My broad research interests include digital divides and digital media literacy, privacy in online contexts, mediated interpersonal interaction, the political economy of the social web and other internet applications, online journalism and the interconnections between new media, the mass medias and politics.
My principal current research project is on the theme of "New Authorships". Its purpose is to understand how what it means to be an author and the practices of authorship and publishing may be changing in the UK in response to new digital technologies and organizations. These are enabling new online spaces for reading and collaborative editing, new forms of creative writing including hyperlinks and multimedia and new means of publication including ebooks and print on demand. For this project, amateur creative writers who are using these new digital tools - “new authors” will be interviewed to discover how they perceive their relationships with their readers and with the publishing industry. Workers in the publishing industry will also be interviewed to assess how they perceive “new authors” and the new forms of publication that are emerging.
Brake, D. R. (in preparation) Sharing Our Lives Online: Risks and Exposure in Social Media, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. (scheduled publication date 2014)
Brake, D. R. (2013). Are we all online content creators now? Web 2.0 and digital divides. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. doi: 10.1111/jcc4.12042
Brake, D. R. (2013) "Journalists, User Generated Content and Digital Divides" in Br(e)aking the News, (Gordon, J., G. Stewart and P. Rowinski eds) Peter Lang, Oxford, UK.
Brake, D. R. (2012). "Who Do They Think They're Talking To? Framings of the Audience by Social Media Users". International Journal of Communication, 6.
Livingstone, S. and D. Brake (2010) "On the Rapid Rise of Social Networking Sites: New Findings and Policy Implications", Children and Society 24(1), 75-83.
Brake, D. (2008) "Shaping the ‘Me’ in Myspace: The Framing of Profiles on a Social Network Site" in Digital Storytelling, Mediatized Stories: Self-Representations in New Media, (Lundby, K. ed.) Peter Lang, New York, pp. 285-300.
Brake, D. (2008) "Personal Publishing" in The International Encyclopedia of Communication, (Donsbach, W. ed.) Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK and Malden, MA, pp. 3571-3572.
Brake, D. (2007) "Personal Webloggers and Their Audiences: Who Do They Think They Are Talking To?" in Personal Media: Life between Screens / Personlige Medier [original in Norwegian, linked PDF in English], (Luders, M., L. Proitz and T. Rasmussen eds) Gyldendal, Oslo, pp. 141-163.
Alvi, I., et al. (2007) "Meeting Their Potential: The Role of Education and Technology in Overcoming Disadvantage and Disaffection in Young People" BECTA Coventry, UK.
Hargrave, A. M. and S. Livingstone (2007) "Harm and Offence in Media Content: Updating the 2005 Review" Ofcom http://www.ofcom.org.uk/research/telecoms/reports/byron/annex6.pdf
Livingstone, S. and A. M. Hargrave (2006) Harm and Offence in Media Content: A Review of the Evidence, Intellect, Bristol. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/5225/
Brake, D. (2006) "Chat Rooms, Bulletin Boards, Electronic Games Effects" in Encyclopedia of Children, Adolescents, and the Media, (Arnett, J. J. ed.) Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA. http://www.sagepub.com/refbooksProdDesc.nav?prodId=Book226757Brake, D. (2005) "Book Review: Cyberprotest: New Media, Citizens and Social Movements", New Media & Society,7 (3), p. 425. http://nms.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/7/3/423
This thesis is now available online via the LSE's eprints archive and on Google Books and is Creative Commons licensed (BY-NC)
This thesis examines the understandings and meanings of personal blogging from the perspective of blog authors. The theoretical framework draws on a symbolic interactionist perspective, focusing on how meaning is constructed through blogging practices, supplemented by theories of mediation and critical technology studies. The principal evidence in this study is derived from an analysis of in-depth interviews with bloggers selected to maximise their diversity based on the results of an initial survey. This is supplemented by an analysis of personal blogging’s technical contexts and of various societal influences that appear to influence blogging practices.
