Abstract

The megaphone effect refers to the fact that the web makes a mass audience potentially available to ordinary consumers. The article focuses on fashion bloggers who acquire an audience by iterated displays of aesthetic discrimination applied to the selection and combination of clothing. The authors offer a theoretical account of bloggers’ success in terms of the accumulation of cultural capital via public displays of taste and describe how the exercise of taste produces economic rewards and social capital for these bloggers. The article situates fashion blogging as one instance of a larger phenomenon that includes online reviews and user-generated content and extends to the consumption of food and home decor as well as clothing. In these instances of the megaphone effect, a select few ordinary consumers are able to acquire an audience without the institutional mediation historically required.

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