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Thursday, May 12 • 4:10pm - 4:15pm
#writersofinstagram: An Online Affinity Space for Visual Writing

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Online spaces allow people to participate in diverse experiences that connect them with other like-minded people, across the country and around the world. These connected experiences allow not only for the construction of communities, but also for the construction of relationships that allow for exploration of identity and the creation of ties. Instagram is a mobile social network that privileges image over text: posts on Instagram must include an image with text being optional. Organizing hashtags and content creation tools allow for the formation of affinity spaces on Instagram. Here, I focus on the affinity space created around #writersofinstagram and how it serves as a space for passionate users to discuss their own and others’ writings. Affinity spaces are either physical or virtual spaces in which people can come together around a shared passion (Gee, 2005). Affinity spaces must offer not only a shared space for communication, but also a space to create and display content. Accordingly, Instagram provides a unique mixture of visual and textual space that is being used by the #writersofinstagram community to create, share and discuss user created pieces of writing. In addition, the #writersofinstagram community and the relationships formed within it provide a space for personal learning and growth centered around a passionate pursuit as well as the opportunity for individuals to progress from novices to experts within the space. Understanding the motivations behind posts within the #writersofinstagram affinity space can provide insight into the changing practices of digital writers and creators of multimodal texts. By learning more about the nature of writing affinity spaces online, we can then begin to understand why users choose to post and share text in visual spaces. Looking at understanding the purposes and products of those posting to the #writersofinstagram space can also help researchers interested in the way writing is changing in the digital age to understand how process of composition is evolving and growing.


Thursday May 12, 2016 4:10pm - 4:15pm MST
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  Archives and Collections, Short Paper
  • Session Location COOR L1-84