Report

Beyond the blog: the networked self of travel bloggers on Twitter

3 Jul 2012
Description

Although tourism researchers view travel blogs as a rich resource on consumer beha­ viour and discuss their potential as marketing tools, such studies generally examine blogs hosted on travel­specific advertising­sponsored websites such as TravelPod and TravelBlog and focus on the content in entries alone. However, it is increasingly recognized that blogs have BEYOND THE BLOG: THE NETWORKED SELF OF TRAVEL BLOGGERS ON TWITTER a “distributed nature”, often linking to content created by their au­ thors on other social media platforms.
Also, the self­presentation that takes place in blogs is dispersed across various social media. This phe­ nomenon is often seen in travel blogs hosted on independent websites that link to social networking sites, bookmarking tools, and microblogging services. Any analysis of how these authors present themselves as travel bloggers and describe their narratives as travel blogs must, therefore, move beyond the borders of the blog and take into account content created using other social media.
This paper discusses how this takes place on Twitter, a microblogging service used by many independent travel bloggers. The presentation of a networked self is a concept useful for interpreting how authors extend the positions and themes expressed in their blog to platforms such as Twitter. An individual mainly articulates the networked self by connecting to other people online. Describing self­ presentation on social networking sites as implicit rather than explicit, Zizi Papacharissi has observed that “individuals use the tools at hand to present themselves in ‘show not tell’ mode by pointing and connecting to individuals, groups, or points of reference”.
This implies that there are two dimensions to the networked self. Not only is it situ­ ated in a network of social media surrounding the blog (technological), but also displayed via networking between individuals (social).

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2012
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