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ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation

Call for Applications: CCI Digital Methods Summer School, 15-19 Feb. 2016 (#cciss16)

We are now inviting applications for the 2016 CCI Digital Methods Summer School. The deadline for application is Monday 21 Sep. 2016.

Hosted by the QUT Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC), the 2016 event will focus on digital methods for sociocultural research. It is designed for university researchers at all stages of their careers, from doctoral students, postdoctoral and mid-career academics to established scholars.

The week-long intensive program will focus on new quantitative, qualitative and data-driven digital methods and their research applications in the humanities and social sciences, with a particular focus on media, communication and cultural studies and their applications in the creative industries.

Participants will work with leading researchers, engage in hands-on workshop activities and will have the opportunity to present and get feedback on their own work.

The Summer School will offer a range of introductory hands-on workshops in topics such as:

  • Digital ethnography
  • Issue mapping
  • Social media data analytics
  • Software and mobile app studies
  • Analysing visual social media
  • Geo-spatial mapping
  • Data visualisation
  • Agent-based modelling
  • Web scraping

The program will be conceptually grounded in the problems of public communication and privacy, digital media production and consumption, and the ethical issues associated with big data and digital methods in the context of digital media environments. There will be talks on these topics in addition to the workshops.

Introducing the Companion to New Media Dynamics

I’m delighted to announce the completion of another major project: Blackwell has just published A Companion to New Media Dynamics, edited by my CCI colleagues John Hartley, Jean Burgess, and me. The title of this substantial volume may seem a little strange at first – why not just “… to New Media”? –, but with this collection we aimed specifically to highlight new media as a set of dynamic, evolving, and sometimes elusive practices rather than a static, easily defined thing.

The volume brings together contributions from a long list of researchers in the field, and combines international research leaders with key emerging scholars who will drive the next generation of new media and Internet research. But don’t take my word for it – take Toby Miller’s: “We are fortunate indeed to have this tour d'horizon of young and middle-aged media across Europe, North America, and Asia. It features an array of established and emergent writers whose clear prose and thorough research mark out their work.”

My own chapter in the book provides a historical overview of the development of personal presence online: it charts the course of evolution from hand-coded homepages to social network profiles, taking in a few detours and possible dead ends (GeoCities, anyone?) along the way. My sense is that there’s a continuing struggle between experimentation and standardisation which has had us oscillating between these two extremes; at the moment, the relative rigidity of Facebook and Twitter profile templates places us closer towards the standardised, “one size fits all” end. Perhaps it’s time for the pendulum to swing back again soon?

Here’s a complete list of chapters:

Twitter and the #qldfloods

Twelve months ago Brisbane, and the South East Queensland region, were just about to begin the long process of recovery from the major floods which affected Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley, Ipswich, and Brisbane itself. One of the more positive stories to emerge from the crisis, though, was how social media were used as a tool for sharing news and information about the disaster, and for assisting locals with organising the (significantly volunteer-driven) relief and recovery effort.

To document these uses – especially of Twitter, though Facebook was also important –, we’ve now released a major research report through the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, as an outcome from our overall efforts in researching the uses of Twitter and developing tools and methods for such research, which we’re sharing over on the Mapping Online Publics site. The report is available here.

A Call to Action on Social Media Archiving (and More)

Briefly back in Australia, yesterday I went down to Sydney to speak at the Australian Society of Archivists’ 2011 Symposium (staged at the fabulous Luna Park venue). My paper was meant as an urgent call to action on the question of archiving public activities in social media spaces – so much material which will be of immense value to future researchers is being lost every day if we don’t get our act together very soon; we can’t wait for the lumbering beast that is the U.S. Library of Congress to do the job for us, however fulsomely they’ve promised to archive the full public Twitter firehose. The truth is, here in Australia we already have the technologies for capturing and archiving large datasets of public communication on Twitter and elsewhere – but someone with the necessary public standing and archivist expertise (the National Library, the National Archives, …) must now take the initiative; the sooner, the better.

My paper (with audio) is below:

Introducing a Theory of Acute Events

The next session at AoIR 2011 is our own, fabulous panel on crisis communication. We begin with an overview paper by my CCI colleagues Jean Burgess and Kate Crawford, who introduce the idea of acute events. Kate begins by outlining the idea of media ecologies involving a wide range of different media platforms, and their specific performance during acute events (such as crises, but also a range of similar events).

Jean follows on by defining acute events as significant real-world events which are associated with intense bursts in media activity – from political elections to royal weddings, from celebrity deaths to natural disasters. We can identify acute events on the basis of their timeline: a sharp peak of high volume and identity (whether locally or globally); highly mediated, involving multiple actors and interests; on Twitter, coordinated around specific #hashtags; and producing controversies and other adjunctive conversations associated more broadly with the topic.

