Leah Perry deposited Bookish Identities: How the Online Reading Community Empowers the Self on Humanities Commons 11 months ago
The pervasiveness and increasing usage of digital technologies and information
communication technologies (ICTs) influences not only how we view the world around us,
but how we view ourselves. We are plugged in to an incessant stream of information and
networked to other informational entities – or inforgs (Floridi, 2010) – and in order to find
our place in the vast landscape of the Web, we bring to it elements of our identities and settle
amongst others whom we share, or want to share, traits with. In pockets across various social
media platforms, the online reading community occupies a space where readers produce,
disseminate, discuss, evaluate, and organise information, and are empowered to be in control
of information regarding their identities and their shared – and at times conflicting – interests.
This essay will examine how these modern forms of publishing and subsequent information
behaviour provide ways to explore and express identity. Firstly, this essay will briefly
examine how reading and social media as a broad concept connects to questions of identity;
then it will consider three topics where the online reading community empowers the self:
collaborative production, information source evaluation, and knowledge organisation.