Procrastiprogress updates from the cave II.

Moshimoshi folks!

Continuing from March’s newly minted tradition of procrastiprogress updates from the cave, I bring you more condensed scholarly updates from wishcrys land.


The Special Issue of Social Media + Society (SM+S) on selfies is finally live!

Read ‘Me-diated Inter-faces’ here in its open-access glory, and check out the introduction co-authored by Katie Warfield, Carolina Cambre, and yours truly here.


The whole production was a whirlpool of excitement from the start to the finish, considering that our authors first met on the internet via The Selfies Research Network in early 2015, and met in the flesh in Jun 2015 when we ran a pedagogical session on selfies at the Social Media and Society Conference in Toronto. We considered a special issue publication in Jul 2015, had our authors produce full articles for double peer review in Sep 2015, finalized and submitted the articles in Nov 2015, and were queued for publication in Apr 2016.


All this would not have been possible without my genius collaborators, Katie and Carolina, from whom I am learning to be a kickass mentor as I progress in my academic career. Also, a huge thank you to our authors, Tamar Tembeck, Cristina Miguel, Stefanie Duguay, and Gaby David for being the most efficient people in the world. All the internet affect also to Fiona Andreallo, Jocelyn Murtell, and Fiona Whitting (and Jo Wedlock!) for making the SM&S Conference a super fun experience – grownup sleepovers, saving cheese and wine from flies, and arm cheese included. Finally, a special thanks to Stacy Blasiola of SM+S for overseeing the publication process with A+ patience and professionalism :)


Also in the Special Issue on Selfies is my article on Influencer Selfies as Subversive Frivolity. Read it here.

Continuing from last year’s milestone of using an emoji in the title of my journal article, this new milestone included publishing my own selfie in a legit refereed paper ヽ(・∀・)ノ

I thoroughly enjoy academia and internet culture, so what better way to integrate both than to legitimately publish “subversive frivolity”? (you have to read the paper!)

My next creative aims include titling a paper in emoticons/leet only, inserting gifs in an electronic paper, and hiding easter eggs somewhere somehow.

11223939_656494484486345_854160434282915752_o (1)

On a more serious note, during the writing process, I contemplated long and hard over whether or not to recount and publicise the opening/closing vignette in which an academic brushed off my research, and branded my informants as “young, rich women doing vain things online”. To be honest, it was this exchange that sparked off the idea for this paper to begin with.

I believe anger can be a very productive and motivating force, and channelled all my feels into illuminating the important girl labour in which my informants partake, and pushing back against the discourse of selfies and young women selfie-takers as mere frivolity.

My forthcoming paper on “agentic cuteness” shares a similar ‘origins story’ (cf. x-men, whoo hoo), but I’ll save that for next month.

popanth gc

Last but not least, PopAnth’s latest interview featuring leading expert Gabriella Coleman and her thoughts on Anonymous’ recent humorous trolling is now up. Read it here.

The Section Editors of PopAnth have been on the prowl for fresh talent and exciting articles for the last few months, so stay tuned for our upcoming string of commissioned writing.

If you’d like to contribute to PopAnth, check out our guide here.

Selfie fashion

As a young responsible adult, I spent all of this morning procrastinating productively. As a selfie researcher, I spent all of this morning procrastinating productively on selfie paraphernalia.

So here’s a quick list of current selfie fashion. I expect all of us at The Selfies Research Network (TSRN) to be appropriately dressed at our next conference. For research and resources on selfies, see here.

Selfie fashion is obviously very gendered.
For selfie fashion for men (i.e. unisex t-shirts), scroll to the end.







selfie15<Link> selfie01<Link>

Selfie fashion is for girls too.







Everyone can be appropriated for selfie fashion.






Selfie fashion for workouts?





Selfie fashion makes for concise instructionals.





H8ers gon’ h8.
You’re a t-shirt, don’t tell me what to do.









Above all, selfie fashion for self-love.







More selfie fashion in unisex t-shirts here, here, and here.

On a serious note, is any one up for researching selfie paraphernalia and spin-off commodities with me? Please beep!

March & April in Boras, Jönköping, Manchester.


Greetings, netizens of Böras, Jönköping, and Manchester! I’ll be heading your way to chat about social friending, hashtags, Instagram, and politician selfies. Come and say hi?

PS: Special thanks to Ameera, Barbara, Danielle, and Adi for hosting me!

See you on the Internet,

Frenemies and cashtags: Social friending and hashtag lifecycle among social media microcelebrities

The Swedish School of Library and Information Science (SSLIS)
University of Borås

30 March 2015, Monday, 1430-1600hrs

Commercial lifestyle bloggers are among the most influential social media microcelebrities in Singapore, being predominantly self-taught young women who weave advertorials and advertisements into personal blog entries and social media posts. In essence, they are selling an aspirational middle-class lifestyle to their readers, seemingly attainable through the goods and services marketed. The bloggers depend and trade on ‘social currency’, that is, their virtual world reputation and rank in the industry. One measure of reputation is the number of ‘Likes’, ‘Follows’, ‘ReTweets’, ‘Favourites’, ‘Friends’ and ‘Readers’ a blogger can effectively garner on various social media platforms. Taking a grounded theory approach, this paper focuses on the bloggers’ individual construction and circulation of this form of social capital. Specifically, the paper discusses the bloggers’ socializing techniques and the lifecycle of hashtag use as business strategies.

