Metadata such as the hashtag is an important dimension of social media communication. Despite its important role in practices such as curating, tagging, and searching content, there has been little research into how meanings are made with social metadata.
This book considers how hashtags have expanded their reach from an information-locating resource to an interpersonal resource for coordinating social relationships and expressing solidarity, affinity, and affiliation. It adopts a social semiotic perspective to investigate the communicative functions of hashtags in relation to both language and images.
This book is a follow up to Zappavigna's 2012 model of ambient affiliation, providing an extended analytical framework for exploring how affiliation occurs, bond by bond, in online discourse. It focuses in particular on the communing function of hashtags in metacommentary and ridicule, using recent Twitter discourse about US President Donald Trump as a case study. It is essential reading for researchers as well as undergraduates studying social media on any academic course.
About the Author
Michele Zappavigna is Senior Lecturer in the School of the Arts & Media at the University of Sydney, Australia.
What if the pundits are right? What if the development of the social web is as significant a development in the evolution of our species as the invention of writing? Readers interested in this issue need look no further than Zappavigna's enthralling explorations of social networking - and her account here of the enabling role played by hashtags as ever-more users embark on ever-more search and deploy missions in order to commune. Ambient affiliation has changed the fabric of our social world. Zappavigna shows us how. -- J R Martin, Professor of Linguistics, University of Sydney, Australia
Searchable Talk makes an impressive contribution to the rapidly growing literature on internet communication. Zappavigna writes with equal clarity about the technological and the semiotic aspects of hashtags, and about their role in categorizing information and their role in creating communities of like-minded internet users. As if that is not enough, the focus on Trump hashtags provides a valuable critical edge. -- Theo van Leeuwen. Professor of Language and Communication, University of Southern Denmark and Emeritus Professor, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Searchable Talk is the first book-length treatment of social media hashtags from a linguistics perspective. Through a wide array of verbal and visual examples, Zappavigna wonderfully shows how hashtags function in real contexts. This is an invaluable source for scholars and students interested in digital communication. #comprehensive #insightful #readable #innovative #fascinating. * Mariza Georgalou, Lecturer in Linguistics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece *
Zappavigna employs her impressive technical knowhow not as an end in itself but to inform an insightful systemic functional analysis of hashtag practices. This book sheds light on the meanings construed by hashtags through processes of intertextuality, (dis)alignment, attribution, evaluation and metacommentary, whilst extending linguistic theory to account for social media discourse * Caroline Tagg, Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and English Language, The Open University, UK *
2. Hashtags as a semiotic technology
3. The ideational and interpersonal functions of hashtags
4. #WhinyLittleBitch: Evaluative metacommentary
5. #SpicerFacts: The quoted voice and intersubjectivity
6. #YouAreFakeNews: Construing values
7. Ambient affiliation: Sharing social bonds by negotiating and communing around couplings
8. #AlternativeFacts: Censuring and mocking the quoted voice
9. #TinyTrump: Intermodal coupling and visual hashtag memes
Cast of characters