I am at the International Communication Association conference (#ica18) this week. I gave my talk this morning but felt really unsatisfied with it, mostly because while I was speaking I suddenly saw a new way of reframing my approach and liked that so much better. And so, to soothe my soul and also to braindump everything so I don’t forget the magic, I am going to speed blog my thoughts as a stream of consciousness here (as such, please excuse the lack of references, especially to the very good emerging scholarship on Tumblr, etc. But feel free to drop me an email if you would like to be pointed to further resources).
The talk was entitled “Where is the money on Tumblr? Cultures of celebrity and labour in Tumblr’s architecture” and I hope to polish it into a publishable version soon.
“for influencers to convince an audience that they are being authentic, it is not enough for them to merely show themselves without “artifice”: barefaced, with a bedhead, and in pajamas. Instead, they must actively juxtapose this stripped-down version of themselves against the median and normative self-presentations of glamour, to continually create and assign value to new markers — faults and flaws, failures and fiascos — to affirm the veracity of their truth-ness.”
“An audience is enticed into trying to evaluate and validate how genuine a persona is by following the feedback loop across the front stage of social media and the backstage of “real life,” through inconspicuous and scattered holes or gateways that were intentionally left as trails for the curious.”
On 11 April 2018, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Richelle Hunt of ABC Radio Melbourne on internet celebrity and Influencer cultures. 16:39 of our brain-making is below. With many thanks to producer Katy Gallichio for facilitating this.
In March, I had the pleasure of keynoting at the Brand Experience Through New Media Event at Aalto University, in a building that was really a luxurious Finnish spa resort masquerading as a place of higher learning.
Many many thanks to Miikka Lehtonen, Markus Ahola, and Tanja Sihvonen for the invitation and for pulling this together with your super efficient team and the unrivalled Finnish hospitality.
The event was held in Mordor with giant mustard bean bags and giant table lamps for the Cosiest Atmosphere At An Academic Event ever. I almost didn’t want the event to kickoff so that I could lounge in Mordor forever in my matching mustard sweater.
We ended the day with a 47:36 panel discussion and Q&A on Influencer cultures, featuring yours truly and Stina Varsikko of Splay, moderated by Miikka Lehtonen. Watch that goodness here: