Navigating imagined audiences: Motivations for participating in the online public sphere

Bryan Semaan, Heather Faucett, Scott Robertson, Misa Maruyama, Sara Douglas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Little is known about why and how people use multiple social media platforms for political participation, or about the contexts through which social media is appropriated. This paper reports on a qualitative interview study of social media use by politically interested citizens. We interviewed 27 residents of the state of Hawaii who integrated one or more social media tools into their daily lives to participate in the online public sphere. Different social media environments offer both different affordances for action and different audiences, and we describe how media choice is driven by the match between motivations and affordances, and also by the imagined audience. We identified a number of motivations including understanding different viewpoints, formulating perspectives, engaging in positive discourse, repairing Hawaii's image, increasing political awareness and improving civic engagement. We discuss how these goals relate to both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Finally, we examine how social media choice and satisfaction were tied to the physical world context and people's sense of the audience within any particular medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages1158-1169
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781450329224
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2015
Event18th ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2015 - BC, Canada
Duration: Mar 14 2015Mar 18 2015

Other

Other18th ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2015
CountryCanada
CityBC
Period3/14/153/18/15

Keywords

  • audience
  • context
  • motivations
  • Public sphere
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

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