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The Human vs The Giant – David and Goliath

The biblical story of David & Goliath recounts how Goliath, a Philistine giant, challenges the Israelites to single combat in the centre of the battlefield to decide the outcome of the battle between Saul and the Israelites against the Philistines. Saul, the monarch of the Israelites cowers out resulting in the undersized David to step to the challenge. David rejected the use of Saul’s armour and opted to defend himself with nothing more than his sling, five stones and his staff. David and Goliath face off prior to the combat and David says “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth”.

The battle then commences and David launches a single stone from his sling into the centre of the giant Goliath’s forehead resulting in him falling onto his face. Following the battle the Philisties fled and were pursued by the Isaraelites. David then cut the head of Goliath off and took it to Jerusalem where he was praised as a hero and a giant-slayer. Goliath is a symbol of intimidation and monstrous size, with the term “Goliath” being related in modern usage to creatures and objects of large stature that are seen as immovable and unstoppable.

“Technologies are tools used by Man. They extend his powers, but do not change him.” is a humanist quote that relates heavily to the story of David & Goliath. The story of David and Goliath has become a common cliche to describe an underdog overcoming all odds and defeating a larger, more daunting opponent. Goliath is often depicted in art and literature as a Philistine monster who stood at a significantly larger height than those around him and was equipped with a thick set of bronze armour and weaponry that was larger than David himself. Regardless of this however, David is described and illustrated as the opposite of this. A much smaller, less intimidating figure who utilised brains over brawn to conquer his monstrous opponent. 

David and Goliath, a color lithograph by Osmar Schindler (c. 1888)

In regards to the aforementioned quote this is a key example of the humanist concept as the use of David’s sling was ultimately the deciding factor in his bout against the giant Goliath; it did not change him or his core values. Prior to his battle he spoke to Goliath stating that “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down” this was a statement that emphasised the importance of David’s faith to him and even after he conquered the monster using a single stone and sling and was placed in the highest regard by those around him he still kept his core beliefs, taking the head of Goliath back to Jerusalem and later usurping Saul to become the king of the United Monarchy of Israel. 

Michelangelo’s sculpture of David that was erected from between 1501 to 1504 epitomises the humanistic values portrayed in the story of David & Goliath. The statue features David with a furrowed brow and in a state of deep concentration. When crafting this sculpture Michaelangelo aimed to humanise David as much as possible, this is illustrated in the sculptures body posture. David stands sculpted with complete composure and rationality. In the story of David and Goliath he conquers the monster and becomes a hero with sheer willpower and intelligence, representing the humanist ideal of heroism and self-discipline. 

Michelangelo, “David,” 1501-1504 (Photo: Jörg Bittner Unna)

The eyes of the statue face towards the city of Florence and since its construction it has seen David become a prominent icon for the people of Florence. The piece of art not only is a showing of humanism by showing David in his most human form posing naked, in a state of vulnerability whilst also showing the human body is a gift and thing of beauty.

The importance of this statue to the people of Florence is also a sign of humanism. A key aspect in humanism and a virtue that is prominent in the story of David and Goliath is his display of his civic duty by defending his people, stepping up to the challenge of battling the feared Goliath, even when King Saul cowers out.

A quote from Classic Readings in Monster on Monster Theory states “Monsters perform important work for us as individuals and as communities policing our boundaries defining our norms … through their inversions and transgressions.”. In the story of David and Goliath, the monster Goliath defines the boundaries and the norms of his human opponent David just by his physical stature alone. Despite this, the humanistic ideals prevail over the transgressions of the monstrous Goliath, David is autonomous and therefore able to conquer his intimidating adversary using his human intelligence and willpower. The story of David vs Goliath has taken on a secular meaning following the events. With David having more human-like attributes in both size and mentality he is the embodiment of humanism, being armed with nothing more than a sling and 5 stones he was able to conquer the giant warrior who was feared and ultimately conquer the boundaries that the monster had placed on his community. In modern times the usage of the phrase David vs Goliath implies that Goliath is a feared, unstoppable competitor to that of a smaller, less intimidating David.

