My work on digital culture began during my PhD and focused on questions concerning identity, gender and sexuality in cyberspace. It was already apparent how the Internet was altering the way we communicated and a lot of the early debates back in the 1990s were keen to investigate how we would all change as a result.
Over the years, I have investigated a range of topics in this area, from studies of ethnicity, computer games, and issues of health and cybermedicine. Most recently, my attention has turned to the rise of social media, citizen journalism and the transformative potential of relocating media production away from media organizations back into society.
I am also an avid, amateur digital designer and dedicated netizen. I started working on websites in the late 1990s and have continued to learn new software over the years. I believe that having a web presence is crucial for an academic to reach more people with their research. Also, I think it is difficult to know which critical questions matter about life online, if you don’t spend much time there. I’ve experimented with many platforms over the years and tend to create accounts in places that I think are up-and-coming. I have found that the process of designing presentations and websites becomes an integral part of the research process I go through when initiating a project or beginning to write.
Here’s a recent talk I gave for a 1990s revival conference in 2011 called ‘Virtual Futures’