Gemma Newlands and Christoph Lutz presented at this year's Connected Life Conference in Oxford, UK. The conference took place on June 19 and was hosted by the Oxford Internet Institute, a department of the University of Oxford. Connected Life 2017 gathered Internet scholars from a broad range of backgrounds across the world.
At the conference, Gemma presented a joint paper with Christoph on Instagram influencers and digital inequalities. Their analysis combined a social network analysis of more than 14000 Instagram posts with a qualitative textual and visual analysis of 600 posts by 50 influencers. The analysis showed the widespread use of status symbols, indicating that influencers need a lot of offline capital - such as economic, cultural and social capital - to succeed. At the same time, Instagram influencers use language of authenticity and closeness to their audience to make themselves more relatable. The presentation was very well received, with ample coverage on social media, especially Twitter.
The conference website, with an overview of the talks and author biographies of all participating authors, can be found unter this link. The hashtag for the conference was #oxcl17 and the Twitter conversations under this hashtag can be found here.