Capturing Class and Curating Commerce: Monetizing Instagram

Media Management and Transformation Center (MMTC)
Jönköping International Business School (JIBS)
Jönköping University

7 April 2015, Tuesday, 1000-1100hrs
B6046, Jönköping International Business School

Make love, Make envy, Make money: Power-coupling on social media

Centre for Family Enterprise and Ownership (CeFEO)
Jönköping International Business School (JIBS)
Jönköping University

13 April 2015, Monday, 1200-1300hrs
B6046, Jönköping International Business School

Vote for my selfie: Politician selfies as charismatic leadership
(plenary speaker) 

Selfie Citizenship
Digital Innovation
Manchester Metropolitan University

16 April 2015, Thursday, 0930-1600hrs
The Shed, Digital Innovation
John Dalton West, Manchester Metropolitan University
Chester Street, Manchester, M1 5GD
<about / programme registration / location>

Commercial lifestyle bloggers are among the most influential social media microcelebrities in Singapore, being predominantly self-taught young women who weave advertorials and advertisements into personal blog entries and social media posts. In essence, they are selling an aspirational middle-class lifestyle to their readers, seemingly attainable through the goods and services marketed. The bloggers depend and trade on ‘social currency’, that is, their virtual world reputation and rank in the industry. One measure of reputation is the number of ‘Likes’, ‘Follows’, ‘ReTweets’, ‘Favourites’, ‘Friends’ and ‘Readers’ a blogger can effectively garner on various social media platforms. Taking a grounded theory approach, this paper focuses on the bloggers’ individual construction and circulation of this form of social capital. Specifically, the paper discusses the bloggers’ socializing techniques and the lifecycle of hashtag use as business strategies.

Microcelebrity Social Media Selfies

Reflecting on Week three of The Selfie Course on selfies and microcelebrity, I thought I would share my take on the types of heterosexual feminine scripts microcelebrity social media personalities in Singapore use to convey intimacy and market products to readers.

01 The Beauty regime selfie

image  image_9

Selfies of close-up shots bare faced or before/after transformations as a teaser to a beauty product or service they are marketing.

02 The Product Placement selfie


Sometimes, selfies are not completely relevant to whatever is being marketed. But a selfie marks the authenticity of a post as aesthetically crafted and endorsed by a social media personality. Selfies also differentiate product endorsement shots from stock photos, and adds a layer of intimacy and sincerity in engaging the clientele.

03 The Beauty Transformation/Aspiration selfie

image_2  image_13

Social media personalities look back on old selfies, and compare and contrast these publically with readers. This is as opposed to a smaller group of personalities who delete old crumbs and traces of their ‘old face’ to rewrite the history of their web persona. And of course, these close-up beauty selfies also earmark the minute inferiorities personalities perceive in their appearance.

04 The Makeup Selfie


Makeup regimes can be arduous and cumbersome. Most times, they require much effort and a great investment in time, money, and honing one’s craft. Better not let it “go to waste” aka please appreciate my art.

05 The Playful/Self-deprecating selfie 


As high profile personalities, microcelebrity social media starlets sometimes find themselves in the centre of sensational hyped-up ‘non-news’. This personality, recently accused of photoshopping her figure, takes such drama in her stride and rehashes the photoshopping saga in a playful light.

06 The First World Problem selfie


Self-explanatory. Also regularly appears as having too many clothing/shoes/designer bags and not knowing what to wear.

07 The Couple selfie


Also self-explanatory. Recently, these predominantly female social media personalities have taken to making (accidental) microcelebrities of their (predominantly male) partners as well. Some of these boyfriends have amassed their own fanbase and social media following, and a handful have begun to receive endorsements, sponsorships, and advertising engagements themselves. (Am currently working on a paper on such Power Couples. Beep me if you’d like to chat!)

08 The Clique selfie


Beyond declaring their allegiance to particular social circles, many higher ranked star social media celebrities feature industry friends/proteges/mentees on their social media feeds to expand the latter’s exposure to their own readers. They may also hold inane conversations publically on social media platforms (as opposed to dyad private platforms like Whatsapp, Twitter DM, or SMS) to boost the latter’s visibility on followers’ timelines.

09 The Off-day selfie


They often appear to be living the high life with sponsorships and endorsements featuring on their social media feeds daily. But the crux of these personalities’ microcelebrity is being able to remain accessible, grounded, and intimately visible to readers. Exhibit A: a star blogger interjects her stream of glamour shots with a selfie of herself past midnight, bare faced with messy, in casual home attire, after a long night of studying.

