Podcasting and Personal Brands: Mapping a Theoretical Path from Participatory Empowerment to Individual Persona Construction
Keywords:podcasting, participatory media, personal brands
This research paper critically analyses the The Osher Günsberg Podcast to illustrate a theoretical disconnect between dominant Web 2.0 theories and the contemporary practice of using the podcast to construct a networked branded persona. I trace the history of early theorisations of the medium, first regarded by leading scholars as a tool for user empowerment in the ‘participatory turn’ in media studies before examining how it is employed by media personalities to establish transmedia personal brands; a particular phenomenon emerging at the forefront of a renewed interest in podcasting by traditional media stakeholders. I argue that this disconnect reveals a need for scholars who study the podcast to now draw on the emerging field of persona studies, which offers a range of new tools that will be useful in analysing the continued evolution of podcasting under its new market pressures and potentials.
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