The phenomenal growth of social media has resulted in transformation in the way we communicate and interact, described by Deighton and Kornfeld (2007) as a “digital interactive transformation in marketing”. According to them, blogs have become a part of the “non-marketing” communication paths, or new traffic lanes, not built for the convenience of marketers but for consumers. However, despite the profound implication of blogs for marketing communications, it is surprising that there exist very little theoretical and empirical studies, if any, on this emerging social phenomenon (Mutum 2009). Bloggers are early adopters of technology; are active, multi-tasking Internet surfers, they trust other bloggers and are more open-minded than the average online consumer does (Forrester 2006) and it is very likely that the perceived interactivity of the blogs is an important driver for blog usage. However, despite the fact that various authors acknowledge the importance of the interactivity construct, there is no consistent definition and conceptualization of the construct (Heeter 2000; Jee and Lee 2002). Moreover, the existing definitions are focused on the consumers’ interaction with a website and are not really applicable in the case of blogs where blog users are talking to the blogger and with other blog users as well. Perceived interactivity is more than the human-machine and human-message interactions. There is a need to take the human-human interactions into account as well. Given these gaps in terms of the role of interactivity, this study seeks to clarify the conceptualization of interactivity, attempting a definition of the construct in view of the popularity of user driven social media, especially blogs.
|Published - 2010
Bibliographical noteThe full text is available free from the link given. Paper presented at the European Conference of the Association for Consumer Research, 'European Advances in Consumer Research', held 30 Jun-03 Jul 2010 in London, UK. Please note Dr Mutum was working at Warwick university when this paper was written.
- social media