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Writing to the unknown: bloggers and the presence of backpackers
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 12:55 authored by Niki Panteli, Lin Yan, Petros Chamakiotis
The aim is to study virtual presence in travel blogs. The paper seeks to argue that though some conceptualization of virtual presence has been made in the literature, this only took account of one's presence among a community of “known” others. Increasingly, however, in blogging and other online communities, users do not necessarily know the “others” but they nevertheless interact with them and develop friendships and lasting relationships. This stresses the multidimensional character of the study; one which sees presence as the core topic by considering different perspectives to it. An exploratory case study is conducted with a backpackers' blogging site, its members and audience; a setting that was considered suitable for finding answers to the research questions. The data are analysed qualitatively following a thematic analysis approach. It was found that the invisible and unknown audience has an important role to play in backpackers' presence online. In particular, the study highlights the role played by the audience in shaping the blogging experience and the sense of presence that this experience develops.
Publication titleInformation Technology & People