✊🏿 & 🏳️‍🌈: blm, su lee & invisible labor

the first 'commentary by koodos'!

Su Lee - Tired (Guess I'll call this music video but I'm just ...

Oh hey - commentary by koodos is a place for koodos trends, deep thoughts on user-curated content and good laughs. 

It’s written by me (Jad) and will regularly feature my Harvard Berkman Klein collaborator (& legend!) Leora Kornfeld. So far in life Leora has been a radio host, a Harvard Business School case writer, and a crossword puzzle clue. Oh - and Snoop Dogg is her biggest fan.

This episode covers:

  1. 😎: what we’re vibing to

    Our reactions to some of the topics and trends that have been forming on the interwebs.

  2. 🧐: what’s happening on koodos

    Things we’re seeing happen on koodos & general updates on what we’re up to.

  3. 🤓: what we’re thinking about

    More cerebral discussions and learnings, mostly about the future of the consumer internet, and mostly from discussions and learnings as an incoming Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Centre.

😎 what we’re vibing to

Su Lee & “aspirational realness” online…

🧐 trends on koodos

The world’s sombre mood has been re-ignited with an activist energy and that’s come out really loud on koodos among the “purpose generation”.

We’re proud to see ✊🏿become the symbol of the BLM movement on koodos. In the last month, it has become *the most used* emoji on koodos and speaks to how important this movement is for the koodos crowd. ✊🏿has been associated to anthems like H.E.R.’s “I can’t breathe”, Beyonce & Kendrick’s “Freedom” and Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”.

In addition to BLM, we’ve seen a lot of activity around pride: the 🏳️‍🌈emoji has peaked this month with girl in red crushing it.

Who else is on the come-up? blackbear, 5SOS, Troye Sivan & Stray Kids.

🤓 what we’re thinking about

We are empowered by the digital ecosystem because we are provided with the tools and spaces to exercise our agency as active and creative consumers and producers of culture. However, the normative perspective on creative expression online has focussed on a given level of engagement and creativity of an individual expression. Forms of “modest engagement”, which don’t involve creating entirely new content for example, aren’t thought of as an opportunity for learning, identity formation, belonging and individual autonomy - but they are. 

Searching, adapting and sharing information and cultural goods have become central for the generation of value online. However, corporate platforms commodify our data, attention, culture and creativity for ad profits that are not equitably shared. And whilst doing this, these platforms’ algorithms are churning lowest common denominator recommendations rather than summoning our creativity and individuality. 

Curating the internet is an invisible creative and affective labor. Investing our time consuming content, participating in subcultures and online communities, developing certain kinds of dispositions is “cultivating” cultural capital. This cultural capital can be converted into economic capital. Bourdieu wrote about the symbiotic relationship: cultural capital can be monetized, and money can incentivize the development of cultural capital. So what if we can trade cultural capital online and generate capital-enhancing activities in this way? And even more importantly, what if we can solve the differential outcomes of current forms of curation, closing the disparities across lines of race, gender and social class?

Thank you for reading our first post! If you found this interesting or useful, please consider subscribing and sharing! 🙏

ONE ask - can you please reply with one of these emojis for the section that you’d like to see most in future newsletters: 

  1. 😎

  2. 🧐

  3. 🤓