Jonathon Hutchinson is a PhD student in the Creative Industries Faculty at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. He is completing his third year of ethnographic action research on his thesis titled Collaborations, Connections, and Consequences: A study on the effects of Pool and its community within the ABC. Hutchinson also works part time as the community manager of ABC Pool (abc.net.au/pool). Both his ethnographic research and community manager role helps him identify the stakeholders involved within ABC online communities, their interests, and how those interests are negotiated. After completing his Bachelor of Communication (Honors) at RMIT, his knowledge is embedded in the communication, media and cultural studies disciplines, with an interest in the social sciences. He also has an interest in user-generated content, social media, online networks, online community management, participatory cultures, design and technology, and community cultural development. His professional practice emerged from audio and video production in both live and studio environments – producing, directing, editing – with a strong focus on post-production. He worked as a video editor at the Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI) and numerous independent production houses. With a strong history in community radio, his audio productions have also been broadcast on ABC Radio National.
This research investigates how the different interests of the stakeholders within an institutional online community intersect and how those interests are negotiated within a public broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). An institutional online community is defined as an online community operating within a public, commercial or non-commercial institution and not an open, independently facilitated online community. In the context of a rapidly changing media landscape in which audiences no longer watch and consume content but now also actively participate in the making and sharing of media content, what does it mean to be a public broadcaster? I consider these issues by undertaking a three-year ethnographic study of ABC Pool, the user-generated content space in the Radio Multiplatform and Content Development division. This project will also consider and describe the Community Manager role within a public broadcaster institution as it negotiates the challenges and opportunities of a shift towards a more participatory and co-creative media landscape.The rationale supporting this research is based on the growing significance of user-generated content within media institutions. The research investigates convergent media cultures that are increasingly characterized by media consumers and audiences that participate in media creation with professional media institutions.