Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Communication knowledge

The Swedish word is kommunikationsvetenskap, I don't think I could use that, as vetenskap - vitenskap - means science, and the book I am working with right now is not really about communication science but about how to use communication science in order to translate the knowledge into skills. Larsåke Larsson, the writer of "Tillämpad kommunikationsvetenskap", has loaded the book with references and models, so I guess the topic is the science after all, only "tillempad" - adjusted...

What this means is that it's time for me to do what I am employed to do - teach students in public information/communication (PR is a better word, but in Norwegian PR basically means marketing and publicity, and we teach a lot more than that). I really love this topic, because it is right in the middle of the motivation for my work on popular culture, mundane communication, the "simple" forms used by the masses as opposed to the "high art" of the elite.

Public information is about telling people things that makes their lives better. Yes, it may be that art increases the quality of your life, but it doesn't really matter much if you don't know you are eligible for social welfare and assistance to get aplace to live, food and clothing. It is a very real challenge to explain to all immigrants how to reunite with your family in Norway.

These are the questions that led me into communication science once upon a time, and while it may look like games and blogs have very little in common with what my students do, the connection is there. To me this is all about how do humans communicate. How do we use different technologies, and can communication be done quicker, more precisely and better than it is today?

Once in a while I lecture on communication knowledge, what works, why do we know it works and why is it important that things work like this? It feels like touching base.

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