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Some Talks in Oslo ahead of AoIR 2016 in Berlin

I’m on my way to Berlin for this year’s Association of Internet Researchers conference, which will be one of our biggest yet – but on my way I’ve also swung by Oslo to visit my colleagues in the Social Media and Agenda-Setting in Election Campaigns (SAC) project which is now coming to its conclusion. While there I gave a couple of invited talks on my recent research – and the slides from those presentations are now available here.

First, I visited Anders Larsson at Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology, where I outlined my thoughts on what I’ve started to call the second wave of citizen journalism, now taking place through social media. This essentially provides an overview of the key themes in Gatewatching Revisited – the update to my 2005 Gatewatching book which I’m currently writing:

Axel Bruns. “How the Person in the Street Became a Journalist: Social Media and the Second Wave of Citizen Journalism.” Invited presentation at Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology, Oslo, 27 Sep. 2016.

Conference Blogging Coming Up

I’m currently on the road again, as part of a trip which has already taken me through Hamburg (for a meeting with our research partners at the Hans-Bredow-Institut) and Göttingen (for the inaugural workshop of our new ATN-DAAD-funded research collaboration with colleagues at the Göttingen Digital Humanities Centre. The latter will focus especially on developing new methods for analysing and visualising social media networks, building on the considerable work we’ve already done in this area – and at the workshop last week we’ve already made good progress towards a few new ideas for what we can do. With my colleagues Jean Burgess and Darryl Woodford I also participated in a public symposium at the GCDH, and I’ll make the slides and audio from our talk available here soon.

Around the World in 28 Days (and 14 Papers)

It’s that time of the year again, when I set off for the usual end-of-year round of conferences – and this year has turned out to be an especially busy one. As I write this, I’m already in Toronto for the inaugural workshop of a Canadian-funded, multi-partner research project on Social Media and Campaigning which is led by Greg Elmer of Ryerson University; this comes at an interesting time, of course, with electioneering south of the border in full swing. We’re already tracking the Twitter performance of both campaigns’ key accounts – more on that as it develops.

My next stop is Helsinki, where I’ve been invited to present two guest lectures to the international Masters students. The first of these will be an update of the keynote “Gatekeeping, Gatewatching, Real-Time Feedback: New Challenges for Journalism”, which I presented at the Brazilian Society of Journalism Researchers last year, and addresses the challenges faced by journalism in an always-on, social media-driven environment; the second presents the work which my Mapping Online Publics colleagues and I have done on “Social Media and Crisis Communication”.

Coming Attractions

It’s that time of the year again – I’m frantically working to get ready for my October overseas trip, which will take me through much of northern Europe. Here’s what’s on the agenda – if you’re in the neighbourhood, say hi (and connect with me on Dopplr to make catching up easier).

My first stop is in Berlin, where we’ve scheduled a couple of workshops for our Mapping Online Publics ARC Discovery team (involving my CCI colleague Jean Burgess as well as our partner researchers Lars Kirchhoff and Thomas Nicolai from Sociomantic Labs). From there, I’m heading on to Bremen and Hamburg, where we’re presenting our blog and Twitter network mapping at the ECREA 2010 conference (Hamburg, 12-15 Oct.) and its Doing Global Media Studies pre-conference (Bremen, 11-12 Oct.). Afterwards, we’re returning for our second round of project workshops with the guys from Sociomantic.

More Travel Coming Up: EDEM 2010

In a few days' time, I'll head off to Europe again, to present at this year's Conference on e-Democracy (EDEM 2010). I really enjoyed the 2009 edition (see the coverage in this blog), and it's hard to believe a whole year has passed already - probably because it hasn't: EDEM 2009 was held in September...

Still, that's not stopped us from developing some new ideas on how to further the 'government 2.0' push which aims to utilise Web 2.0 technologies, social media models, and produsage processes in order to create better engagement and participation between governments and citizens. This year, I'm building on my observations with Jason Wilson about top-down and bottom-up forms of engagement, presented at EDEM 2009, to suggest (in a paper co-authored with Adam Swift) that neither the common government-to-citizen (g2c) nor citizen-to-citizen (c2c) initiatives in the government 2.0 space quite manage to find the right balance, and that we may need to explore the possibility for new, hybrid models in between these poles: we outline what we've called a g4c2c model in which government provides explicit support for, and gets involved in, citizen-to-citizen activities.

