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Analysis and Comment (14)

Kjellberg argues his low-budget method is a ‘winning concept’. Kjellberg argues his low-budget method is a ‘winning concept’. YouTube.com

YouTube games star PewDiePie is playing for global dominance

Does the name Felix Kjellberg sound familiar? How about PewDiePie? … Still nothing? Clearly you’re not one of the 31 million subscribers to YouTube’s most successful channel, PewDiePie, starring 24-year-old…
Your computer has a special fingerprint that can give away details of your online browsing. Your computer has a special fingerprint that can give away details of your online browsing. Flickr/Sandra Nahdi

Tracking your digital fingerprint online raises privacy issues

Just how much information we give away about ourselves as we browse the web has been raised again by a tracking device used in thousands of websites. Researchers at Belgium’s University of Leuven have…
What does your profile picture say about you? What does your profile picture say about you? Academic image from www.shutterstock.com

Posing intellectuals: academic profile pictures reveal more than you think

Just to the left and above this sentence is a picture of me. Like most places on the web where discussion takes place, The Conversation places a profile picture of each author next to their writing. Indeed…
The Khan academy is trying to bring education to the world, but how? The Khan academy is trying to bring education to the world, but how? Online learning image from www.shutterstock.com

Yes, we Khan: pioneering education for anyone, anywhere

From preschool to PhD, education is afflicted by a malaise. Many students, teachers, parents and politicians, feel that with all the effort and money spent, we should be doing better. Salman Khan, founder…
Online education may mean more stress and workload for academics, not less. Online education may mean more stress and workload for academics, not less. Stressed academic image from www.shutterstock.com

Online education at the coalface: what academics need to know

FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: We continue our series on the rise of online and blended learning and how free online courses are set to transform the higher education sector. Today, ANU’s Rod Lamberts and…
Academics freedom and university reputations are being tested online. Academics freedom and university reputations are being tested online. Academic image from www.shutterstock.com

Academics behaving badly? Universities and online reputations

Trying to control your reputation online is a bit like trying to clean up wee in a toddler pool. You are much more likely to get your hands dirty than achieve any kind of meaningful damage control. Many…
If Twitter allows us to follow (and share) our interests, then can it make a reliable measure of influence for media groups? If Twitter allows us to follow (and share) our interests, then can it make a reliable measure of influence for media groups? AAP/Tracey Nearmy/Twitter

How to measure influence: using Twitter to rate Australian news sites

News of significant job losses and organisational restructuring at Fairfax has thrown new spotlight onto the continuing transformation of the Australian media landscape. It’s clear that newspapers in their…
Much like the development of the railway in the 19th century, the National Broadband Network (NBN) will transform our society. Much like the development of the railway in the 19th century, the National Broadband Network (NBN) will transform our society. Wikimedia Commons

How the NBN will change education: Australia’s “Last Spike” moment

When I grew up in Canada there was a famous painting on the wall of nearly every primary school classroom. It was called “The Last Spike” and it depicted the final railway track connection being hammered…
The ANU music school cannot replace live one-on-one teaching with online lessons. The ANU music school cannot replace live one-on-one teaching with online lessons. Flickr/Orangedrummerboy

ANU should change its tune: why online lessons do not replace live music

The Australian National University (ANU) has recently announced serious changes to the School of Music in Canberra. Students will receive fewer hours of one-on-one performance lessons, and the current…
Are online dating sites preying on the vulnerable or do they foster love and relationships? Are online dating sites preying on the vulnerable or do they foster love and relationships? flickr/ZakVTA

Love is a (regulatory) battlefield: the ACCC takes on dating website scammers

Regulation of our intimate lives has always been a thorny issue. The anti-sodomy laws of the past and the same-sex marriage issue today illustrate times when policymakers can get it very, very wrong. Legislation…
New platforms and services will face the same requirements for content as traditional media. New platforms and services will face the same requirements for content as traditional media. AAP

Convergence Review heralds a dramatic shift in Australian media

Light on detail and raising many more questions than it answers, yesterday’s Convergence Review interim report is still bold and far-reaching, driven by a fundamentally optimistic view of the future for…
Australia’s media landscape may face another shakeup with the release of the Federal Government’s convergence review. Australia’s media landscape may face another shakeup with the release of the Federal Government’s convergence review. AAP

Media convergence review is light on detail – and on regulation

The Federal Government’s Convergence Review has released its interim report, recommending the scrapping of existing cross-media ownership rules and that commercial operators be given “certainty” around…
It can be difficult to find accurate health information on the web if you don’t know where to look. It can be difficult to find accurate health information on the web if you don’t know where to look. Chilcy

Don’t rely on Dr Google for health information on the wild, wild web

If you typed “pins and needles” into Google, what kind of results would you expect to find? According to a recent study from Bupa Health, the search engine could diagnose you with anything from a completely…
Letting readers comment can direct journalism and make accountability a reality. Letting readers comment can direct journalism and make accountability a reality. Flickr/Cayusa

Media Inquiry day two: Embracing the cacophony

On day two of the Media Inquiry, unconstrained online speech figured as a danger to democracy, rather than a new avenue for discussing media ethics and journalistic transparency. Justice Finkelstein opened…

Research Briefs (3)

Virtual ostracism is real too

People who feel ignored or ostracised online experience the same emotions as those who encounter similar situations in the…