10 The micromicrocelebrity selfie

        image_10    image_12

Last but not least, a new project I’m working on – second generation social media microcelebrities, aka ‘micromicrocelebrities’! These bubs have got their lives archived on the web from the moment of conception, and the pioneer batch of now-toddlers have even amassed endorsements and advertising deals themselves! (I’m really excited about this in particular. Paper in the works. More to come!)

What other types of microcelebrity selfies have you come across on social media? What selfie have you posted today? Chat with us!

Cross-posted on The Selfies Course blog here.

IR15 Show Me Your Selfies: A Teaching Workshop

An international group of academics is facilitating a pre-conference workshop at the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) conference in Bangkok in October 2015. Before the half day in Bangkok, we will have a three week online workshop which will be open to scholars, teachers and students around the world, whether or not they are able to come to Bangkok.

Show Me Your Selfies: A Teaching Workshop

Theresa Senft, Jill Walker Rettberg, Elizabeth Losh, Radhika Gajjala, Kath Albury, Alice Marwick, Crystal Abidin

This Pre-Conference Workshop explores how researchers might engage in teaching practices using “selfies”: photos taken of the self, usually with one’s phone, often circulated online. We feel that as part of the internet’s ‘visual turn,’ selfies provide an accessible “way in” for educators working with students on issues like information literacy and cultural sensitivity. Students studying selfie production, consumption, deletion, circulation and abstention can also gain insights into social dynamics often at play in their personal lives on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, WeChat and Tumblr.

Although our pedagogy is intentionally broad, we are especially interested getting students thinking about critically about selfies in the following contexts:

· Selfie as a byproduct of agency. Why does selfie-making seem to lend itself to discussions featuring words like “narcissistic”, “empowering,” “objectifying,” and so forth?

· Selfie as a media genre. What is the selfie’s relationship to documentary, autobiography, advertising, and celebrity?

· Selfie as cultural signifier: what social work does a selfie do in communities where it was intended to circulate, and what happens when it circulates beyond those communities?

Our workshop is somewhat unique in that it has been conceptualized as having two phases: a three week online session running from September 29 to October 19, followed by a half day session in Bangkok for conference attendees.

In the online session, participants will work practically and analytically with selfies by creating, sharing and discussing self-reflexive images and texts according to set weekly assignments. Assignments will be appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate courses in disciplines like digital culture, communications, ethnography, gender studies, cultural studies or visual studies. Participants can be individual scholars, teachers and students but also teachers with a group of students from existing courses.

Practically, the online session will consist of emails from the facilitators presenting weekly themes, readings, and links. Possible assignments, which will involve photography exercises and contributions to an online discussion, might include:

. creating (and reflecting on) “academic selfies” of oneself as student or scholar

. creating (and reflecting on) a “selfie that can’t be used by authorities to locate you”

. comparing online selfie art projects to earlier feminist, queer and postcolonial photographic self-portraiture from artists like Francesca Woodman, or Roshini Kempadoo

. evaluating the methods used in data collection projects like Selfiecities, and comparing what news reports about that project said the project ‘proved’, versus what the researchers themself claim

. creating (and reflecting on) a selfie that creates ‘buzz’ in particular social network communities in order to think through industry ‘buzz’ terms like ‘attention economy’

. other assignments engage issues of access, inequity and youth.

All participants will be invited share their images to a private Flickr group, which will also be the site of workshop discussions. Enrollment will be open until the course begins, and then closed in order to preserve a safe space for participants to share freely. At the end of the online session participants will select images they are willing to share openly and post these and key findings of the workshop discussions to Twitter or elsewhere with a shared hashtag.

The online session will be open to all. Running this as an online, open joint course with participants from around the world will provide valuable opportunities for inter-cultural discussions, which is important with selfies as they are used and experienced differently in different cultures and contexts. It will also serve to introduce students around the world to an international research network, and to AoIR.

Although our plan is to run the online workshop as a three week real-time event, we will also make the assignments available in advance (May/June) and encourage teachers who are unable to follow the whole course with their students to use individual assignments or adapt assignments.

In Bangkok, we will discuss and analyse the practical work done in the online session, and share and discuss alternative assignments and pedagogical approaches to selfies. We envision this as a half day workshop. We will include short presentations from participants who have taught selfies, in order to hear success stories as well as “teaching fails”. These participants will be recruited during the online workshop, and we will also post an open call to the AoIR list. We also plan to open up the Bangkok session to scholars who cannot attend the conference in person by streaming video and keeping an open online discussion space. If we have internet access for the workshop we can take responsibility for this ourselves.

Our main motivation for this workshop is our own interest in teaching and working with selfies, but more generally we want to create spaces within the AoIR community to think about pedagogy. We see this as a pilot for possible future international joint courses, or shared teaching resources. At the workshop we will discuss these possibilities further.


Source: Show Me Your Selfie: Pre-Conference Workshop Tumblr
Sign up for IR15: Boundaries and Intersections here