In summary, the story of David & Goliath explores a multitude of concepts including the humanist ideals and the civic virtues that are held at such a high regard when exploring the ideologies of humanism. Michelangelo’s sculpture portrays the humanist ideals and the key messages explored within the story of David & Goliath. The monster in the biblical account, Goliath is a figure that is incredibly powerful to explore when viewing the underdog situation from a humanist perspective, seeing how his adversary and his eventual downfall can be seen as the result of the ideal human using self-discipline and nobility.

References

david-and-goliath adjective – Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced American Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com. 2022. david-and-goliath adjective – Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced American Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/american_english/david-and-goliath. [Accessed 31 March 2022]. 

Freedman, D., 2000. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. 1st ed. Amsterdam University Press: Wm Eerdmans Publishing Co..

Mcluhan, M., 1994. Understanding Media. MIT Press.

Simon, A. and Hensel, M., 2018. Classic Readings on Monster Theory. Arc Humanities Press. Strokes of Genius. 2022. Michelangelo’s David: Humanism at its finest. [ONLINE] Available at: https://bhcruickshanks.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/michelangelos-david-humanism-at-its-finest/. [Accessed 30 March 2022].

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BCM 241

Aaaand That’s a Wrap! – The conclusion of the Rap Twitter Page

Going into this Digital Artefact I was hesitant. Having done these sorts of projects in the past this felt the same, but different? 

This was an experience where I had to intently observe the way that people on Twitter interacted with each other and the content I posted whilst still developing an online persona. Developing an online persona seemed simple enough as navigating social media and conversing with others and posting has become second nature but remaining active on a consistent basis is what I knew would prove most difficult. It was from this that I knew that choosing a media niche I was passionate about and would enjoy working on over a consistent basis was essential.

In doing so I’ve been able to simultaneously produce content about a topic I enjoy and passively research the audience in an ethical manner and on a consistent basis.

As mentioned earlier I decided to use Twitter to observe my media niche as well as Spotify to a smaller extent. In essence, this was a Hip-Hop Twitter account that featured hot takes, rap memes, opinions and lyrics that were all relevant and circulated within the Hip-Hop music sphere. Similarly a Spotify account accompanied the Twitter account and was updated on a weekly basis, the tracks on the playlist were based off of popularity and relevance for that particular week and the playlist as a whole is comprised of songs from rappers who have been circulating around the Hip-Hop sphere during that week.

On that point, when I began working on the account there were a plethora of background sources in which I drew inspiration from when both creating content and building my online persona. Depending on the content I was aiming for, tweeting news based comments I grew great inspiration from accounts like @XXL and @raptvcom as they were by far the news-based Twitter accounts that gained the most traction and therefore had the widest and most diverse research pool to gather information from. However when it came to creating posts that further fleshed the more personable side of the online persona I diverged from these accounts and based my account and persona off of more opinion based profiles such as @GothamCityRap , @RapTalkv2 & @TheNeedleDrop , these are all users who base their entire online persona off of ‘Hot Takes’ and impulse reactions to albums and music that has recently come out.

Making memes and posting them to the account was also a key part of building an online persona that best suited my media niche as memes are such an important part of the Twitter Hip-Hop community. With an astounding amount of meme formats and memes based around Hip-Hop topics and figures I had an abundance of content to work with, especially with such a rapidly moving niche, new music is released weekly and new artists emerge daily giving me and every other creator on the platform a lot to work with when creating content on the platform.

The Hip-Hop media niche is an incredibly diverse one with people from all backgrounds and parts of the world being fans and consumers of such a diverse genre of music, as a result of this I had an incredibly wide research pool to work with and gather information from to better understand how people consume Hip-Hop and then communicate and translate their thoughts into the Hip-Hop Twitter sphere.

