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From Produsers to Shareaholics: Changing Models of Reader Interaction in Women’s Online Magazines

García-Favaro, L. (2016). From Produsers to Shareaholics: Changing Models of Reader Interaction in Women’s Online Magazines. tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique. Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society, 14(2), pp. 346-379. doi: 10.31269/triplec.v14i2.748

Abstract

Women’s online magazines have been constantly proliferating and increasingly supplanting print publications. Contributing to their success, these sites offer similar content free of change and significantly greater opportunities for interaction – often in the form of discussion forums. However, these interactive spaces are currently disappearing, being replaced by an ever-escalating emphasis upon social network sites (SNSs). This article critically examines this changing model of reader interaction in women’s online magazines, drawing on a study of 68 interviews with industry insiders, forum user-generated content, and a variety of trade material. The analysis demonstrates how the decision to close the forums and embrace SNSs responds to multiple determinants, including a corporate doctrine of control over users’ discourse and outsourcing new modalities of free consumer labour, constituting a new ideal worker-commodity online: “the shareaholic”. This exercise of power has varying levels of success, and potentialities remain for users to exercise some transformative subversion, for example through what the article theorises as “labour of disruption”. Nonetheless, the emergent SNS-based magazine model of reader interaction poses a serious challenge to ongoing celebrations both in the industry and in some scholarly work about an increasingly democratic and user-led digital media ecosystem.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Internet forums, online communities, social network sites, online journalism, women’s magazines, feminism, The Vagenda, spreadable media
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/23947
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