chapter  5
Gender, Sexuality, and Social Media
ByAlice Marwick
Pages 17

Julia Allison (real name: Julia Allison Baugher) is a twenty-nine-year-old blogger and personality who describes herself as “personally and professionally a handful.” She rose to micro-fame as the dating columnist for Time Out New York, barraged the media gossip blog Gawker into covering her social life, and is now a syndicated columnist with the Chicago Tribune. Although Allison is not a technologist, she is a fi xture at New York and San Francisco tech parties and conferences, and appeared on the cover of Wired to illustrate their story on internet fame. She is also a “professional talking head” and has appeared on hundreds of cable news programs, talk shows, and radio programs. Allison is primarily known for blogging continuous photographs, links, and tweets about herself, and chronicling her love life, social events, insecurity, issues with friends and family, and travel. She presents herself as very attractive and usually appears in photographs with full makeup, a dress, and her fl uffy white dog. The bio on her website states:

Julia has a Facebook account, a Myspace page, a Flickr, a Twitter, a Friendfeed, four Tumblrs, three Movable Type blogs, two Vimeos, one YouTube and a photogenic white shih-tzu named Marshmallow. 1 (Allison, 2009)

Allison’s fame has resulted primarily from sharing intimate, personal information through social media. As Paris Hilton achieved fame by manipulating celebrity tabloids and gossip television, Julia Allison has become famous by leveraging Web 2.0 technologies.