Friday, 6 September 2013

Diaries: A changing genre

Close up of a desk with computer keyboard, pen and coffee cup
This week's lectures and readings have mainly been addressing the idea of genre and, specifically with the reading, the transition of diaries from the page to the screen. Genre as defined by Van Luyn (2013) is "texts or cultural products (such as music, writing, drama, art) grouped into classes based on similarities and shared conventions." (p. 1) This is genre broadly and generally defined and, with the specific case of my social network, genre is used to define and separate all the different interests available and forming them into categories making it easier to find specific items.

StumbleUpon as an online diary is different to how a blog or traditional diary would be set out. In this week's reading it explained that:
Internet diaries (also known as "blogs") give access to lives in progress to a potential audience of thousands. Likely more people then ever are now writing, reading, and talking about diaries, and many Interent diarists have used their "amateur" narratives to achieve "proffessional" writing acclaim.
(McNiell, 2011, p. 315)
StumbleUpon doesn't have a conventional diary/blogging method, but takes a more unusual path. Instead of having written text to portray feelings and personal life, the 'diary' side of this social network relies heavily on the choosing of your interests and of liking the pages that you 'stumble' through. When looking at my profile specifically, there are no written passages or notes, just my likes and my interests. But the best way for people to look at my profile and understand what my preferences are is by observing my Stumble DNA. By taking a quick look at my Stumble DNA it is easy to see what interests me the most (which in this case is home living) and what interests me the least. So in effect StumbleUpon doesn't use conventional methods of an online diary, but utilises unique techniques to protray the personal life of it's 'Stumbler'.

Until next time,


Reference List:

McNiell, L. (2011). Diary 2.0? A genre moves from Page to Screen. In  C. Rowe & E.L. Wyss. (Eds.), Language and New Media: Linguistic, Cultural, and Technoligical Evolutions (pp. 315-325) Retrieved from:

Van Luyn, A. (2013). BA1002: Our Space: Networks, narratives and the making of place, Lecture 6: Stories and Places. Week 6 Notes [Powerpoint] Retrieved from

Image Credits:
Close up of a desk with computer keyboard, pen and coffee cup [Image]. (2013) Retrieved from:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Aaron,

    I am not one for writing in any form (blog, diary or alike), and so it was very engaging to read your blog. I actually really liked your blog this week. I thought it was very well written and very interesting too. I really liked how you explained that just because there aren’t the conventional blogging and diary writing methods, that is does not mean that it is not a blog or diary (I don’t believe I could have said it any better).

    I do find it annoying on sites such as Facebook, that people just write silly little statuses about the most trivial things. I wish more people were like you and me, where we ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ things, and if they truly want to get to know us and what is on our minds (other than knowing our likes and dislikes), then they will talk to us directly. You have sparked my interest in fact, in StumbleUpon.

    Kindest Regards