Publishing the confidential: an ethnographic study of young Irish bloggers
Fowley, Catherine (2011) Publishing the confidential: an ethnographic study of young Irish bloggers. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
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From blogs to social network sites, young people have been early adopters of all forms of Web 2.0 communication. Diary-style blogs have been one of the tools they have used as outlets for creativity and communication, whilst simultaneously bringing into a public forum a genre which was inherently private.
This thesis is the result of a three year ethnographic study of two groups of young Irish bloggers on the LiveJournal platform, which mixes blogging tools with social network facilities. Drawing from Bakhtinian concepts, it proposes a framework to describe and analyse blogs as semiotic artifacts, defined by the presence of a literary space, a social space and a technological space as three interrelated layers within the chronotope of the blog. It also posits the existence of a trialogical relationship between the blogger, the reader and the technology related to the tool and platform.
Whilst the young bloggers from both groups all used their blogs as personal diaries, their relationship with their readers and their engagement with the technology underpinning the platform impacted on the content of the blog and also on their involvement in time. Their management of privacy issues was part of a process, constantly negotiated with the reader, and through the technology and the narrative.
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