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Uses of Blogs

Uses of Blogs

Edited by Axel Bruns and Joanne Jacobs

As the first edited collection of scholarly articles on blogging by experts and practitioners in a wide range of fields, Uses of Blogs offers a broad spectrum of perspectives on current and emerging uses of blogs. While blogging is rapidly developing into a mainstream activity for Internet users, the actual application of blogs in specific contexts has so far been under-explored. Because there are a variety of styles of blogging - from de facto news sites to marketing blogs, blogs as learning tools, writers' drafting blogs, corporate dark blogs and fictional blogs, to name a few - it can be difficult to imagine how blogs might be used in particular environments. This book demonstrates the take-up of blogs and blogging for a number uses in industrial and social contexts.

"This is a broad, but deep look at the social, political, business, and academic effects that blogging is having on our society. Highly recommended!"
-- Robert Scoble, Corporate Blogger, Microsoft Corporation

"We blog, therefore we are players in our own future. Jacobs and Bruns have provided an exciting and useful map to the practices, ethics, and potentials of this most encouraging Internet phenomenon. Highly recommended."
-- Pat Kane, Consultant, Singer, Activist, and Author, The Play Ethic

» see Uses of Blogs for more details
» see the Table of Contents
» read Chapter 1: Introduction (PDF, 132kB)



  • Axel Bruns teaches and conducts research in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. He is co-founder and General Editor of M/C - Media and Culture. Axel has published extensively on new models for content production and editing in online journalism, and is the author of Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production (New York: Peter Lang, 2005), the first comprehensive study of the latest wave of online news publications which employ open source ideals in their use of collaborative production tools.

    He is currently involved in a number of research projects which extend this work to a wider study of produsage-distributed, collaborative, and user-led content production and innovation-in a variety of contexts, also focusing on the question of how to embrace the principles of produsage in the development of engaging learning environments. More information on his research, as well as selected writings can be found on his Website at
  • Joanne Jacobs is a Project Manager at the Australasian Cooperative Research Centre for Interaction Design where she oversees research on collaborative technologies and innovation processes. She is also a private information and communications technology consultant and a Lecturer in the MBA program at the Brisbane Graduate School of Business at Queensland University of Technology.

    Her areas of research expertise are Internet regulation, digital television, social software, electronic publishing, e-marketing and telecommunications policy. In all these areas, her work has focused on participation, diversity and access to the technologies of communication. She has written widely on these areas, and has drawn on her consultancy work to develop practitioner-oriented reviews and guidelines. She has developed policies for both the public and private sector relating to digital delivery and virtual participation, and she has acted in executive roles in a number of organizations in the information and communication industry sector. She is also an advisory member to the National Forum, Inc., publisher of the highly successful On Line Opinion, a Web-based journal of social and political debate. Her blog can be found at


  • Mark Bahnisch is a Sessional Lecturer in Sociology at Griffith University. He plans to submit his PhD thesis in 2005 and has an undergraduate degree in history and politics, and postgraduate qualifications in sociology, industrial relations and political economy. He has published on political and social theory, Australian and international politics, the sociology of deviance, industrial relations, organizational sociology and sociology of religion. Mark has also worked in community organizations and the public sector, and has consulted to the Queensland Government as well as private and public organizations. His blog is located at
  • Jean Burgess is a doctoral candidate in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology,
    Australia. Her doctoral research project "Vernacular Creativity and New Media" investigates the implications of amateur content creation for the politics of cultural participation, focusing particularly on the digital storytelling movement. She regularly lectures and publishes on cultural studies, popular music, and new media. Her Weblog is located at
  • Suw Charman is a renowned social software expert who specializes in the application of blogs and wikis in business. An independent consultant, she works with companies in the UK and America advising on the use of blogs both behind the firewall and as marketing and external communications tools. Suw frequently speaks at conferences and seminars, and is currently writing a book on dark blogs.

    A well known blogger, Suw keeps a number of blogs, including Chocolate and Vodka, Strange Attractor, and Blogiculum Vitae. She is also Executive Director of the Open Rights Group, a British digital rights organization.
  • Jaz Hee-jeong Choi is a PhD candidate in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology. Her research interests are in digital communication, particularly the ways in which various forms of digital communication are developed, established, and utilized in an Asian context. Her current research is a triangulation study of Japan, South Korea, and the People's Republic of China. The study explores how popular culture is communicated across these cultures in the digital realm, and investigates the circumstantiality and potentiality of this rapidly evolving cultural network based on their common techno-cultural and communicative denominators. Her Website is located at
  • Trevor Cook is a director with Jackson Wells Morris, a Sydney PR firm, where he has worked for the past decade. Trevor is an honours graduate in economics and spent 15 years working in national government as a researcher, policy adviser and program director.

