to develop a portfolio of microbial-based biomaterials.

For more information about the project contact:
Apply for this job here


Updates from the blog

A short blogpost about libraries and my new job at Ethos

A short blogpost about libraries and my new job at Ethos

By Luis Landa I had to recently do a lecture for the class Navigating Complexity and the topic was visualisations. Since I was going to use a lot of examples that showcase the diverse uses, messages, and possibilities of visualisations, I tried to google “visualisations” which of course resulted in an endless sight of bar charts, line charts, pie charts …

Read more.


 Wishing you all a beautiful rest of your day!

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Co-heads of Lab: Marisa Cohn & Jessamy Perriam
Lab Manager: Henriette Friis


ETHOS Lab Open Hours 

The Lab has regular opening hours throughout the semester on Tuesdays 10:00-11:30 & Thursdays from 11 to 14, allowing for a lunch break around noon.

The opening hours are co-working time for the Lab staff, as well as an opportunity for impromptu meetings and informal encounters for the community of faculty and students. This is an opening for bouncing off ideas, getting feedback, and work in the LabEveryone is welcome, just pop by!