The New Consumer Online

The New Consumer Online

A Sociology of Taste, Audience, and Publics

Edward F. McQuarrie

It’s a new world online, where consumers can publish their writing and gain a public presence, even a mass audience. This book links together blogging, writing reviews for Yelp, and creating pinboards for Pinterest, all of which provide ordinary people the opportunity to display their tastes to strangers. Edward McQuarrie expertly analyzes how the operation of taste in consumption has been changed by the Internet and offers a fresh perspective on why websites like Yelp and Pinterest have become so successful.

Chapter 1: Essay One: Blogs and the megaphone effect

Edward F. McQuarrie

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, marketing, innovation and technology, knowledge management

Extract

The Web allows ordinary consumers to reach a mass audience, to grab hold of the megaphone. More consumers have more opportunities to reach thousands of other consumers than ever before. I draw on Turner’s (2010) idea of a demotic turn, to situate fashion blogs as one way in which ordinary consumers get a megaphone. I then delve into Bourdieu’s idea of cultural capital to explore how a few consumers succeeded in realizing the potential for a mass audience. Fashion blogs yield new insight into the meaning of cultural capital, one of Bourdieu’s most original and subtle ideas, and a gateway to viewing consumers through a sociological lens.