Andreas Kaltenbrunner: “This is the beginning of a new era”

25 SEPTEMBER 2013

Barcelona Media interviewed Andreas Kaltenbrunner, scientific coordinator of the Social Media Research Line. He was born in Austria and works at the Barcelona Media since 2007. He talks about the current trends in social networks, for example the exodus from Facebook and the need of integration of the on-line and off-line worlds, and the changes in the future: “This is the beginning of a new era”.

Andreas Kaltenbrunner: “This is the beginning of a new era”.

I was born in Vöcklabruck, Austria

I studied Mathematics (MSc) and Computer Science (PhD)

I have worked at Barcelona Media since 2007

I hold the position of scientific coordinator of the Social Media Research Line

I like research, eating well, spending time with my family and fixing things

My readings of reference are:

  • Duncan Watts, “Everything Is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer”
  • Nate Silver, “The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail but Some Don’t”
  • Albert-László Barabási, “Bursts: The Hidden Patterns Behind Everything We Do”
  • Steven H. Strogatz, “Sync: How Order Emerges From Chaos In the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life”

What are the main current trends in social networks?
The gradual exodus from Facebook and diversification of platforms used is a current trend as the average daily use of Facebook is declining. To this, the integration of the on-line and off-line worlds must be added. For example, through the use of external sensors and monitoring software for smartphones, wearable computing, perhaps Google Glass or similar and finally the explosion in collaborative platforms for crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and collaborative design, for example for subsequent use in 3D printers.

Will we see significant changes in the future?
Yes, this is the beginning of a new era, but it is still unclear if all the changes will be positive. There is struggle between two polar opposites. Furthermore, there is the hope that social media will be used to increase public participation in political decision-making processes, especially with regards to monitoring of institutions, making social media something of a fourth power to be added to the executive, legislative and judicial powers. On the other extreme, the internet is used to increase state control and power over the activities of the populous.

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