Bloggers were found to have limited interest in gathering information about their readers, appearing to rely instead on an assumption that readers are sympathetic. Although personal blogging practices have been framed as being a form of radically free expression, they were also shown to be subject to potential biases including social norms and the technical characteristics of blogging services. Blogs provide a persistent record of a blogger’s practice, but the bloggers in this study did not generally read their archives or expect others to do so, nor did they retrospectively edit their archives to maintain a consistent self-presentation.
The empirical results provide a basis for developing a theoretical perspective to account for blogging practices. This emphasises firstly that a blogger’s construction of the meaning of their practice can be based as much on an imagined and desired social context as it is on an informed and reflexive understanding of the communicative situation. Secondly, blogging practices include a variety of envisaged audience relationships, and some blogging practices are essentially self-directed with potential audiences playing a marginal role. Blogging’s technical characteristics and the social norms surrounding blogging practices appear to enable and reinforce this unanticipated lack of engagement with audiences. This perspective contrasts with studies of computer mediated communication that suggest bloggers would monitor their audiences and present themselves strategically to ensure interactions are successful in their terms. The study also points the way towards several avenues for further research including a more in-depth consideration of the neglected structural factors (both social and technical) which potentially influence blogging practices, and an examination of social network site use practices using a similar analytical approach.
|11-13 April, 2012
||Africa-UK Journalism Education Exchange Network, Luton
“Africanised” New Media Training into Journalism Education
|11-13 January 2012
||Media, Communication and Cultural Studies in UK Higher Education
and Digital Divides: Interviewing the Taxi Driver 2.0
|14-17 July 2011
|| International Association of Media and Communications
Researchers, Istanbul, Turkey
Authorship: Amateur authorship, digital media and the field of
|18-22 July, 2010
2010 Braga Portugal
digital consumption to production and interaction: a new agenda
for digital inclusion and education
|22-26 June, 2010
Communications Association: Singapore
visions of absent audiences
|6-8 January 2010
right contexts for virtual ethnography
|21-24 Jul 2009||Transforming
of self-presentation: dimensions of potential harm to content
|4-5 Jun 2009||Digital Cultures Workshop: Social Media Publics||‘As if nobody’s reading’: personal bloggers' imagined audiences|
|26-28 May 2009||The Work of Life Writing||‘As if nobody’s reading’: personal bloggers' imagined audiences|
|2007||Transforming Audiences, London, UK||Personal webloggers and their audiences - one medium, many communicative contexts|
Constructing a purposive interview sample of bloggers
|2007||International Communications Association, San Francisco||Filling the 'About Me' Box: Questioning the centrality of self reflection in online identity-related spaces|
|2007||Inter-University Graduate Conference, London UK||The evolution of identity and its expression: From ascribed to freely created and back again?|
|2007||Poke 1.0 - A Facebook research symposium, London, UK|
|2005||MeCCSA Postgraduate Network Conference 2005||Private lives lived in public: weblogs and the performance of self|
|2005||Association of Internet Researchers 6 (Chicago)|
|2004||Joint Westminster, Goldsmith, LSE, City Doctoral Symposium||Who's Reading My Home Page? Approaches to the Micro-Audience|
|2004||Association of Internet Researchers 5 (Sussex)|
|Aug 2003||MSc Dissertation|| Missing the
Factors shaping the political use of the Internet among UK activists
Citizenship and the Media (Professor Stephen Coleman)
and Deliberative Democracy:
How do technology and democracy interact?
|Feb 2003||Do the new digital media enable wider participation in the public sphere?|
Theories and Concepts in Media and Communications
newer media require a different analysis
of power relations as compared to older media?
Introna, L. D. and H. Nissenbaum (2000) "Shaping the Web: Why the Politics of Search Engines Matters", The Information Society, 16 (3), pp. 169-185(17).
and Lawrence, S. and C. L. Giles (1998) "Searching the World Wide Web ", Science, 280 (5360), pp. 98-100.
The article most cited is Lost in Cyberspace which is gone from New Scientist's public pages but is still available via the Internet Archive.
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