There have been two main readings I have incorporated whilst investigating the way that the audience within the Hip-Hop Twitter community interact. One of which is a source by Michael Richard titled “Turning back to the story of my life: an autoethnographic exploration of a researcher’s identity during the PhD process”, the source itself details the autoethnographic process in great depth including a part of the process where epiphanies occur, this was critical for my research as there were no shortages of these in my research. The source states “Part of an authoethnographers research is noting down epiphanies that occur during their research” so I did just that. One of the largest epiphanies I experienced was the lack of exposure and interactions I was getting on my own posts so I used this knowledge and listed it all down in the week four blog post. This allowed me to redirect my research strategy and began using the comment section of larger pages to gather research after I began releasing that my own tweets were struggling to garner attention and be a useful form of gathering information. Similar to this, the second academic piece that assisted my research was a piece from an article by Morse and Richard titled “Easier Said Than Done: Writing an Autoethnography observes the methods and forms of data that can lead to well detailed and founded ethnographic research. A quote from the article states “Data in ethnography traditionally arises from interviews, participant observation field notes, document and artifact analysis, and research diaries”. This sort of information allowed me to realise that there were more forms of data to be gathered other than just comments and likes on Twitter posts, the article also allowed me to realise that gathering notes and observations I picked up on while passively researching consumers of the Hip-Hop niche was imperative because of how rapidly it changes and how quickly the landscape moves. I was able to then accompany this source with a New York Times article that detailed how Hip-Hop artists such as 50 Cent and Lil Wayne have utilised their platform to garner attention and build a fanbase. These sources founded the approach I took when gathering research and how I handled epiphanies I experienced throughout the entirety of the project.

So in essence, there were many trials and tribulations experienced while researching the media niche audience over the last semester but also an equal amount of learning curves and bits of knowledge that allowed me to better understand the audience and complete the research to the fullest.

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BCM 241

Reviewing my Reviews, Pt.2!

As the semester nears completion now is the perfect time to look at my fellow peers’ beta’s and see how they’re work can allow me to learn before heading into the final research report.

After reviewing and observing three different digital artefacts there has definitely been some major takeaways surrounding how I am aiming to complete my final task as well as how to view and critique other people’s work.

“Making the writing process more collaborative through peer review gives students opportunities to learn from one another and to think carefully about the role of writing in the course at hand.”Benefits of Peer Review.

One of the largest bits of info I took away from this process is that although it may be easy to constantly appraise the work I’m looking at, it is a lot more beneficial to both me and the creator if I offer some form of constructive criticism. Doing this allows me not just to show them what they’re doing wrong, but also what they can potentially pick up heading into the final task, from there they can decide whether or not to take my recommendations on board but after all, it is better than nothing. So as a result of this, telling my peers what I believed they were doing right was important but telling them where I think they can improve or what they can implement was just as important.

Finally, heading into the research report now is the time to be gathering as much data as possible from my audience as well as publishing as much content as possible is just as vital, so having the opportunity to view how other people are aiming to go about the final weeks of the task was really useful as well as seeing how people who are using different platforms to me such as Twitch and Instagram are going about collecting their data.

These were essentially the main takeaways I gathered while working on my comments, I look forward to showing you guys my final project in two weeks, until then I’m out!

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BCM 241

What have I gathered so far?

Throughout working on this task there has been no shortage of epiphanies or learning curves I have experienced.

This post will serve as an update on the previously mentioned experiences and ephiphanies and how I will apply what I learnt from these experiences into my final few weeks of production.

How’s My Following Going?

To be completely upfront, I knew this was going to be the hardest part going into the task and nine weeks in it has proved to be just that. In a landscape already filled with so many accounts with similar persona’s and well established followings, breaking the mould and gaining some form of traction has been the most difficult. So as of right now I have relied heavily on replying to larges pages of the same niche that already have an audience that I can observe.

This allows for me to be an cover observer, ethically and anonymously gathering information surrounding consumers of my media niche whilst still interacting with them and contributing to the community.

Data in ethnography traditionally arise from interviews, participant observation field notes, document and artifact analysis, and research diaries (Mayan, 2001; Morse & Richards, 2002). 

The quote above is from a study done by Sarah Wall from the International Institute of Qualitative Technology titled Easier Said than Done: Writing an Autoethnography. It basically summarises the entire approach I am taking to the final report as all these means are the main sources of critical data in ethnography.

How is the Playlist Travelling?

