chapter  7
23 Pages

Registering away your identity online

WithBarrie Gunter

Claimants of “big data” effects through analysis of language style in online social media messages, such as Facebook status updates and wall posts, generally like to give the impression that they have discovered some universal truths that can be applied in the service of enhancing the effectiveness of marketing or political campaigns. Within the context of online social networking, there is a rich vein of raw materials that researchers can use to determine the linguistic personality indicators. Differences have been found in the use of language in self-representations online that reliably distinguish between people from different demographic groups. One of the key dimensions is gender. Women and men behave differently online in their use of language. Web site visitors’ clickstream patterns were used to predict their age, gender, educational level and occupation. The methodology was developed to assist advertisers with targeting specific consumer groups online. There are a number of ways of measuring personality online.