Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Review the attached presentations on exchange rates. Then go to the X-Rates Web site ( and find the current: Exchange rate for the US Dollar (USD) an - Writeedu

Review the attached presentations on exchange rates. Then go to the X-Rates Web site ( and find the current: Exchange rate for the US Dollar (USD) an


In your initial response to the topic you have to answer all questions.

Review the attached presentations on exchange rates.

Then go to the X-Rates Web site ( and find the current:

  1. Exchange rate for the US Dollar (USD) and any other country's currency that you wish to study. Do NOT select the Chinese Yuan as your other currency because it is not a freely floating currency.
  2. Then, in the Monthly Average display, select the last 12 months from the drop down menus and click on "Go."
  3. Based on the 12 months of data, which currency is appreciating (gaining value) and which is depreciating (losing value)? Remember it can do both in a year.

Report your findings to the class in your discussion post. 

  • Exchange Rates Part 1
  • Exchange Rates Part 2
  • Exchange Rates Part 3


Choose one of the following options for your Post: (Please see attached for articles) 

Option #1: The Inner History of Devices

After reading the assigned chapters from Turkle's The Inner History of Devices, please do the following:  

  1. Identify three specific examples from these articles of personal experiences with technology that particularly struck you. For each of your three examples: 
    • Compose a brief description that includes the technology and how it shaped the person's experience of the world.  
    • Connect the example to any of the other Required Learning Materials we have covered and discussed throughout the course. Be sure to refer to a specific reading.  
  2. Describe one of your personal experiences with technology or an experience of someone you know that in some way resembles the examples in these two chapters.   
  3. Use two quotes from any of your resources to support or explain your points. Make sure to provide in-text citations for both quotes in MLA format.  
  4. Provide references for all sources in MLA format.   

Option #2: Women and their Machines

After reading the two assigned chapters from Dyer's From Curlers to Chainsaws, please do the following:  

  1. For each chapter: 
    • Identify and describe a specific incident in the author's life and how it connects to technology. Do you think this incident reflects the concept of technological determinism or social constructivism? Explain.  
    • Explain how this incident relates to the author's gender, racial, religious, ethnic, familial, class or cultural identity. 
  2. Assess your technological biography project and convey to the class anything from it that can relate to the idea of how technology can shape your self-conception and identity, or the self-conception and identity of the person you interviewed. How might technology enhance, expand or encompass your or your interviewee's gender, racial, religious, ethnic, familial, class or cultural identity?  
  3. Use two quotes from any of your resources to support or explain your points. Make sure to provide in-text citations for both quotes in MLA format.  
  4. Provide references for all sources in MLA format.   

Option #3: Virtually Me

After reading Smith and Watson's chapter, "Virtually Me: A Toolbox about Online Self-Presentation," please do the following:  

  1. Select three terms you think are particularly interesting, and for each term, do the following:  
  2. Define or explain the term in your own words by summarizing or paraphrasing from the resource.  
  3. Use this term to talk about something you wrote, researched or learned while doing your technological biography. Make sure to justify your use of this term to talk about something from your technological biography project by referring to specifics from your work on the project and showing how the term applies.  
  4. Use two quotes from any of your resources to support or explain your points. Make sure to provide in-text citations for both quotes in MLA format.  
  5. Provide references for all sources in MLA format.  

Follow the links below to the UMGC library and read the two assigned chapters from Dyer, Joyce et al. From Curlers to Chainsaws : Women and Their Machines. Michigan State University Press, 2016 

  1. (20 min read) "If you can’t stand the heat: Ruminations on the Stove from an African-American Women" by Psyche Williams-Forson, pages 29-49 
  2. (15 min read) "Lebanese Airwaves" by Diana Salman, pages 228-42 

Opportunities for composing, assembling, and networking lives have expanded exponentially since the advent of Web 2.0. The sites and software of digital media provide occasions for young people to narrate moments in coming of age; for families to track and narrate their genealogical histories; for people seeking friends and lovers or those with similar hobbies to make connections; for polit- ical activists to organize around movements and causes. These everyday sites of self-presentation appear to be categorically different from what is understood as traditional life writing, be it published autobiography, memoir, or confession. And yet, as Nancy Baym (2006) observes, “online spaces are constructed and the activities that people do online are intimately interwoven with the construc- tion of the offline world and the activities and structures in which we partici- pate, whether we are using the Internet or not” (86, qtd in Gray 2009, 1168). Thus, online lives exist in complicated relationship to offline lives and to what has been termed the “outernet” (Nakamura 2008, 1676). And “electronic per- sons” have multiple connections to “proximate individuals,” as J. Schmitz (1997) has observed (qtd in Kennedy 2006, 4). For these reasons, the analytical frames and theoretical positions of scholarship on life writing can provide helpful con- cepts and categories for thinking about the proliferation of online lives in var- ied media and across a wide range of sites.

Our contribution to understanding subjectivity and identities online, as well as the modes and media mobilized to present and perform lives, is this toolkit, organized alphabetically through rubrics derived from the framework we devel- oped in Reading Autobiography (Smith and Watson 2010).1 Studying the pres- entation of online lives makes clear that both the self and its presentation are only apparently autonomous, as many life narrative theorists, as well as media theorists, argue. In fact, online lives are fundamentally relational or refracted


Virtually Me

A Toolbox about Online Self-Presentation

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C o p y r i g h t 2 0 1 3 . U n i v e r s i t y o f W i s c o n s i n P r e s s .

A l l r i g h t s r e s e r v e d . M a y n o t b e r e p r o d u c e d i n a n y f o r m w i t h o u t p e r m i s s i o n f r o m t h e p u b l i s h e r , e x c e p t f a i r u s e s p e r m i t t e d u n d e r U . S . o r a p p l i c a b l e c o p y r i g h t l a w .

EBSCO Publishing : eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) – printed on 3/3/2023 8:09 PM via UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND GLOBAL CAMPUS AN: 677350 ; Anna Poletti, Julie Rak.; Identity Technologies : Constructing the Self Online Account: s4264928.main.edsebook

through engagement with the lives of their significant others: the lives presented are often interactive; they are co-constructed; they are linked to others—family, friends, employers, causes, and affiliations. Many online lives profess attach- ments not to flesh-and-blood others but to media personages, consumer prod- ucts, and works of art or music linked to online resources such as YouTube videos. As N. Katherine Hayles asserts for electronic literature, so for online relationships and subjectivities: they are re-described and re-presented “in terms of a networked environment in which individual selves blend into a col- lectivity, human boundaries blur as people merge with technological apparatus, and cultural formations are reconfigured to reflect and embody a cyborgian reality” (Hayles 2003).

Here we offer two preliminary comments. The first clarifies the key terms “self,” “subject,” and “subject position” as used in this toolkit. Throughout, we use the term “self ” as a pronomial marker of reflexivity, the shorthand term for acts of self-reference. This sense of the term should not, however, be conflated with the liberal humanist concept of the self as a rational, autonomous, self- knowing, and coherent actor, which is a legacy of the Enlightenment. Indeed, this liberal humanist self, understood as essential, free, and agentic, has been a focus of critique for four decades. When constructing personal web pages or the like, users themselves often imagine that they are revealing their “real” or “true” essence, a person or “me” who is unique, singular, and outside social construc- tions and constraints.2 Theorists of media and autobiography, however, approach the constructed self not as an essence but as a subject, a moving target, which provisionally conjoins memory, identity, experience, relationality, embodiment, affect, and limited agency.

In online self-presentation as in offline life narration, then, the “I” of refer- ence is constructed and situated, and not identical with its flesh-and-blood maker.3 Moreover, that “I” is constituted through discursive formations, which are heterogeneous, conflictual, and intersectional, and which allocate subject positions to those who are interpellated through their ideological frames, tropes, and language. Those subject positions in turn attach to salient cultural and his- torical identities. Both offline and online, the autobiographical subject can be approached as an ensemble or assemblage of subject positions through which self-understanding and self-positioning are negotiated.