So far the playlist itself is moving fairly well, it has become more of an archive into what tracks and artists are circulating and are popular during that week and has therefore been incredibly useful in the final stages of research. It has also been really fun to compile the big songs of the week and concise it down to 30 songs on a weekly basis. 

Instagram Comments, Reddit and even Discord?

As of right now the utilisation of Instagram comments have been imperative across the entirety of my digital artefact, by having the opportunity to diverge across multiple platforms and see what is trending on a wider scale other than just Twitter and Spotify, platforms such as Discord, Instagram and Reddit give me a wider landscape of ideas to use when it comes to making memes, tweets and adding songs to the playlist.

So yeah! That is how I am going right now and how I have been incorporating my findings through epiphanies and readings into my own work, see you all next week!

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BCM 241

What I’ve Learnt so far + Beta

Following the pitch I received a lot of positive feedback regarding the use of the Spotify playlist being intertwined with the Twitter account, as a result of this I have definitely placed a higher importance on ensuring that the playlist is both up to par with similarly themed ones as well as ensuring that it is constantly updated. 

One of the largest pieces of information I have received in researching this is the importance of qualitative research as opposed to quantitative research. Not to discredit quantitative research as it shows that there is a numbered audience viewing the product and can gather statistics on a larger scale, however, having qualitative research allows for a more personable and specific collection of data. 

In the instance of my Digital Artefact where no two users are alike qualitative data will always take priority, as mentioned earlier this is ultimately the opposite of the hypodermic needle theory.

General comments I gathered with this form of research was that my spotify playlist was played by users and that my tweeted opinions were agreed with by other people on the platform, both of which are simple but simple forms of information that can be brought into the final research report.

So in accordance with the timeline I set out in the pitch, the final three weeks of this project will entail the following;

  • Remain posting content on the same basis
  • Begin gathering research of all forms
  • Keep the format of the content identical to what it has been the last 3 weeks
    • 8 tweets a week + 2 memes + updating the playlist

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BCM 241

Epiphanies and Edits

As the semester progresses further my research follows. Exploring the Hip-Hop industry via fan interaction on online field sites has been nothing short of interesting because of the plethora of resources I’m surrounded with. 

If there ever was a time to follow in on the Hip-Hop field site it’s now but it still hasn’t come without its challenges.

One of my biggest findings across all the platforms is that on a week-to-week basis there is a large focus on the de-centred content. Every week when Friday rolls around the latest content circulating the field site are the new albums and songs dropping that night and the music from the week before (unless they’re monumentally large drops) are ultimately considered old news.


Noting epiphanies is part of developing and further understanding the ethnographic research and as stated by Michael Richards “Part of an authoethnographers research is noting down epiphanies that occur during their research” (Richards, 2015)

Building a Following

First and foremost, it has been somewhat difficult garnering attention on my own Twitter account as well as my Spotify playlist. Despite staying on top of both of these platforms and being active, progress is slow regardless. To remedy this I have branched out to further field sites to collect and gather information.

Instagram Comments

Prior to even starting this project I never even considered Instagram to be of much use for gathering data other than the fact that it would be a useful news source, but low and behold in the comment section of the posts there are some of the most vocal people in the community, comments and opinions that can ultimately help shape the way I orchestrate the running of my Twitter account as well as accumulate research , so after learning and experience this it is a must that I continue to scope out and screenshot comments from popular rap pages if I can’t get any traction on my own page.

Does the Playlist have Potential?

Spotify isn’t necessarily a ‘social network’ and going into this project I always figured that the weekly playlists would compliment the Twitter page as opposed to being its own separate project. However, following the pitch feedback I noticed a lot of responses saying that the playlists had notable potential to diversify the content I was producing on a weekly basis and help gather useful research. As a result of this I have decided to place a larger focus on the playlist for the duration of the semester and will use field sites to scope out any tracks that are circulating and are therefore popular within the public sphere.

The news media has also made the distinction that Twitter is a large online hub for Hip-Hop conversation for a while now, as this article from eleven years ago states how Twitter evolved into a medium that allows artists to better express themselves and connect with fans.

