Micro-Blogging and Status Updates on <i>Facebook</i>: Texts and Practices

Carmen K. M. Lee

in Digital Discourse

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199795437
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919321 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics

Micro-Blogging and Status Updates on Facebook: Texts and Practices

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This chapter examines the text-making practices of one of the newest media, micro-blogging (web-based self-reporting in the form of short messages). It focuses on status updates on Facebook written by a group of Cantonese-English bilinguals. It first presents a basic content analysis of the typical communicative functions of status updates, as well as the emerging linguistic and orthographic features of the status updates collected. Grounded in the theory of social literacies, the chapter further considers status updates as situated literacy practices, which are deeply embedded in the status writers' everyday lived experiences. The situated nature of status updates is then illustrated by an ethnographic-style account of the ways in which a woman used status updates, alongside other media, during and after her pregnancy. The chapter concludes by drawing attention to the social implications of status updating, and to the hybrid nature of new media genres.

Keywords: microblogging; Facebook; status updates; text-making practices; literacy practices; communicative functions; new literacy studies; writing; text; multimodality

Chapter.  6931 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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