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Research Projects

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.

Approaches to Interdisciplinary Research

The first main session at the COST298 conference is on interdisciplinary design, and begins with a presentation by James Stewart and Laurence Claeys. They ask how speculative research for innovation can be conducted within interdisciplinary frameworks. Problem here include that different disciplines work within very different time scales (e.g. rapid prototyping vs. long-term observation of users), that they use different mental models, and that disciplines tend to under-value one another and misuse one another's research approaches.

Online Learning and Teaching Conference 2006

On the day before AoIR2006, I presented at the Online Learning and Teaching conference at QUT. I'm happy to report that the two conference papers for OLT2006 that I was involved in have now been published on the conference Website - here are the references:

Rachel Cobcroft, Stephen Towers, Judith Smith, and Axel Bruns. "Mobile Learning in Review: Opportunities and Challenges for Learners, Teachers, and Institutions." In Proceedings of the Online Learning and Teaching Conference 2006, Brisbane: Queensland University of Technology.

Participatory Journalism and Citizen Engagement in Australian Public Communication

As I arrived back in Brisbane, there was good news relating to my research work waiting for me here. Some time ago, we'd put in a proposal for a Linkage grant project to the Australian Research Council - and after a considerable waiting period, Linkage outcomes were finally announced a couple of weeks ago. So, I'm happy to report that our participatory news project has finally received the go-ahead (and the $380,000 of funding over four years attached to it) from the ARC. This is a project for which I'll be a co-Chief Investigator with my QUT colleagues Terry Flew and Stuart Cunningham - and our industry partners are SBS, National Forum, the Brisbane Institute, and Cisco Systems. I'm particularly looking forward to working with SBS on this, who (in addition to being the Australian home of football) are also one of the most innovative and responsible broadcast organisations in Australia.


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:

Produsers and Produsage

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 and Blogging

Key Publications:

  • Book: Uses of Blogs (New York: Peter Lang, 2008), eds. Axel Bruns & Joanne Jacobs

Research Projects:

  • Mapping the Australian political blogosphere
  • Participatory Journalism and Citizen Engagement

Related Topics:

edgeX - Mapping the Missing Grassroots

edgeX is a research project funded by the Australian Research Council under the ARC Linkage programme. It was developed by Liz Ferrier (UQ Ipswich) and myself; the other chief investigators in the team are Jo Tacchi (QUT), Dave Rooney and Phil Graham (UQ Ipswich), and our postdoctoral research Sal Humphreys. Our industry partner for the project is the Ipswich City Council. The official ARC title for this research project is "Mapping the Missing Grassroots: Ethnographic Action Study of Local Grassroots Broadband Content (Co-) Creation and Consumption", and the project officially commenced at the start of 2006.


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