Our second comment clarifies what the term “online lives” encompasses in this chapter.4 Many media theorists invoke the term “digital storytelling” to refer to the transmission of personal stories in digital forms. Nick Couldry, for example, refers to “the whole range of personal stories now being told in potentially public

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form using digital media resources” (Couldry 2008, 347). We follow Couldry’s lead in limiting online lives to “online personal narrative formats . . . [now] preva- lent: . . . multimedia formats such as MySpace and Facebook, textual forms such as webblogs (blogs), the various story forms prevalent on more specialist digi- tal storytelling sites or the many sites where images and videos, including mate- rial captured on personal mobile devices, can be collected for wider circulation (such as YouTube)” (381–82). We oscillate between the forms attached to partic- ular sites, and the acts and practices of self-representation and self-performance employed by users on a range of standardized forms and templates.

Further, we do not take up oral storytelling such as co-produced stories told in offline workshops and then mounted online. Others have focused on the contrast of online narrative forms to practices of oral storytelling and projects involving listening to others’ stories, as does Joe Lambert (2012) and scholars and writers affiliated with the Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, Cali- fornia. Nor do we consider the collective websites that make available collabo- ratively produced life stories of ordinary people, such as StoryCorps,, or My Life Is True. While many kinds of online life stories use autobiographi- cal templates for narration, not all are produced by the single subject/user telling, performing, and/or imaging a life, the focus of this chapter.

In our toolkit of fifteen concepts presented in alphabetical order, each brief discussion is followed by questions to enable scholars and students to produc- tively engage with the vast variety of sites presenting lives online. You might pose these questions as you produce or interact with online “life” presentations of many sorts: an opinion blog, a profile of a desirable self on a dating site, a webcam “reality” video, a Facebook profile or LiveJournal entry. The questions offer points of entry for analyzing online self-presentations and points of departure for constructing, and critiquing, your own online life and those of others.

Archive and Database

Online sites gather, authorize, and conserve the version of self a user is assem- bling. Various kinds of documents become evidence capturing varied aspects of the presenter’s life, habits, desires, and the like. That is, a site incorporates and organizes documents about a self as a personal archive, and that personal archive may become incorporated into other archives, official or unofficial, de – signed or accidental. Moreover, the algorithmic data generated by the site directs information about the self into online databases. The prodigious capacities of online archives have therefore shifted how we understand the relationship of archives to databases. Tara McPherson (2011) argues that today’s database has

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supplanted the archive, and distinguishes the archive—which has an archivist of some kind, a principle of collection, and a design for storage and structure for categorization—from the database, which is an instrument of a governmen- tality that bureaucratizes and commodifies bits and pieces of information.

Neither the archive nor the database has a fail-safe delete button for past tid- bits of the self. Code may break down, and the new service industry of reputa- tion management may eventually delete substantial data archives. Nonetheless, online users are implicated in contributing user-generated content, which can return in digital afterlives, as online archives and databases become ever more searchable. Thus, the archival possibilities of the web include deliberate efforts by users to store a profile that becomes an online version of the self; the random bits that are dispersed across the Internet that could be pulled in to construct, alter, or contest a user profile; accidental archives assembled by others such as Wikileaks, which disseminate personal data that has been kept out of public circulation; reassemblages of the data of the self circulated by others with var- ied motivations; and the “digital character” (Noguchi 2011) that data aggrega- tors assemble from user’s buying habits, GPS locations, phone connections, and the like.

In examining an online site of self-presentation, consider the following ques- tions related to archiving and producing data. What comprises a database through which “digital character” is constructed? Who benefits from the accumulation of data about users? What comprises an archive of self and how is it built? Are official documents scanned in, such as birth, marriage, or death certificates, or citizenship records? How are the documents authenticated, and is that certifi- cation persuasive? What kind of authority does the user seek to establish in assembling documentation to curate a life? Is a motive or purpose given for this documentation? Are the testimonies of others included or links made to them? Is there a link to evidence asserting the history and legitimacy of a larger group?

Over time, online presentation of embodiment creates an archive of the body. What kind of archive of embodiment can be observed on various sites? Does it make visible segments of the life cycle, or particular bodily forms, or particular conditions of the body? Which aspects of the body archive are drawn from his- tory, and which are projected as fantasies of a future moment in the life cycle?

For what occasions, to what extent, and for whom is an archive or database being assembled? Which media of archiving have been employed and to what effects? Is the purpose of self-archiving to build a legacy, to mislead or deceive by creating a false identity, and/or to register a history of successfully overcom- ing a past identity? Has the user’s life story been inserted into someone else’s

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archive, for example in the collection of stories amassed by the StoryCorps proj- ect on National Public Radio, in sports histories, or in opposition research for political campaigns? What larger story does the archive produce? Does the site construct a history that aims to counteract or undermine other information avail- able online about the user?