Call for PhD Applications: ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation

It’s that time of the year again: my research centre, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI), is calling for applications from prospective PhD students (and while this call focusses on PhDs, Masters and Honours applications are also due around the same time…). Undertaking your PhD at the CCI means you will be working with world class researchers who can offer supervision of the highest standards. Our research activities cover a broad range of emerging issues, themes and projects across the entertainment and creative industries including innovation and policy development; significant project collaborations with Asia; a major project looking at broadband services; mapping the creative industries; IP law; a global cultural futures study and other projects which engage community and industry partners in creative industries from major film studios to the Salvation Army and ‘at-risk’ young people working as media co-creators. visit the CCI Projects Page at to find out more about the Centre’s activities. There are a broad range of research opportunities available across the CCI’s member organisations in Australia, and I encourage you to have a look at the Website for the full details – application deadlines vary from university to university. Successful PhD projects would start in early 2011.

For applications to my university – Queensland University of Technology, based in Brisbane, Australia –, the relevant application deadlines are 30 September 2010 for international students, and 15 Oct. 2010 for domestic students.

Overall, I am interested in PhD applications from anyone with a research interest in the broad areas of produsage, Web 2.0, and social media, either in general or with a specific focus on fields and technologies including blogs, citizen journalism, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, social network analysis, government 2.0, or related themes. If any of those themes are of interest to you, please get in touch.

In addition to these broader themes, we’re also calling specifically for expressions of interest for a number of concrete research projects. In my own case, these are related to our research into mapping Australian online publics which will examine interactions across blogs, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr, which we’re undertaking as part of an ARC Discovery project, and to our work researching our changing media ecologies. For these projects, we’re particularly interested in expressions of interest from potential students who operate in the following areas:

Second Call for PhD Applications: Centre for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCi)

I posted this call for PhD research applications in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation a couple of weeks ago, but with the avalanche of conference posts that followed it I thought it might be worth repeating the call. Also, I've now added a further research opportunity in an area which I have a particular interest in (and for which I'll be the principal contact): we're very keen to receive applications from potential PhD students interested in exploring future avenues in public broadcasting in collaboration with the Australian ABC.

One key question in this context is the connection between traditional public broadcasting models and the embrace of user-generated content, which the ABC and other public broadcasters have engaged in more or less actively, and this is closely connected to my own research interests in produsage and social media as well as the work we've done at QUT on the future of public broadcasters. So, if anyone reading this is interested, please contact me (and soon - applications for Australian international students close on 30 September, for international Australian students on 9 October)! (Oops - but at least the dates were correct in the information below.)

Overall, too, as I said in the previous call for applications, there are some fantastic research opportunities here - specific areas, and contact details for the various CCi researchers, are listed below:

Call for PhD Applications: Centre for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCi)

OK, taking time out from reporting on the Transforming Audiences conference briefly to address another matter (and in order for this post not to be swamped by day two of the conference and the upcoming conference blogging from Vienna and Cardiff, I may repeat it in a week or so): the next round of PhD applications at QUT is coming up, and this time we're especially calling for prospective PhD students who are interested in working on research projects in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, in collaboration with our various industry partners. There are some fantastic research opportunities here - specific areas, and contact details for the various CCi researchers, are listed below:

Queensland University of Technology
ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI)
Research Higher Degree Project Opportunities

September 2009 Scholarship Round

If you are considering applying for a scholarship in the current September round to pursue postgraduate research studies you may wish to consider connecting with projects we have in development here at the Centre (CCI) and pursue your studies with us at QUT. These projects will link you with industry, government or other partners in order to enhance your networks, the applications of your research, and potentially open up career opportunities as a result of your studies.

Job Opportunity: Researcher / PhD on ABC Pool Project

I'm currently developing an ongoing research relationship with the ABC's fabulous site for user-generated content - and as a first step in this, I am now looking for a researcher to work with Pool staff at the ABC in Sydney. The successful applicant will participate in overseeing and coordinating the activities of the Pool user community, and examine practices and dynamics within the community. (More information on Pool and its future development are available in a recent ACID report.)

Initially, this will be a part-time (two days per week) research assistant job from September to December 2009. On the basis of this lead-up work, we also expect the researcher to submit a competitive application for a full-time PhD scholarship from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCi) at QUT, on a project negotiated between the researcher, the CCi, and the ABC which further extends this community research and applies its insights into strategies for the further development of the Pool site.

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