Commodifying the Self: Online Social Networking Profiles As Brand Communities

Lucy Atkinson, University of Wisconsin, Madison
This exploratory paper asks whether online social-networking sites, such as Facebook, can be thought of as brand communities in which the individual is the brand and her social network is the brand community. This paper extends conceptualizations of brand community beyond goods and services by applying it to individuals as brands. This paper also seeks to understand how online profiles are branded, who the customers for these brands are, and how the brand identity and brand community are promulgated. It also explores the degree to which online communities represent a challenge to critiques of postmodern community as inauthentic, mass and depersonalized.
[ to cite ]:
Lucy Atkinson (2008) ,"Commodifying the Self: Online Social Networking Profiles As Brand Communities", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 936-936.