Graduation Year

2017

Date of Submission

12-2016

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Reader 1

James Morrison

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Rights Information

© 2016 Sonya Jendoubi

Abstract

Lifestyle blogging has become a vast and profitable domain, with visitors engaging with new content in a variety of ways. The communities that begin to form around these blogs has rarely been analyzed, due to a lack of metrics and a complex definition of virtual communities. Relying on Henry Jenkins work on virtual communities, a set of metrics were used to analyze the depth and breadth of three communities: A Cup of Jo, Wit & Delight, and Cupcakes and Cashmere. The three areas these metrics worked to measure were: awareness, membership, and belonging. Through this audience reception study the clear marker of a community was the direct and systematic blogger engagement with the readership. Many other factors are influential in building a virtual community on a blog, however, what set the three blogs apart was the ways in which Joanna Goddard (A Cup of Jo) and Kate Arends (Wit & Delight) reached out and built relationships with their readers, strengthening their community and allowing it to thrive.

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