Content Osmosis

Content osmosis refers to the characteristics of a medium’s content being transferred into the personality of its audience, such as intellectual content making an audience feel more intellectual, or the exclusiveness of a medium’s content making an audience feel exclusive.

The notion of content osmosis is similar to the phenomenon of physical osmosis, referring to the content of a medium flowing into an adjacent medium. Content osmosis has been used for decades to persuade consumers that their identities are determined by the products and services they consume. This same strategy is being used today by various forms of social media. The ideas within this lecture were expanded in 2013 and published in paper listed below:

Ritter, Don (2013) “Content Osmosis and the Political Economy of Social Media.” in Without Sin: Freedom and Taboo in Digital Media, Leonardo Electronic Almanac/MIT Press, Vol 19, No 4. p. 198-217.
https://aesthetic-machinery.com/documents/Ritter_ContentOsmosis_2013.pdf


The video below
is a recording of a lecture on content osmosis presented at ISEA, Istanbul, Turkey (2011):