I am a researcher, writer, and consultant in the field of digital communication. In the past I looked at how digital media is used in political contexts, with a particular focus on political consumerism (when people purchase products with ethical intentions). Currently I am studying matchmaking mobile applications like Tinder, focusing on how people create and manage impressions in a virtual environment. That project is on the web, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
I am committed to accessible academia and was a founding organizer of the academic track at the FairSay e-Campaigning Forum, helping to connect academic expertise to digital practitioners and activists. I also worked with the John Adams Institute, an American cultural organization based in Amsterdam, providing social media strategy.
During my time in academia I have presented and published more than 40 academic papers. My book, “Communicating Citizenship Online,” was published in July 2012 by Hampton Press. I teach a variety of courses for bachelor and master students on digital media and research methods. I received my master’s degree and PhD from the University of Amsterdam. I am based in the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. For a full list of publications, my academic CV is available here.
I am passionate about fiction writing and am always scribbling down ideas, polishing a story or sending pieces out for publication (see the “Fiction” tab for published stories). I’m originally from Minnesota and have lived in the Netherlands since 2001. You can contact me at janelle.ward [at] gmail.com