The Architectures of Cyberdating: Personal Advertisement Photography and the Unworking of Community
When one browses through the success stories posted on Match.com, it becomes readily apparent that the site defines “success” in terms of long-term monogamous heterosexual coupling, with marriage as the ultimate goal (see also Whitty and Carr, 2006). Searching beyond the top menu story categories of marriage, engagement, and relationships by adding the keyword “gay” brings one brief testimonial, while the lesbian success stories are only slightly more numerous though certainly more detailed in their narratives. The self-described vision of Match.com’s parent company, IAC/InterActiveCorp, is “To harness the power of interactivity to make daily life easier and more productive for people all over the world.” There seem to be two oppositional trajectories or impulses embedded in this business model: The push to converge, represented by those ventures that bring people together (including Match.com, Ticketmaster, Evite, and Expedia), and IAC’s movement beyond hybrid media and electronic retailing to interactive commerce, met by the outward push of global capital, where technological convergence is being deployed toward a globalizing end. But the convergence narrative read here is not one about technology, but one about identity, about the generalized push toward a singular pole of identity.
KeywordsCautionary Tale Technological Convergence Print Advertisement Personal Advertisement Digital Culture
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