Sunday, September 15 • 10:51am - 11:10am
“Socially quantified self: Networked branded identity”

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Social media have become a new arena for identity creation, performance, and management. In a shift from traditional media to social media, people moved from being consumers to producers of information (Bruns, 2008; & Gauntlett, 2011). Currently, there is shift towards becoming managers of personal networks and identity. 

The quantification and promotion of one's online identity represents a trend towards identity branding and management (Hearn, 2008; Marwick, 2010; & Senft, 2008). Identity branding involves developing, harnessing, and classifying personal information to promote a marketable identity to others. 

Identity branding has changed shape most significantly due to the introduction of social media. Today, identity branding relies on a combination of the presentation of self offline, as well as, the presentation of self in online environments. Part of the branding process involves a commodification of the self to position oneself as a commodity in consumer capitalism. 

A new locale for identity branding has emerged with the introduction of social media analytics. Social influence platforms utilize complex social media analytics to simplify and quantify an individual's online activities to a numeric score. The score identifies online influence by measuring one's ability to drive the actions of others. Klout is widely recognized as the most prominent social influence platform. A detailed algorithm calculates influence and outreach whereby online activities are associated with different point values. A quantified social influence score acts as a reputation badge that represents and quantifies one's social value. 

In order to improve one's social influence score, people are encouraged to sync their various social networking sites to the social influence platform. Syncing online identities on a social influence platform forces various parts of a person's identity to be masked in favour of singular and stable identity (Donath & boyd, 2004). 

Social influence scores can create anxieties or shame as the social influence score can be used to evaluate a person's identity. People have pursued instrumental action in order to increase their social influence score and their perceived branded identity. Accordingly, if an individual does not labour at connecting one's social networking sites, then negative consequences can occur. This paper analyzes the intersection of identity branding and social influence scores to develop an understanding of the emergence of the "socially quantified self." 

Bruns, A. (2008). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and beyond: From production to produsage. New York, NY: Peter Lang. 
Donath, J., & boyd, d. (2004). Public displays of connection. BT Technology Journal, 22(4), 71–82. 
Gauntlett, D. (2011). Making is connecting: The social meaning of creativity from DIY and knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press. 
Hearn, A. (2008). ‘Meat, mask, burden’: Probing the contours of the ‘branded self’. Journal of Consumer Culture, 8(2), 197–217. 
Marwick, A., & boyd, d. (2010). I tweet honestly, I tweet passionately: Twitter users, context collapse, and the imagined audience. New Media & Society, 13(1), 114–133. 
Senft, T. (2008). Camgirls: Celebrity & community in the age of social networks. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishers. 

avatar for Jenna Jacobson

Jenna Jacobson

Assistant Professor, Ryerson University

Sunday September 15, 2013 10:51am - 11:10am EDT
ROWE 1009

Attendees (0)