A Click Away from the Quello Center: Founding Director Steve Wildman


Emeritus Professor Steve Wildman, who held the Quello Chair of Telecommunication Studies at MSU, and was founding Director of the Quello Center, may be away, but he has certainly not stopped contributing to studies of policy and practice. He remains active in our Advisory Board, contributes as an affiliated faculty member to the Silicon Flatirons Center where he is also a Visiting Scholar in the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

This spring, Steve will be teaching a two-week graduate class in information technology and the organization of economic activity at the University of Cologne. The class runs during the weeks of May 15 and May 22.

Steve Wildman at the Quello Center

The invitation to teach at Cologne was arranged by Professor Christian Wellbrock, a Professor of Media Management at the University of Cologne. He moved to Cologne recently from the University of Hamburg, where Steve had been teaching a similar course over the previous three summers. Christian Wellbrock is one of a number of Quello Center ‘alums’, having been a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Information (then the department of Telecommunications, Information systems and Management (TISM) in 2012, which enabled him to also serve as a visiting scholar with the Quello Center.

The students Steve will be teaching are masters’ students in the business school at Cologne. He says he will be “emphasizing recent research on platform management”, a topic that connects to work he undertook at MSU on social media, such as with the Quello Center’s Governance of Social Media Workshop at Georgetown University in 2011.

The week before his course begins, he will be presenting a paper at an annual meeting of the European Media Management Association (EMMA), which will be held in Ghent, Belgium. The title of his paper is: “The Competition is Only a Click Away? The Behavioral Economics of Lock-in and Leveraging for Online Services.” With apologies for the pun, we are delighted that Steve remains only a click away from the Quello Center.

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Steve Wildman’s Odyssey


June 25th, 2015

Steve Wildman is about to depart from the Quello Center, the Department of Media and Information, Michigan State University and Michigan to retire in the mountains of Colorado. We expect Steve to continue as an emeritus member of our Advisory Board, and teach from a distance for the department. And while we have already had a celebration of his work at MSU, we should say more about his contributions to the Quello Center as his Odyssey continues.

First, thanks are once again due for the role Steve has played as founding director of the Quello Center. He started the center from scratch in 1999 to become a key node in a network of telecommunication policy research centers across the US and worldwide. And he contributed to its stature through his own research and publications, which led to his appointment as Chief Economist at the Federal Communications Commission in December 2012. As an economist, he has demonstrated the contributions that the social sciences can make to the interdisciplinary study of the communication revolution that has been underway during his tenure. It remains a key aim of the Quello Center to demonstrate the centrality of economics and the social sciences as a whole to understanding the factors shaping digital media and information technologies like the Internet and their societal, policy and regulatory implications.

Secondly, Steve was fond of collecting quotations of the colorful and influential long serving member of the FCC, James H. Quello, for whom the center was named. One of Steve’s favorites was James Quello’s wonderful blessing: “May the Lord be with you — but not too soon!” Another, more appropriate for today, might be James Quello’s words on departing the FCC: “I’d like my FCC legacy to read, ‘He never forgot where he came from.’” Steve embodies a Midwestern aversion to trumpeting his many accomplishments, and seems to remember where he came from, but we’d like Steve’s Quello Center legacy to read something like ‘He never forgot the center he founded.’

Steve Wildman in Quello Meeting Room 2014

Steve Wildman in Quello Meeting Room 2014

More about Steve’s time at MSU is available online, such as:

Steve’s leaving lecture:

And a video tribute to Steve, compiled by Gary Reid:

Steve Wildman Tribute Video – Founding Director of the Quello Center from Quello Center on Vimeo.

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Tribute to Quello Center Founding Director, Professor Steve Wildman


Gary Reid and his colleagues at WKAR put together a wonderful video montage for a tribute to Professor Steve Wildman, Founding Director of the Quello Center, which was shown last week at a celebration of this career with other retiring faculty. It is short, entertaining and puts Steve’s career at MSU in the context of the Quello Center.

Steve Wildman Tribute Video – Founding Director of the Quello Center from Quello Center on Vimeo.

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Series of VIPP Talks on Communication Policy


Sung Wook Ji, a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Media & Information at MSU, has organized a series of lectures for Michigan State University’s Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP) around communication technology and policy issues. The Quello Center will work with Professor Ji to bring the series to a larger audience through a set of interviews and short Webcasts. In addition to Prof. Sung Wook Ji, speakers will include Professors Johannes Bauer, Charles Steinfield, Steve Wildman and Constantinos Coursaris of the Department of Media & Information, and Professor Adam Candeub of the Law School at MSU. Topics will range from an introduction to U.S. communications law and policy Issues (focusing on Internet policy), including focused talks on such issues as content regulation, spectrum management, and ICT4D, to new media business models and trends in multichannel video distribution and consumption. Many of the talks will be held in the Quello Center meeting room and you can follow these VIPP events and Webcasts on this blog.

The Director of the Quello Center, Bill Dutton, first worked with Sung Wook on an edited chapter for Society and the Internet, edited by Mark Graham and William Dutton, and published by Oxford University Press in 2014. Sung Wook’s chapter with David Waterman contributes an important set of empirical findings to debates over the impact of the Internet on film industries, arguing that despite declining revenues, more films are being produced without a reduction in quality, in part due to cost reductions enabled by digital media. It is a must read chapter. See their chapter, entitled ‘The Impact of the Internet on Media Industries: An Economic Perspective’, in Society and the Internet.

Sung Wook JI

Sung Wook JI


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