Digital archives are unlike print archives in several ways: the categories and hierarchies of information storage are leveled; the incidental and the charac- teristic seem of the same magnitude and significance. Careless users can lie and conflate people sharing a characteristic such as name or birthdate. What is involved in searching an archive for some part of one’s story or history? How do the archives of such institutions as the Church of the Latter-day Saints or websites such as contribute to a user’s story and how might their protocols co-construct that story?


Online venues assume, invite, and depend on audiences, sometimes intimate, sometimes not. How a site appeals to an audience and the kind of response it solicits deserve attention. It may seek to enhance its authority with endorse- ments from, or links to, celebrities, experts, or an index of commercial success. It may invite a voyeuristic response by offering access to intimate details about the subject of the site or others. It may feed an appetite for the melancholic, sen- sational, morbid, or violent. Visitors also need to follow the money, evaluating who has funded and who is asked to contribute to the site. It may espouse a social need or cause, but users may want to determine who paid to mount the site or who ultimately profits from it.

What kind of audience does the site call for? Whom does the site explicitly address as its imagined audience? What verbal or visual rhetorics does the site deploy to engage visitors? How does the site attempt to bracket out potentially hostile users from its audience? What is the reach of the assumed or desired audience—local, national, transnational? Are issues of language or cultural dif- ference foregrounded and are ways of translating those differences provided on the site?

What action does the site invite its audience to undertake or support? What affect does the site seek to produce in readers—for instance, shame, pity, anger, or melancholy? And how might actual users respond in ways aligned or un – aligned with an affect? How is audience interaction incorporated into the self- presentation? Over a longer period of time, how much change or continuity can be observed in the self presented?

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In terms of actual users, who are the frequent users, and what are their demographics or characteristics as a group? What other audiences might use or interact with the site? Are there potentially hostile users, or user groups, that the site tries to bracket out? Has the demographic of the audience changed over time, and if so, in what ways? Is the audience a potential market, and what kind of a market?

Au thenticit y

Users find online environments potent sites for constructing and trying out versions of self. The availability of multiple and heterogeneous sites for self- presentation promises seemingly endless opportunities for conveying some “truth” about an “authentic” self for those with access to web technologies. The selves produced through various sites can convey to visitors and users a sense of intimacy—the intimacy of the quotidian details of daily life, the intimacy of shared confession and self-revelation, the intimacy of a unique voice or persona or virtual sensibility, contributory to the intimate public sphere theorized by Lau- ren Berlant (1997) and Anna Poletti (2011).

Yet cultural commentators question the extent to which presenters can be “authentic” in virtual environments. If by authenticity one means the unmediated access to some “essence” or “truth” of a subject, virtual environments only make clearer the critique made by poststructural theorists that all self-presentation is performative, that authenticity is an effect, not an essence. Jeff Pooley (2011), for instance, observes that “authenticity today is more accurately described as ‘calculated authenticity’—. . . stage management. The best way to sell yourself is to not appear to be selling yourself.” David Graxian even more strongly em – phasizes that authenticity is “manufactured.” Graxian is exploring the ways in which authenticity is “manufactured” within the context of the Chicago blues club, but his observations on this offline environment are productive for thinking about digital authenticity: “Broadly speaking,” he writes, “the notion of authen- ticity suggests two separate but related attributes. First, it can refer to the abil- ity of a place or event to conform to an idealized representation of reality: that is, to a set of expectations regarding how such a thing ought to look, sound, and feel. At the same time, authenticity can refer to the credibility or sincerity of a performance and its ability to come off as natural and effortless” (Graxian 2003, 10–11; cited in Gray 2009, 1164).

