My Books


In Collections


Reader Engagement in De Correspondent and Krautreporter

The second paper in this news session at AoIR 2016 starts with Lena Knaudt and Renske Siebe, who begin by highlighting the transformation of journalism in the context of participatory and social media. How does journalism redefine itself as an institution in this environment; how do we understand news beyond the industrial paradigm?

There are three levels of de-industrialisation of journalism: the business model, the production process, and the journalistic paradigm; in terms of production, in particular, there is an opportunity to move away from deadline-driven, high-throughput journalism and towards 'slow journalism' that engages in considered news production and also involves the audience as co-producers. However, journalists' perceptions and experiences of such models are not usually very positive, with incivility noted as a particular problem, and they are therefore reluctant to engage.

Newssharing on Twitter

The first proper day of AoIR 2016 begins with a paper that I'm involved in, along with a host of colleagues from Australia, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. We cover patterns in newssharing across these countries, and I'll add the slides for our presentation below as soon as I can the slides for our presentation are below now.


Towards the Platform Society

After an exciting workshop day, we're now starting AoIR 2016 proper with the opening keynote by José van Dijck from the University of Amsterdam. She begins by noting the work of Tarleton Gillespie on the politics of online platforms, which has been very influential in Internet studies in recent years. Internet platforms are now intricately interwoven in a technical, commercial, and social ecosystem, with a number of leading platforms serving as the major gateways to that ecosystem.

But new platforms are constantly emerging, to systematically connect people to things, ideas, and money. These platforms penetrate all aspects of our public and private lives; in any major area these platforms are important gateways to information and connectivity. A platform in this context is an online site that deploys automated technologies and business models to organise data streams, economic interactions, and social exchanges between users of the Internet, José suggests. They are therefore not simple facilitators, or stand-alone objects, but are intricately connected to each other.

Situating Digital Methods

Our Digital Methods pre-conference workshop at AoIR 2016, combining presenters from the Digital Methods Initiative at the University of Amsterdam and the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology starts with a presentation by Richard Rogers on the recent history of digital methods. He points out the gradual transition from a conceptualisation of the Internet and the Web as cyberspace or as a virtual space to an understanding of the Web as inherently linked with the 'real' world: online rather than offline becomes the baseline, and there is an increasing sense of online groundedness.

Some Talks in Oslo ahead of AoIR 2016 in Berlin

I’m on my way to Berlin for this year’s Association of Internet Researchers conference, which will be one of our biggest yet – but on my way I’ve also swung by Oslo to visit my colleagues in the Social Media and Agenda-Setting in Election Campaigns (SAC) project which is now coming to its conclusion. While there I gave a couple of invited talks on my recent research – and the slides from those presentations are now available here.

First, I visited Anders Larsson at Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology, where I outlined my thoughts on what I’ve started to call the second wave of citizen journalism, now taking place through social media. This essentially provides an overview of the key themes in Gatewatching Revisited – the update to my 2005 Gatewatching book which I’m currently writing:

Axel Bruns. “How the Person in the Street Became a Journalist: Social Media and the Second Wave of Citizen Journalism.” Invited presentation at Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology, Oslo, 27 Sep. 2016.

The Experience of Social Time in Mobile Dating Apps

The (very) final speaker at Social Media and Society is Dominic Yeo, whose focus is on mobile dating apps. Such apps have fully arrived in recent years, and are now also incorporating geolocation functionality, for instance. Such apps have been studied from a number of angles, but the dimension of time has been largely ignored: how does the concept of social time affect these mobile-enhanced dating practices?

Gender Biases in the Social Sharing of Academic Research

The next speaker at Social Media and Society is Stefanie Haustein, who begins by highlighting the substantial gender gap in academia – especially at higher levels of employment, but also in academic publishing and citation patterns. Similarly, there was a substantial gender gap online, at least early on, and this has balanced out only in relatively recent times, especially also since the advent of social media (with some social media platforms very substantially female-dominated).

Visual Self-Portrayals of Athletes on Social Media

The final session at Social Media and Society is starting with Ann Pegoraro and Ashleigh-Jane Thompson, whose interest is in the visual coverage and self-presentation of athletes on social media. This can be linked to Goffman's ideas of backstage and frontstage performance, and also tends to play out quite differently depending on the athlete's gender.

The Influence of Community Topics on Network Structures in V Kontakte

The final speaker in this Social Media and Society session is Yuri Rykov, whose focus is on the Russian social network site V Kontakte. What is the structure of online communities on this site? Are they flat, inclusive, and egalitarian, or are they stratified and hierarchical, with clear leadership structures emerging, as a power law distribution would expect? What new light can network analytics shed on these questions?

Intersections between Follower and @mention Networks in the Australian Twittersphere

The next paper in this Social Media and Society session is by my QUT colleague Brenda Moon and me. Our work-in-progress presentation explores how we can connect our long-term data on the structures of follower networks in the Australian Twittersphere with shorter-term comprehensive information on actual posting activity; we are interested how follower networks and @mention networks cross-influence each other. What emerges already from our preliminary work is that different communities of Australian Twitter users appear to exhibit some very different activity patterns, and that some appear more likely to break out of their follower/followee network clusters than others. One of the newer Twitter communities in Australia, teen users, seem to tweet particularly differently from the others.

Slides are below:

One Day in the Life of a National Twittersphere from Axel Bruns


Subscribe to RSS - blogs