Nancy Baym studies how people, audiences and workers such as musicians understand and use communication technologies in their everyday relationships. She is the author of Personal Connections in the Digital Age (Polity Press, 2010/2014), now in its second edition, Internet Inquiry: Conversations about Methods (co-edited with Annette Markham, Sage 2009), as well as dozens of articles and book chapters.
She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1994, writing the first Ph.D. dissertation on online community (later published as Tune In, Log On: Soaps, Fandom and Online Community; Sage, 2000). She was a co-founder and is Past-President of the Association of Internet Researchers and serves on the editorial boards of several new media and Communication journals. Before coming to Microsoft, she was a Professor of Communication Studies. She is a Research Associate in Comparative Media Studies/Writing at MIT.
Links to publications and talks are here.
Episode 41, September 12, 2018 - Dr. Nancy Baym is a communication scholar, a Principal Researcher in MSR’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, lab, and something of a cyberculture maven. She’s spent nearly three decades studying how people use communication technologies in their everyday relationships and written several books on the subject. The big take away? Communication technologies may have changed drastically over the years, but human communication itself? Not so much.
Today, Dr. Baym shares her insights on a host of topics ranging from the arduous maintenance requirements of social media, to the dialectic tension between connection and privacy, to the funhouse mirror nature of emerging technologies. She also talks about her new book, Playing to the Crowd: Musicians, Audiences and the Intimate Work of Connection, which explores how the internet transformed – for better and worse – the relationship between artists and their fans.