Follow back, RT, Like!: The Politics of Social Friending in a Lifestyle Blogging Economy

“I’m not famous famous, I’m Internet famous,” says a blogger whose tens of thousands of readers follow her blog and social media feeds daily. In the lifestyle blogging economy in Singapore where young women dominate, structure, and support an entire industry, fame and the ability to command consistent attention is the currency. But just how is one’s value evaluated on these interwebs? On the surface, the number of ‘followers’, ‘friends’, ‘ReTweets’, ‘Likes’, and ‘Favourites’ that these bloggers boast on their various social media accounts measures this. Whereas business and marketing research have examined the impact of such ‘social currency’ in terms of sheer numbers, audience reach, and monetary value, this paper illuminates bloggers’ construction, mediation, and experience of this form of social capital through the practice of social friending, endorsing and validating social media posts, and the use of tags and hashtags.

Abidin, C. (2013) “Follow back, RT, Like!: The Politics of Social Friending in a Lifestyle Blogging Economy” Australian Anthropological Society Conference 2013, Australian National University, Canberra. Nov 6 – 8, 2013.

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