    Trevor has been blogging since November 2003, and his main blog is Corporate Engagement. In 2004 he initiated Global PR Blog Week, now an annual event.
  • James Farmer is an education designer and social software consultant living and working in Melbourne, Australia. He co-organised the first blogging conference in the southern hemisphere, "Blogtalk Downunder", runs the blog consultancy Blogsavvy, and is the founder of the blogging services, and

    In his spare time he researches and lectures in education design at Deakin University and occasionally manages to fit in a walk by the river and some very amateur DIY. He finds it a bit strange writing about himself in the third person, but does it anyway. His blog is located at
  • Brian Fitzgerald is a well-known intellectual property and information technology lawyer and Professor and Head of the Law School at Queensland University of Technology. He is co-editor of one of Australia's leading texts on e-commerce, software and the Internet-Going Digital 2000-and has published articles on Law and the Internet in Australia, the United States, Europe, Nepal, India, Canada and Japan. His latest (co-authored) books are Cyberlaw: Cases and Materials on the Internet, Digital Intellectual Property and E Commerce (2002); Jurisdiction and the Internet (2004); and Intellectual Property in Principle (2004). Over the past four years Brian has delivered seminars on information technology and intellectual property law in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, Nepal, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Norway and the Netherlands.

    Brian is also a Chief Investigator in the newly awarded ARC Centre of Excellence on Creative Industries and Innovation at QUT. His current projects include work on digital copyright issues across the areas of Open Content Licensing and the Creative Commons, Free and Open Source Software, Fan Based Production of Computer Games, Licensing of Digital Entertainment and Anti-Circumvention Law. Brian is a Project Leader for Creative Commons in Australia. From 1998-2002 Brian was Head of the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University in New South Wales, Australia and in January 2002 was appointed as Head of the School of Law at QUT in Brisbane, Australia. His Website is located at
  • Gerard Goggin is an ARC Australian Research Fellow at the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Queensland, who has published widely on Internet, mobiles and disability. He is author of Cell Phone Culture: Mobile Technology in Everyday Life (Routledge, 2006) and Digital Disability: The Social Construction of Disability in New Media (with Christopher Newell; Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), as well as editor of Virtual Nation: The Internet in Australia (University of NSW Press, 2004). His Website is located at
  • Alexander Halavais is an Assistant Professor of informatics and communication at the University at Buffalo (State University of New York). He directs the Masters in Informatics program, which addresses the social and organizational aspects of information and communication technologies. His research looks at "social computing" and its impact on social change, journalism, education, and public policy. He has recently edited a reader, Cyberporn & Society, and teaches a popular undergraduate course on the same topic. His blog may be found at
  • Paul Hodkinson is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Surrey, where he teaches on the Sociology, Culture and Media programme. His research has consistently been concerned with the relationship between media and patterns of individual and collective identity among young people. Such issues are explored via a comprehensive reworking of the notion of subculture in his book Goth: Identity, Style and Subculture (Berg, 2002), a publication which gave rise to numerous national media reviews and interviews. He has also published journal papers and book chapters focused upon the implications of Internet communication for the form taken by contemporary youth cultures. Paul is one of the co-convenors of the British Sociological Association Youth Study Group and recently co-organised the 'Young People and New Technologies' conference at the University of Northampton in the United Kingdom. More information about Paul and his work is available at
  • Adrian Miles is a Lecturer in Cinema and New Media at RMIT University, Melbourne, and was formally Senior Researcher in New Media at the InterMedia Lab, University of Bergen. He is an internationally recognized theorist and creator of hypermedia, and his academic work has been published in numerous peer reviewed publications. He also is a networked interactive video developer, and his applied projects have been exhibited internationally.