An accumulation of tweets I found within the rap community about relevant Hip-Hop news.

As mentioned earlier it seems important that I continue to de-centre the technology and focus primarily on the outside sources that influence the interaction within the community. “The technology is not always the focus” (Moore, 2020) and it will be imperative to explore the influences that allow the technology to operate within the Hip-Hop field site.

Until next week, I’m out. 

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The Feedback from Giving Feedback!

When providing feedback and comments to my fellow peers for their pitch I put myself in the mindset of providing them the same sort of constructive criticism I’d wish to receive in my own work.

Using this mentality I provided a link I found that I believed would assist every blog post I reviewed as well as a piece of feedback regarding what I believe they were doing right as well as what I believed they could have done better to benefit their own Digital Artefact.

Seeing the way that someone else interprets your pitch and your vision for your final product of your task is critical in a process like this as it allows an extra pair of eyes to spot anything that may require improvement or touching up, often times these are things we don’t even notice.

I solely used YouTube videos as a form of research for them to look at because I feel as if they’re the easiest form of content to digest. Below are screenshots of the feedback I provided to three peer blog posts.

My peer review of Pheobe’s Instagram account based on Australian Indie Rock Music

My review of Tori & Casie’s Podcast based on The Sims game.
My review of Grace’s Tik Tok account based on Nerd Fitness

The peers blogs I reviewed I was incredibly intrigued by and definitely learnt some things from their work that I could implement into my own as well as having my own experience I could shed on them. This included my review on Phoebe’s pitch, we both are doing very similar digital artefacts surrounding music so I suggested to her implementing a Spotify playlist into hers as I am doing the same and I believed it would fit her artefact perfectly. I was also able to provide feedback in regards to furthering the field site she examines by including a Facebook group based on one of the Indie Rock bands she specified in her pitch. 

In conclusion, peer review and reflection is of high importance in this task as it links back to autoethnography and being able to relate personal experience and relate your own events researching and exploring field sites. This was the largest takeaway and lesson I learnt from reviewing the work of my peers and is definitely going to be of use throughout the remainder of my project. 

Links to the blogs I reviewed!

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The Hip-Hop Field Site

Since last week I have made some alterations to my Digital Artefact , first and foremost I am now doing a Twitter account as opposed to an Instagram account and I will be focusing on Hip-Hop culture and news as opposed to solely just memes. A Spotify account will also accompany the Twitter page that will be weekly updated and filled with rap songs that are garnering attention that week and are popular within the community.

As an avid listener of the genre and someone who is well immersed in the Twitter community this seemed like a no-brainer as it allowed me to continue learning and gathering information on a topic I’m interested in on a platform I’m extremely familiar with.

This week when adapting to this new path I drew out a field site that revolved heavily around the Twitter Hip-Hop community, an already pre-existing society that is highly regarded as one of the key places to gather news and information surrounding the Hip-Hop community. 

Image via Reddit/HipHopImages

Twitter is also incredibly useful to study ethnographically as it is possible to view what content is gaining traction through retweets, comments and likes. By immersing myself in the audience and in the comment section of tweets I will be able to see how the audience interacts with posts and the public persona that the account creates, this will be done via unobtrusive observations. Accounts such as @KanyeWest , @GothamCityRap & @SHREKRAP will all be observed as these are all extremely prominent figures within the online rap community who all provide differing content to the Hip-Hop public sphere on Twitter.

In unobtrusive observation, whether the researcher is concealed from those being studied or visible to them, the purpose of the observation is unknown to the subjects of the study.

Empirical Political Analysis –
Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods

Below is the diagram of my field site, it includes the target audience of the project as well as a breakdown of both virtual sites, the content that will be created and the most prominent figures in the Hip-Hop community as well as what they provide to the Hip-Hop Twitter community.

Due to the fact that Twitter is an incredibly diverse landscape with a wide audience using scholarly sources to be better informed and educated on the platform will be essential. A journal titled “Understanding the Demographics of Twitter Users” gives a detailed breakdown of the platform include stats and statistics on the audience that use the app which will be useful in understanding the wider audience of users. 

