From diary writing to daily ranting: Women’s journaling on the Internet

Online diaries made their first appearance in the mid-1990s, and were quickly popularized over the next decade with multiple web log platforms emerging. Since then, women’s diary writing has evolved from personal, individualized recounts, to public, networked dialogues. Using qualitative data obtained from observing two digital communities in two such web log platforms – a group of Singaporean women participating in web log-based advertising on Blogger, and a network of American youth engaging in risk-taking ‘thinspo’ activities on Tumblr – from August 2011 to August 2012, I analyze the ways in which distinctive web log features and their affordances have attracted and developed particular communities of women diarists. I further analysise this by considering the ways in which online journaling has (re-)shaped women’s conceptualizing and writing of diaries, and notions of femininity and womanhood within their online community.

Abidin, C. (2012) “From diary writing to daily ranting: Women’s journaling on the Internet” UWA Gender, Media, and Cultural Studies Seminar Series, University of Western Australia Perth. September 5, 2012.

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