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Revisiting Produsage

Things have been quiet on this site as I’ve been busy with other work, related only loosely to the idea of produsage,  but I’m currently at a PhD symposium in Copenhagen where I’ve been invited to present an update on my work on produsage. Here, I’ve revisited the fundamental concept of produsage and made the link to my current work on the uses of social media, especially in a journalistic context. Slides and audio below:

New Produsage Articles

Hello produsers – it’s been too long. I’m afraid I’ve been sidetracked with other research projects and haven’t had much time to update this blog – but at least I wanted to post a quick update to point to a couple new publications.

My new article on produsage and business, published in Information, Communication, and Society, extends my thoughts on how community and commerce may be able to co-exist alongside one another:

Axel Bruns. “Reconciling Community and Commerce? Collaboration between Produsage Communities and Commercial Operators.Information, Communication & Society 15 May 2012. DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2012.680482.

Special Issue on Produsage

imageThe past few months have been incredibly busy with other projects (see here, for example), so I haven’t had a time to post the latest news from produsage world yet. Most importantly, the special issue of New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia that Jan Schmidt and I have co-edited is finally out now!

Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards: Call for Expressions of Interest

I’m afraid this blog is going through a slow period again as I catch up with a backlog of work. I did want to pass on some information on this exciting postdoc opportunity in Media & Communication at Queensland University of Technology, though: we’ve recently been ranked as the leading media research institution in Australia (“well above world standard”), and we’re now calling for expressions of interest from researchers who are interested in joining our team under the new Discovery Early Career Researcher Award scheme.

More information, and details for the key QUT people to contact, below. On a personal note – I’d be especially interested in postdoc researchers looking to explore aspects of produsage, social media, and online journalism, and I’d be happy to chat to you informally about a potential application before you contact my QUT colleagues.

Produsage and Its Links to Business

I’m currently travelling in northern Europe to attend a number of conferences – and along the way, I’m also presenting a number of guest lectures on produsage. This extends on the book itself, combining it with the outcomes of my work for the Smart Services CRC, to explore the connections between community produsage and commercial operations at what we might call the pro-am interface. It’s an updated version of the presentations I gave at the JMRC in Sydney last year.

Here’s the presentation, with audio from my talk at Metropolia University in Helsinki on 28 Oct. 2010. I also presented a shorter version of this talk at the University of Göteborg on 20 October, and will do the same at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels in a few days, on 3 November. My sincere thanks to Robert Arpo at Metropolia, Oscar Westlund at Göteborg, and Gert Nulens at Brussels for their invitations and hospitality!

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:

More Travel Coming Up: EDEM 2010

(Crossposted from

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 on, 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.

Clouds and Crowds: Tracking the Impact of Eyjafjallajökull from the Grassroots

One of the more interesting things to happen for me as a result of the air traffic turmoil caused by the volcanic ash clouds from Eyjafjallajökull - other than fretting about my chances of getting to Europe as planned at the start of May (I'm now cautiously optimistic, though hardly because of Qantas's handling of the situation) - was that I discovered the Flightradar24 site, through a link on my colleague Jo Jacobs's blog. What a powerful demonstration of the power of crowdsourced geodata mashups!

If you haven't seen this site yet - go there! It's the kind of user-generated information resource which only a few years ago we couldn't even have dreamt of, but which now relies on no more than the willingness of a few dozen users world-wide to invest a reasonably modest sum in hardware, and of a few hundred more (I'm guessing) to contribute their time to develop the system and curate the data it relies on.

Flightradar24 aims to track - mainly commercial - aircraft, live, as they fly their various routes around the world, and while its coverage to date is mainly focussed on Europe (with a few contributions from the Americas, South Asia, and Australia), for that continent it does exceptionally well. There's no unauthorised use of data involved here - in the first place, the site simply relies on commercially available devices that receive the transponder information (flight number, aircraft type, height, speed, position, etc.) which is constantly transmitted by commercial airliners - and a few others, such as the planes of the Australian Royal Flying Doctors Service.

Flying Visit to Perth and Adelaide

(Crossposted from

There's a fair amount of travelling coming up for me over the next few months - and as always, where I'm attending conferences I'll endeavour to cover them on (though a good part of my travels in May is for personal reasons, so don't expect too much - a few tweets here and there, perhaps).

First, though, I'm off to Perth and Adelaide next week to speak at the State Libraries of Western Australia (on 28 April) and South Australia (on 30 April) . In a talk I'm calling "Outreach and Co-Curation: Engaging with Library Users", I'll explore how libraries and librarians may use social media to connect and collaborate with library users - this updates my keynote at the ARLIS conference a couple of years ago and also builds on the social media reports I've written for the Smart Services CRC. Ultimately, what this points to is the significant potential for librarians and library users to engage in a shared practice of co-curating information and knowledge: importing and adapting produsage approaches into library practice, and in the process perhaps opening up new user communities for our libraries. I've already posted the Powerpoint here - and all going well, I'll add the audio from the presentation later on as well. UPDATE: The audio from the SLSA talk is now online as well. Thanks again to the SLSA and SLWA folks for organising the event!

Wikipedia: Some Thoughts on Inclusionists vs. Deletionists

One of the major sites of produsage which I examined in Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond was Wikipedia, of course. I continue to think that relative to its major impact on how we deal with information, Wikipedia remains curiously underresearched - especially so if you consider the vast number of individual language-specific Wikipedias which exist today. That's not to belittle the work that has been done - but for a site which sits alongside Google, Facebook, and only a handful of others in a very rarefied category of real gamechangers, we simply haven't seen the amount of scholarly publications about it that we should rightfully expect to see.


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