If authenticity can be “manufactured,” if it is an effect of features of self- performance, then credibility, veracity, and sincerity acquire a slipperiness that can prompt suspicious readings (see Smith and Watson 2012). And indeed, users

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themselves often read sites with a skeptical eye, assessing the presenter’s degree of sincerity or speculating about whether he or she is posing as a false identity. Alternatively, authenticity can be rethought through the concept of “realness” proposed by Judith/Jack Halberstam. Halberstam shifts attention from ques- tions of authenticity to the unpredictability of effects in the world. She defines “realness” as “not exactly performance, not exactly an imitation; it is the way that people, minorities, excluded from the domain of the real, appropriate the real and its effects” (Halberstam 2005, 51; cited in Gray 2009, 1163). Appropri- ations of realness in online environments may reinforce social norms and they may open a space for recognition of the constructedness of those norms.

In interacting with online performances of self, the following questions arise with regard to authenticity and realness. Is this a site where the authenticity of self-presentation matters and if so, for whom and for what reasons? What strate- gies for creating a situated, historical subject does the user or site mobilize? Does an aura of authenticity attach to a particular identity category on particular kinds of sites; for example, sites acknowledging victimization or transgression such as coming-out sites, weight sites, illness sites, or grief sites?

What strategies for winning belief are deployed? What are identified as guar- antors of authenticity on a site? How convincing are those guarantors? Are there different kinds of guarantors for different kinds of sites? For example, webcam sites seem to guarantee the moment-to-moment authenticity of the subject of their surveillance, and yet “surveillance realism” can be manufactured, as in real- ity television. The web-based video series that began in June 2006 named Lone- lyGirl15, for instance, was unmasked in September 2006 as inauthentic, a bid to gain celebrity status for an aspiring nineteen-year-old American actor (Jessica Lee Rose as Bree Avery). The narration of personal histories on video sites such as YouTube appears to be a slice of life, but the production of a video is a col- lective project involving a camera person, a sound person, and sometimes a director other than the performing “I.” How, then, is the aura of authenticity attached to an online performance constructed by a crew, which could include a camera person, sound person, director, and script-writer? Do you find this self-presentation to be sincere or to be calculated authenticity, a pose or “man- ufactured” pseudo-individuality?

How is “authenticity” surveilled online? How does the site try to convince visitors of its creator’s “truthfulness”? What degree of fabrication or exaggera- tion do visitors tolerate and correct for in an online environment? For instance, on dating sites users may expect idealized representations of others as younger, thinner, and more attractive, and adjust for a vanity-driven profile. How does

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an aura of authenticity get attached to “anonymity” in sites where the user is not identified? Can a fabricated online identity contribute to a different kind of “truth” aimed at correcting a social harm or inequity? That is, to what extent does it matter that an online identity is inauthentic if the blogger or journal writer claims to speak on behalf of victims who cannot dare to risk speaking out publicly? What are the larger politics of authenticity in the global traffic in narratives of suffering? What is the relationship of authenticity to the ideological formations of global capitalism, to transnational activism, to online marketing, to reputa- tion management?

Au tomedialit y

Scholars in media studies and autobiography studies invoke a set of related terms to illuminate the relationship of technologies and subjectivity: medium, mediation, mediatization, automediality, autobiomediality, and transmediality. Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin (2000), for instance, describe the relation of medium and mediation in this way: “A medium is that which remediates. It is that which appropriates the techniques, forms, and social significance of other media and attempts to rival or refashion them in the name of the real” (65). British cultural studies theorists are concerned to distinguish mediatization gen- erally from mediation. “Mediation,” observes Nick Couldry, “emphasize[s] the heterogeneity of the transformations to which media give rise across a complex and divided social space” (Couldry 2008, 375). Mediatization, in contrast, “de – scribes the transformation of many disparate social and cultural processes into forms or formats suitable for media representation” (377). His argument is that media cannot simply be conceptualized as “tools” for presenting a preexisting, essential self. Rather, the materiality of the medium constitutes and textures the subjectivity presented. Media technologies, that is, do not just transparently present the self. They constitute and expand it, and imagine new kinds of vir- tual sociality, which do not depend on direct or corporeal encounter. (See Smith and Watson 2010, 168.)

