My name is Alex Leavitt, and I'm an Internet and media researcher. I live in Los Angeles, and I'm 25 years old.

Currently, I'm pursuing a PhD in Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California, where I'm advised by Henry Jenkins and Dmitri Williams.

Previously, I worked with danah boyd at Microsoft Research New England. Before that, I was a researcher in the Comparative Media Studies department at MIT, where I worked on the Convergence Culture Consortium project.

Email me at alexleavitt [at] gmail [dot] com.
Follow me on Twitter at @alexleavitt.


My research has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and the Huffington Post.



Research Overview

Digital Culture & Computational Ethnography

My research focuses on networked participation in technologically-mediated social spaces. I am particularly interested in how social media sites facilitate user-generated content production, social network formation, information sharing practices, and collaboration. I also do work around cultural and social capital within online communities, specifically how the creation of media and information impacts cultural dynamics within these systems, usually involving youth.

Previously, I researched transmedia franchises and developments within the creative industries across the globe, especially their reactions to changing technologies and shifting social norms of active audiences. In my spare time, I extend my research to Japanese popular culture and its global audiences.

Social Science & Digital Data-Driven Methods

In my work, I combine ethnographic methods with large-scale digital data analysis to investigate social traces in social media systems. I like to pursue mixed methods research involving both interpretive and analytical approaches and, I am testing new methodologies for using digital data to look at everyday information practices that emerge from people's interactions with technology. Recently, I have been experimenting with data processing involving social network analysis, machine learning, and high performance computational resources.

Research Teams

I am a member of numerous research groups at USC:

Research Projects

Current Projects

Recent Projects