Three aspects of memoirs online

1) Online publication
Traditionally and typically, autobiographies and memoirs have been published as printed monographs (books) or articles in print journals and magazines.

Most articles and books are now available online. That’s not what I mean by online publication, however. What’s more interesting is that the rise of the internet has changed the traditional autobiographical publication practice. A variety of new publication channels have appeared. Blogs became a popular medium for self-presentation in the first decade of the 2000s, followed by micro-blogging platforms like Twitter, and social media like Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube.

For the moment I’m not sure whether I shall aim for a full book-size memoir for the bookstores and libraries (print or online), or if I shall concentrate on (piecemal) publication on social media instead. Maybe a combination of both?

I’m not yet sure of the choice between book and social media as the main publication format has any particular consequences for my analytical approaches or methodology.

2) Doing the memoir interactively
Another — and more interesting — aspect of doing a memoir online is to use social media to engage readers and other memoirists in the autobiographical work process.

From the very beginning of this project I decided to publish bits and pieces my work — reflections on analytical approaches, methodology, and singular life episodes — on social media, especially Facebook.  The response has been overwhelming and encouraged me to continue this form of interactive work, and I will therefore widen the spectrum of social media to include Twitter, Instagram and YouTube in the near future.

The focus on social media in the research process has consequences for the methodology of my project, and to some extent for some of the analytical approaches outlined to the right.

3) Using digital methods
A third possibility is to use ‘digital methods’ in the more restricted sense, i.e. techniques for the study the life course as it is revealed in online data; for obvious reasons I would only be able to to this for the last decades of my life when I have had an online presence, and I will therefore largely abstain from using them.