The 1st Death Online Research Symposium took place in Durham, UK, in the spring of 2014. I attended the conference with my paper ‘Socially shared mourning: construction and consumption of collective memory’ that takes a look at YouTube memorial videos posted by Steve Jobs’ fans in his memory.
The study analyses the user comments posted to such a digital memorial artefacts and examines the fan (and non-fan) discourses and prevailing ideologies. The focus is on how a shared memory is constructed in dialogue among anonymous members of a fan community, and how communities of in-group and out-group are formed; related to this, the disenfranchisement of fans in grief upon celebrity death is discussed, as is the nature and function of digital memorials more generally and how a community of weak ties may alleviate such disenfranchisement .
The paper was later published in New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia; see My publications.