Dr Axel Bruns is an ARC Future Fellow and Professor in the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. He was a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCi), and a Senior Researcher in the Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre.
Bruns is the author of Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage (2008) and Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production (2005), and the editor of The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics (2016), Twitter and Society (2014), A Companion to New Media Dynamics (2013), and Uses of Blogs (2006).
Bruns's current work focusses on the study of user participation in social media spaces such as Twitter, and on the development of new research methodologies and conceptual frameworks for such research. He has published extensively in this area, and documents his social media research activities at Mapping Online Publics as well as on the site of QUT's Social Media Research Group, which he leads.
Bruns has coined the term produsage to better describe the current paradigm shift towards user-led forms of collaborative content creation which are proving to have an increasing impact on media, economy, law, social practices, and democracy itself. Produsage provides a new approach to conceptualising these phenomena by avoiding the traditional assumptions associated with industrial-age production models. For more information about the produsage concept, see Produsage.org.
His study of these environments builds on his work in the area of participatory or citizen journalism and blogging. Bruns developed the concept of gatewatching to describe the processes by which user communities in blogs and social media cover and curate the news, and he continues to investigate alternative and emerging forms of journalistic practice.
Bruns's research interests are in social media analytics, 'big social data' research, news and journalism studies, produsage (or collaborative user-led content development), social media mapping, blogging, citizen journalism, online publishing, and online communities. He has published a variety of articles in these fields, many of which can be found at snurb.info and Produsage.org. He also contributes to the Mapping Online Publics blog on social media mapping, with Jean Burgess, and the Social Media Research Group Website; he tweets as @snurb_dot_info.
In 1997, Bruns was a co-founder of the premier online academic publisher M/C - Media and Culture, which publishes M/C Journal and M/C Reviews, and he continues to serve as M/C's General Editor. In 2000, he co-founded dotlit: The Online Journal of Creative Writing with Donna Lee Brien and Philip Neilsen from QUT's Creative Writing and Cultural Studies discipline. He also serves on the editorial advisory boards of the journals New Media & Society, Information, Communication, and Society, Social Media + Society, Digital Journalism, the Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Media Innovations, the International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, and the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research.