The concept of automediality (or autobiomediality) directs the concept of mediation to the terrain of the autobiographical and the self-presentation of online sites. It provides a theoretical framework for conceptualizing the way subjectivity is constructed online across visual and verbal forms in new media. Brian Rotman (2009) places the concept of autobiomediality in the long history of encounters between modes of self-enunciation and locates the present moment in “a radically altered regime of space-time” in which there is “an emerging co- presence of mobile, networked selves with identities . . . ‘in perpetual formation

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and reformation at the moment of use’” (121). Scholars in Germany and France, among them Joerg Dünne and Christian Moser (2008), have focused on the concept of automediality as well. Ruth E. Page (2008) refers to transmediality and multimodality as forms of electronic literature that are gaining attention in narrative studies. Automediality implies an aesthetics of collage, mosaic, pas- tiche. Subjectivity cannot be regarded as an entity or essence; it is a bricolage or set of disparate fragments, rather than a coherent, inborn unit of self. Autome- dial practices of digital life writing impact the prosthetic extension of self in networks, the reorientation of bodies in virtual space, the perspectival position- ing of subjects, and alternative embodiments.

How does the choice of a medium or media contribute to the construction of subjectivity on a particular site? If you observe multiple media of self-presentation, where do you see them merging or conflicting in a self-presentation?


Embodiment is a translation in various media of the experienced and sensed materiality of the self. While the body is always dematerialized in virtual rep- resentation, embodiment in many forms and media is a prominent feature of online self-presentation. The possibility of configuring oneself as an avatar with nonhuman features and capacities on sites such as Second Life or World of War- craft offer new dimensions to the performance of the self. Bodily extensions and fantasies (e.g., of animals, cartoon heroes, or machines; enhanced, streamlined, or transformed human capacities) are enabled. And yet, while avatars are assumed to function as the erasure of identity markers such as race or ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and age, the choice of an avatar can be a form of what Lisa Nakamura (2008) labels “identity tourism.” This troubling practice, according to Naka- mura, “let users ‘wear’ racially stereotyped avatars without feeling racist, yet it also blamed users who reveal their real races and were victims of racism online” (1675). She argues that the Internet is not “a postracial space” where users can “‘choose’ a race as an identity tourist” or withhold a racial identity (1676), and therefore that the avatar is not necessarily a medium for escaping identity.

What possibilities of avatar identity are generated by site templates and pro- tocols? How is the avatar stylized—through, for instance, adornment of the con- temporary or a historical period, body markings, prostheses, or amputation? What does the choice of an avatar suggest about the relationship among bodily systems and organs, visible bodily surfaces, and bodily histories and meaning? How might the codes or rules of a community affect the choice of an avatar?

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What social boundaries are crossed or transgressed through self-presentation as an avatar? Are scenarios of desire or violence or mystical transformation en – acted and to what end? Are fantasies of embodiment engaged through dreams, rituals, myths, or other projections? How is the avatar of the user related to other bodies? What are the effects of capturing the body in other ways than photos and video? If identity markers are referenced, is there evidence on the site for determining whether they are markers of race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, age? What contextualization in the form of chatting or blogging surrounds the avatar?


Online environments are fully corporatized, with sites ripe for data mining by aggregators and marketers. So, we can’t be surprised that the discourse of corporate management has promoted “Brand Me” as the mode of online self- presentation. Or as William Deresiewicz (2011) observed, “The self today is an entrepreneurial self, a self that’s packaged to be sold” (7). That is, the self is regarded as a commodity to be packaged for brokering in a variety of media sites, including YouTube, the personal websites of entrepreneurs, and product- related sites.

Online venues are preferred vehicles for composing, circulating, monitoring, and managing one’s brand. Individual users adopt the methods of corporate marketers, simplifying and honing their self-images and presentational be hav- iors to project a desirable brand “Me”—digitally hip, successful, fully sociable, intriguing. Some identify what sets them apart in their quirky individuality; some emphasize achievements. Some turn themselves into a kind of “logo,” which will consistently deliver a product and up-to-date status reports. As self-curators, users utilize the web to create a multimedia CV that marks “you” as a brand. The brand is consolidated and marketed through narratives and images, espe- cially those on social networking sites. Thus, telling personal stories or perform – ing one’s sense of one’s personality is critical to the conveyance of the brand “you.” Narrative, profiles, images all link aspects of your experience and your charac- ter into a coherent presentation.

With the imperative of branding, however, comes the necessity of managing the brand by managing online reputation. To do this, users can contract with any one of the many reputation managers advertising their services, such as and The message here is that the impulse to online self-disclosure can be reckless and can under- mine the self-image or brand a creator wants to project.

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