    Adrian's research practice concentrates on hypermedia, interactive narrative, and the development of media annotation tools to facilitate audiovisual research in humanities contexts. He has a specific theoretical interest
    in link poetics and conceptualizing an aesthetics of interactive video. This work utilizes the cinema theory of Gilles Deleuze and seeks to apply it in novel ways to rethink notions of interactivity, the user, and the text. His creative practice explores the aesthetics and affordances of networked, distributed video and the possibilities for new forms of distribution and expression that this may enable. His blog is located at
  • Tim Noonan holds a B.A. in cognitive psychology and special education. He has specialised in the disabilities/technology field for over 20 years, with a strong focus on accessible and useable design. Since 1995 Tim has consulted widely to Industry, Government and NGOs through SoftSpeak Consulting. He is a frequent guest on radio and TV where he engagingly examines issues of social inclusion and access to information and emerging technologies.
  • Ian Oi is a partner at Corrs Chambers Westgarth lawyers in Canberra, Australia. His practice focuses on intellectual property, information technology and telecommunications, and strategic procurement. Formerly a senior attorney and negotiator with IBM in Australia and a special counsel with another large Australian firm, Ian has extensive experience advising on these areas for clients in the public and private sectors. He has acted for suppliers and customers in some of Australia's most significant technology-related projects in recent times, and has particular expertise in dealing with large outsourcing transactions, complex software development, IP commercialization, and open source software and open content development, management and distribution.

    Ian is regularly invited to speak around Australia on issues in the above areas. His recent presentations have been on topics such as government procurement after the Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, recent developments in online contracting, open source software projects in the Australian public sector, the legal implications for electronic archival initiatives of "digital amnesia", and Creative Commons initiatives in Australia. More information about his work can be found at
  • John Quiggin is a Federation Fellow and Professor in Economics and Political Science at the University of Queensland. He is prominent both as a research economist and as a commentator on Australian economic policy. He has published over 750 research articles, books and reports in fields including environmental economics, risk analysis, production economics, and the theory of economic growth. He has also written on policy topics including unemployment policy, micro-economic reform, privatization, competitive tendering and the management of the Murray-Darling river system.

    John has been an active contributor to Australian public debate in a wide range of media. He is a regular columnist for the Australian Financial Review, to which he also contributes review and feature articles. He frequently comments on policy issues for radio and TV. He was one of the first Australian academics to present publications on a Website (now at In 2002, he commenced publication of a Weblog (now at providing daily comments on a wide range of topics.
  • Douglas Rushkoff is the winner of the first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity. He is an author, teacher, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other's values. He sees "media" as the landscape where this interaction takes place, and "literacy" as the ability to participate consciously in it. His ten best-selling books on new media and popular culture have been translated to over thirty languages. They include Cyberia, Media Virus, Playing the Future, Nothing Sacred: The Truth about Judaism, and Coercion, winner of the Marshall McLuhan Award for best media book. Rushkoff also wrote the acclaimed novels Ecstasy Club and Exit Strategy and graphic novel, Club Zero-G. He has just finished a book for HarperBusiness, applying renaissance principles to today's complex economic landscape, Get Back in the Box: Innovation from the Inside Out.

    Rushkoff founded the Narrative Lab at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, and lectures about media, art, society, and change at conferences and universities around the world. He is Advisor to the United Nations Commission on World Culture, on the Board of Directors of the Media Ecology Association, The Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, and as a founding member of Technorealism. He has been awarded Senior Fellowships by the Markle Foundation and the Center for Global Communications Fellow of the International University of Japan. His Website and Weblog can be found at
  • Jane B. Singer is an Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa, USA. Her teaching and research interests are primarily in the area of online journalism, particularly the intersection of print and interactive media. She is especially interested in the sociology of online news work, or the people and processes behind the creation of online news, as well as in journalism ethics and political news coverage. Her research has appeared in a variety of publications, including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism Studies, and Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism. She currently is a contributing editor to Media Ethics magazine, and an editorial board member of Journalism Studies and the Journal of Mass Media Ethics.

    Jane's professional experience includes 10 years in the editorial department of what evolved into the Prodigy service. She was Prodigy's first news manager, in charge of one of the first around-the-clock news products ever to be delivered to people's homes through a computer. She also has five years experience as a reporter and editor at three East Coast U.S. newspapers. Singer holds a Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, an M.A. in liberal studies from New York University, and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Georgia. Her Website is located at
  • Angela Thomas is a Lecturer in English Education at the University of Sydney. Her research interests include young people's digital worlds, online role-playing, virtual identity, digital literature and literacies, and feminism and media studies. Recent publications include: e-Selves: Cyberkids, Literacy and Identity (2006); Digital Literacies (2006, with Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel); and Children's Literature and Computer Based Teaching (2005, with Len Unsworth, Alyson Simpson and Jennifer Asha). Her blog is located at

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