Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Traceblog was developed in reaction to one of my previous projects titled Diary of a Star (2004-2007), a blog that appropriated entries from The Andy Warhol Diaries.4 As exciting as Diary of a Star was for me to produce, it consumed more time than I expected because entries had to be carefully written and took much longer to compose than average blog posts. Soon after I finished the Warhol project I began to think about the changes that had taken place with the shift to Web 2.0, and how blogging had changed since 2004. I realized that keeping track of people’s surfing activity had become an important element for private, public, and state organizations to data-mine patterns of communication and consumption online.5 The term “social media” began to be used more often when discussing the growth of early networks such as Orkut, and Friendster around 2004, the period when I began to develop Diary of a Star. I evaluated the changes in online activity since 2004 and decided to develop Traceblog to reflect on the new stage that global culture was entering in 2008, during which millions of people around the world willingly shared information about themselves online, via social networks such as Facebook, Flickr, and Myspace, as well as YouTube, not to mention thousands of blogs, which by such time were conventional tools of communication for average Internet users. The result of the social media frenzy is an attitude of sharing that is ubiquitous in 2010, the time of this writing. In Web 2.0, community users are encouraged to be social under the subtext of constant exposure, at times indirectly and others directly informed by the possibility of becoming a type of celebrity. Anyone can be a “star” in YouTube, if an uploaded video becomes viral, or anyone can feel extremely popular when amassing thousands of friends and “fans” in MySpace and Facebook. For example, since 2005, individual popularity can be measured based on how many people are following a person on Twitter. On these terms, Ashton Kutcher challenged CNN to a Twitter war. Kutcher claimed that he could be the first on Twitter to attain one million followers. Kutcher won.6 As of May 13, 2010, Kutcher has close to five million followers.7 Aside from the celebrity element, the implications of this drive for constant exposure and sociability are intimately linked with marketing strategies dependent on data-mining. When I considered the changes briefly noted above, I concluded that blogs fomented online platforms that have developed since 2003. In other words, the blog, as an online form of communication, is the foundational tool of social media as understood in Web 2.0.8 I decided that developing Traceblog to comment on the shift toward constant transparency, connectivity, and data-mining was appropriate; but to be effective, I had to consider what form the blog would take.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNet Works
Subtitle of host publicationCase Studies in Web Art and Design
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781136944833
ISBN (Print)9780415882217
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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