What is a Good Life Publisher Made of – and Why?

By Sari Maarit Östman.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Internet life publishing means practices and contents which are included in a phenomenon that has rapidly generalized during the first decade of the 2000s: people voluntarily publishing their everyday life, or rather fragments of it, on several internet forums that are open to everybody (or at least to ‘everybody’). Life publishing also includes as an essential part the constant negotiation between intimate contents and public forums. This negotiation often takes contradictory forms.

The author has studied life publishing through theme narratives and web publications of 27 informants during 2008–2010 (interviews commenting the written narratives will follow in 2010). In this article, she will discuss the characteristics of a good life publisher. In publications (blogs, Facebook profiles, photo galleries etc.) the activity appears very casual; it seems open and playful. On the other hand, in the theme narratives a very strict control gets emphasised: it seems important for the writers to discuss what is appropriate and how they should represent themselves on the internet. This control does become visible also in publications, but quite rarely, and it does not get emphasised much. This contradiction is an interesting feature. Therefore, the author asks: how is life publishing spoken about – and why?

Keywords: Blogging, Blogs, Everyday Life, Facebook, Internet, Life Publication, Life Publisher, Life Publishing, Social Media

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.93-104. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 624.666KB).

Sari Maarit Östman

Doctoral Student / Digital Culture, The School of Cultural Management and Landscape Studies, The University of Turku, Pori, Finland

I am a researcher and doctoral student in digital culture at the University of Turku, Finland. Since May 2008, I write my doctoral dissertation. In it I study life publishing practices on the internet. In a wider scale I am interested in contemporary internet cultures and how people adapt them. I have written conference papers and an article about life publishing and have been a co-author in a book about the cultural history of the Finnish Internet. I am also interested in (and have written about) how research ethical questions should be considered in digital culture. My research interests focus on ‘little people’ and their everyday practices.


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