Net Critic

Professor Matthew Allen
Internet thinker, researcher and educator

First and foremost, I am a thinker about the ways in which technological innovation in networked communications and media – principally the Internet – are remaking the way people live and interact. The Internet provides both the means of change, and also a rich source of metaphors and meanings by which to think differently about the world. The changes the Internet brings are by no means all for the better; nor are they planned or controlled in many cases. The Internet makes a critical difference to our lives in the early 21st century; and I seek to be a critical thinker about that difference: to be a net critic.

I am an institutionalised thinker, an academic in the Department of Internet Studies, Curtin University of Technology. In this role, I conduct research into various aspects of the Internet past, present and future; I craft and deliver degree programs along with my colleagues that educate individuals and the society to which they belong about the Internet. I supervise doctoral students who represent the cutting edge of research into the Internet as a social phenomenon. I communicate ideas about the Internet to the community, through public speaking and media commentary.

As an academic, I have also become closely involved in the management and development of higher education as an institution, particularly in relation to teaching and learning. Therefore, as much as I study change in the knowledge society – principally around the impact of networked ICTS – I also lead, practice (and sometimes suffer) change within the academy, one of the institutions of knowledge in society. provides access to some of my work in these fields of knowledge work