Telling the story of the stories: online content curation and digital engagement

Aristea Fotopoulou, Nick Couldry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores tensions between the imaginaries and material hindrances that accompany the development of digital infrastructures for narrative exchange and public engagement. Digital infrastructures allow civil society organizations to become narrators of their community lives, and to express solidarity and recognition. Often full development and implementation of such infrastructures result in drastic changes to an organization's mode of operation. Drawing from empirical material collected during an action research project with an organization of community reporters in the North of England, here we examine the visions of ‘telling the story of the stories’ that motivated such changes, the experiments in web analytics and content curation that in practice realized these visions and the socio-economic contexts that constrained them. We attend to the wider social imaginaries about the digital as they help us understand better how social actors construct the worlds they want to inhabit within information society through mundane everyday practices. Examining how perceptions of digital engagement translate into such concrete practices is necessary in order to gain insight into the ways in which material infrastructures, such as resources and technologies, intertwine with social and cultural expectations about how life should be with digital technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-249
Number of pages15
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2014


  • content curation
  • digital infrastructure
  • web analytics
  • social imaginary
  • data literacy


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