So in conclusion and in the lead up to the pitch I will apply these changes accordingly and create a product that is able to connect both Spotify and Twitter into one, a prospect that is both exciting and interesting.

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Hip Hopping into a Pitch

My media niche is the music genre of Hip-Hop, after altering my week one idea I have decided this is the best route to take. In order to initiate as much conversation as possible I will start a Hip-Hop Twitter account that interacts with other pages’ tweets as well as creating my own on a frequent basis. The experience of engagement for artists and fans in the Hip-Hop community is unlike any other music genre due to its demographic that is fairly young in age. Using Twitter as well as a Spotify account with a weekly updated playlist I will examine how Hip-Hop fans interact with the genre.

@gothamcityrap is an example of a popular twitter account that is based entirely off of Hip-Hop content


Memes and ‘Hot Takes’ are a very common way to build engagement and conversation in the Hip-Hop community online and are a great way to build an audience and simultaneously create a persona online. Implementing these strategies I will build an online persona to accompany my Twitter account, I’ll aim to have as many as 10 tweets a week with 3 to 4 of them being memes. In a lecture it was stated by Christopher Moore that “Fieldwork involves making observations and collecting information about the field under investigation.” (Moore, 2020), with this knowledge I will visit as many ‘field sites’ as possible to gain as much of an understanding of the audience surrounding the niche as possible. Therefore, joining and observing the way that fans in Hip-Hop based discord servers, Instagram accounts and Twitter pages comment and connect will also be imperative to building an online persona and engaging with the audience. I will also create and curate a Spotify playlist weekly that will contain songs from the genre to better scope out the field site of my media niche.

Roadmap to the Beta

Expanded Field Map

Reference List

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Hip-Hop in Memes

Memes have become a staple in society, particularly in internet culture. They’re a way for consumers of all forms of media to present their ideas, emotions and reactions to events that have either just occurred or are thousands of years old.

So it begs the question, why and how is it that memes are able to stay this relevant and this adaptable in so many different communities and circumstances. Countless times the same meme formats have been used for an infinite amount of varying niches and topics and never seem to run out of possibilities in it’s usage. 

One of the largest sources of memes is the Hip-Hop community and the artists themselves. Whether it be lyrics from songs or rappers acting absurd, a large portion of commonly used meme images and formats are derived from the music genre.

The audience for this content is enormous. There are discord servers, Instagram meme pages, Twitter accounts and even Facebook groups that place a heavy reliance on both making memes about Hip-Hop and using Hip-Hop references to make memes. Rappers such as Drake, Xzibit, Lil Wayne & Young Thug have all found themselves in the forefront of many Hip-Hop memes.


The term “meme” has been around for the better part of forty years after being coined by scholar Richard Dawkins in his 1996 book, The Selfish Gene. He used the term ‘memetics‘ to explain how ideas and concepts have the ability to mutate, replicate and develop over time. My media niche is therefore going to be Hip-Hop memes where I will explore their development, growth and utilisation in modern day memes. Ethnographically I will aim to investigate how Hip-Hop culture converges with other popular subjects and how the content created within the Hip-Hop audience is perceived by the wider public sphere.

“Ethnographic research is the study of the way of life (the culture) of a group,community or organization. It relies on extended periods of fieldwork.”

(Daymon, Hallway, 2010)

In doing so, I will use Instagram as a way to create a meme page based mainly around Hip-Hop and Rap, drawing heavily from topics from the music genre and using images and meme templates from them to create memes. This will be used as a way to further explore the way that these memes are interacted with by consumers as well as seeing if any further hip-hop memes are created or are popularised throughout the semester. In regards to the persona that will be created with this account, Christopher Moore has stated that “Persona’s are a collection of digital objects” (Moore, 2020) and in this instance the end goal is to create an online persona that is based around Hip Hop and Memes, this will also be heavily developed through the relationship that the account builds with it’s followers and the feedback it receives.

Reference List

  • Dawkins, R., 2016. The Selfish Gene. Oxford University Press.
  • Daymon, C. and Holloway, I., 2011. Qualitative Research Methods in Public Relations and Marketing Communications. Routledge.