Off to Europe

On Tuesday I'm heading off to Europe again, for a whirlwind tour of three conference in three countries within ten days. In combination, they provide a pretty good overview of my current research interests - I'll be presenting what is more or less an English-language version of my paper on prosumption and produsage from the Prosumer Revisited conference in March at a conference called Transforming Audiences in London; from there I'm heading to Vienna for the 2009 Conference on Electronic Democracy to present a paper co-authored with's Jason Wilson which discusses various developments in e-government and e-democracy in Australia (including the DBCDE government consultation blog trial and GetUp!'s Project Democracy); and finally I'm off to Cardiff for the Future of Journalism conference where I'm presenting the outcomes of my interviews with some of the principals behind Germany's successful community news platform (This Future of Journalism conference is not to be confused with the MEAA's somewhat lacklustre series of 'Future of Journalism' talkfests in Australia last year, incidentally...) Along the way, I guess I'll also take a little time off to celebrate my recent promotion to Associate Professor...

Medical Makeover Tourism in South-East Asia

The final speaker in this session at ANZCA 2009 is Michael Galvin, who focusses on a number of trends related to medical tourism and makeover culture. There are now a number of operators offering package travel deals which offer makeover holidays that include tourism, beauty treatment, and cosmetic, elective, or even very serious surgery components - often offering trips to destinations like Malaysia where the costs for such procedures are substantially cheaper.

Websites advertising these services provide brochure-style information about the getaway hotels as well as the hospitals involved, and potential clients are positioned both as potential patient and potential tourist - packages offered include the 'mummy makeover', for example, and describe a fairytale makeover story. (The Singapore tourism board similarly has a special 'Singapore health' brochure.)

Coming Up: Athens and Frankfurt

In just over a week, I'm off to Europe for the first of a number of conference trips this year; as always, I'll try to blog my progress as I go. My first stop is the WebSci '09 conference, where I'm presenting a poster on the background to our blog mapping project (which has already produced papers at the AoIR and ISEA conferences last year, with more to come). Should be interesting, even if it's a lot more (computer and social) science-y than what I'd usually attend. And, they've got Tim Berners-Lee as a keynote speaker - no doubt in honour of yet another anniversary, and one which I didn't even mention in my post the other day: yes, the Web, too, first happened 20 years ago (or at least that's when Sir Tim first proposed his hypertext transfer protocol)!.

Coming Up in October and November

Well, with the Future of Journalism now safely behind us (the event, that is - some reflections at Larvatus Prodeo, and also here later this week, hopefully), it's time to look ahead to other upcoming conferences and talks. I've posted some information about some of these on the site already, so here's a quick summary only. You can also track my progress through these upcoming events at

Produsage Book Update

Externalised 2It's been a while since I've posted anything about my produsage book project - the last update I gave simply consisted of some quick stats about the continuing writing process when I was still on sabbatical with the Comparative Media Studies group at MIT in Boston. Back then, for those of you keeping count, I was almost a fortnight into writing the book itself (following months of research and preparation), and had written about 150,000 words; after another few days, the complete first draft of the manuscript weighed in at a slightly frightening 190,000 words - at that time, something of a worry for a book that was contracted to be around 130,000 words or 325 pages.

Working with some excellent advice from the tireless Steve Jones (who edits the Digital Formations series which the book will be part of) and the good folks at Peter Lang, I'm happy to report that I managed cut the text by what's roughly the equivalent of an MA thesis, and have squeezed the manuscript down to around 165,000 words or almost exactly 400 pages. This wasn't the easiest or happiest process (I love writing, but hate editing), but I'm extremely pleased with the final outcome, and comments from those few colleagues who have read the full manuscript as it now stands have been incredibly positive (more on this over the next few weeks). I've now updated the information about the book on this Website, and I've also uploaded the introductory chapter of the book to give you an idea what it's all about. We've settled on the title Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage now, and we're looking to use one of Ann's paintings as the cover image.


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