The focus of my research is mainly in Internet studies. In particular, I investigate collaborative and user-led environments for content production and social networking across a variety of domains and contexts, as well as examining related areas - such as the intellectual property framework especially for distributed, user-led, digital environments, and the impact of mobile and wireless technologies on these fields. Key research areas include:
My research into user-led content production, or produsage, investigates the changed content production value chain model in collaborative online environments: in these environments, a strict producer/consumer dichotomy no longer applies - instead, users are almost always also able to be producers of content, and often necessarily so in the very act of using it.
Blogs are a major new publishing genre - their use is currently being explored in fields ranging from education to corporate communication, in addition to already established fields such as diary-style blogs and news-related blogging. The blogosphere is also an example for a massively distributed produsage environment, of course.
Partly in response to the shortcomings of the established journalism industry, the last decade saw the emergence of a new range of collaboratively produced online news sites providing an alternative to the mainstream. These citizen journalism publications build on gatewatching practices to publicise newsworthy information, which is further discussed, debated, and developed by users after publication, turning the news process into an ever-unfinished, dialogic and deliberative conversation between peers.
The emerging user-led environment requires new skills, literacies, and capacities of learners and practitioners, and needs new approaches to teaching in order to help students build these capacities. What's required now is a C5C model, which focusses especially on creative, critical, collaborative, combinatory, and communicative capacities.