Profile pic of Ashwin Nagappa

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Dr Ashwin Nagappa completed his PhD in October 2023 at QUT.

Thesis Title
Becoming DTube: The biography of a decentralised video streaming platform

Ashwin Nagappa is an early career researcher at QUT DMRC. His research focuses on the history of digital media technologies and emerging social media platforms. As part of his PhD, Ashwin produced a platform biography of an emerging blockchain-based video streaming platform, DTube. In developing the PhD thesis, he followed a digital ethnographic approach to gather qualitative data. He applied various data-gathering techniques including participation in an online community as an observer and as a video creator on the platform.

He approached the platform using cultural studies frameworks to analyse and understand the changes to DTube between 2017 and 2022. In the process, he produced three critical findings. First, Although DTube started as a recursive public (open source project), over time it transformed into a transactional public, one where user interactions were shaped by the transaction of cryptocurrency. Second, For the DTube community rapid growth and scaling were less significant than implementing the agreed-upon functions, which included community-driven moderation and inclusive participation. Third, DTube provided glimpses of an emergent everyday automated transactional media, where users had control over datafying their actions and transforming their social interactions into data money (cryptocurrency) that circulated within and outside the DTube network.

In addition to his PhD research, Ashwin has also studied other alternative social media platforms and fringe platforms to extend his scholarship in the realm of mis/disinformation research.

Prof Jean Burgess, Queensland University of Technology
Prof Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology