Personal Home Pages on the Web: A Review of Research


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Personal or private home pages are Web sites published and maintained by individuals or informal, small groups. The paper presents the personal home page as a new object of sociological, psychological, linguistic, and communication studies research. It shows how theories of identity, self-presentation and computer-mediated communication are being applied to personal home pages. The paper is the first systematic review of about thirty personal home page studies. In oder to integrate the diverse empirical findings a communication studies framework is used: Personal home pages are regarded as media products with specific production processes, product characteristics, and reception processes. The paper ends by suggesting some possible directions for future research.