Shamelebrity: Scandal and self-shame as marketing strategies in the commercial blogosphere

In the commercial lifestyle blog industry where self-branded microcelebrities are constantly vying for the attention of readers on their social media platforms, some bloggers have deliberately constructed scandal around themselves in order to provoke and incite emotionally-charged public reactions. Contrary to positive reputation-building strategies, these bloggers orchestrate ‘hate’ discourse to generate viewer traffic from haters, fans, and curious others, often to the appeal of mainstream media outlets whose cross-platform coverage only intensifies the attention commanded. In managing the negative reputation arising from the ‘hype’ and sensational non-news, these bloggers usually bank on the ‘web amnesia’ of readers through which massive volumes of new web content and volatile trend patterns enable bad publicity to disperse as quickly as it arose. Looking at three Singaporean bloggers as case studies, this paper examines the manufacturing of scandal and self-shame as marketing strategies in the Singaporean blogosphere.

[non-specialist adaptation]
Scandal and Self-shame in the Singaporean Blogosphere

In the commercial lifestyle blog industry where self-branded microcelebrities are constantly vying for the attention of readers on their social media platforms, some bloggers have deliberately made scandal around themselves in order to provoke emotionally-charged public reactions. Contrary to positive reputation-building strategies, these bloggers orchestrate ‘hate’ discourse to generate viewer traffic, often to the appeal of mainstream media outlets whose coverage intensifies the attention. In managing the negative reputation arising from the ‘hype’, these bloggers usually bank on the ‘web amnesia’ of readers. Massive volumes of new web content enable bad publicity to disperse as quickly as it arose. Looking at three Singaporean bloggers as case studies, this talk tells the story of scandal and self-shame as marketing strategies in the Singaporean blogosphere.

Abidin, C. (2014) “Shamelebrity: Scandal and self-shame as marketing strategies in the commercial blogosphere” MediAsia 2014, The Asian Conference on Media and Mass Communication, Osaka. Nov 16, 2014.

Abidin, C. (2014) “Scandal and Self-shame in the Singaporean Blogosphere” Work-in-progress Seminar, Tembusu College, National University of Singapore, Singapore. Oct 3, 2014.

Abidin, C. (2014) “Shamelebrity: Scandal and self-shame as marketing strategies in the commercial blogosphere” UWA Anthropology & Sociology Seminar Series, University of Western Australia, Perth. Aug 29, 2014.

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