I have been an Internet researcher for 13 years. My Ph.D. dissertation adressed democratic debates online, based on field studies in Denmark (Northern Jutland) and in Minnesota, USA.
Since then I have first and foremost researched social and democratic uses of the Internet, most notably social media, for campaigning, political communication and debate among citizens. Further, I am interested in social uses of the Internet, especially online social networks like Facebook as a forum for identity construction and social interaction.
Major research projects:
New Borderlines of the Public Sphere – mediatization and cultural citizenship, finished, see www.ong.au.dk.
In this project, with Niels Ole Finnemann, Per Jauert, Karen Klitgaard Povlsen, Anne Scott Sørensen and Randi Marselis, we investigated new negotiated political and social boundaries between the private and the public. The backbone of the project was a survey on media use and political and cultural participation among 1710 Danish Internet users, for which I was the main responsible person. From the project, I published on Danish political participation online, new notions of citizenship and everyday use and norms of social media, not at least Facebook. See publication list.
Meaning Across Media (http://meaningacrossmedia.mcc.ku.dk)
I am part of this research project sponsored by the Danish Research Council where we do a comparative analysis of how a) different socio-demographic user groups employ b)different media and genre types in c) different combinations and d) with different intensity and modes of engagement. My project focuses on the changing patterns of news consumption among Danish citizens, following the addition of social media to the existing circuit of newspapers, radio, TV and websites. News consumption, thus, gains an added social dimension of sharing links and stories among ordinary users. This project examines, first, which media are used to access news, when at home, at work or on the move. Second, it investigates whether and how citizens share links to news stories through social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
Sociology of the Internet
I work on a book on sociology in the age of the Internet. I use classical and recent sociological theory to explore how the Internet facilitates renegotiations of identity, the self and everyday behavior. I employ a methodological individualist perspective, inspired by for instance George Herbert Mead, a social constructivist perspective inspired by Berger & Luckmann, and network theory inspired by Gregory Bateson and Georg Simmel.
Media and Tourism
Quite unrelated to the rest of my work I have focused on media and tourism, more specifically how new digital media are used for tourism purposes: for information gathering and planning of travels, as communication tools when travelling, and as media for reporting and presenting travel experiences. I have focused on communities like Virtual Tourist (www.virtualtourist.com), travel blogs and services like Google Earth. I have published several international articles on the topic, and in the spring of 2009 I published (with Anne Marit Waade) the book Media and Tourism (In Danish).