Jessica Grieser

Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee

GULLS 2011

Georgetown University Linguistic Landscape Symposium (April 2011)

The Landscape of Livejournal

(Poster presented April 15, 1012)

Powerpoint/Poster (PDF)

Social networking websites have made increasingly apparent the degree to which the internet is becoming a communal space. When users get together on the internet, they engage in their own rituals of social practice, creating their own communities of practice (cf. Eckert and McConell-Ginet 1992) around the written word. Within the communities of practice on the internet, ways of making meaning are constantly being negotiated, however, the internet as a location of communities of practice has thus far gone relatively unexplored.

In prior work (Grieser 2011) I have explored the intertextual basis of an interactional phenomenon on the internet. The current study contextualizes the interactional phenomena by looking at the linguistic landscape of the internet forum of livejournal (LJ). On LJ, users interact in written modes and other modes, which may includes still photos, animated photos, and video. I show that this multi-modal interaction, combined with the layout and features of livejournal, contributes to enabling interactional phenomena such as white-knighting but also to the reification of users of livejournal as a community of practice.

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