In 2004 weblogs (or ‘blogs‘) made the front cover of New York Times Magazine, marking them as the latest internet-based trend to take popular culture by storm. Although now used for a wide range of functions such as education, soft marketing and political commentary, blogs were originally a space for narrating personal life stories, and have emerged as the leading technology for individuals to narrate their stories in a digital, public form, in dialogue with other bloggers and blog visitors.
One of the best examples of this is infertility blogs, which represent a distinctive subgenre of blogs in which women write about their experiences of trying to conceive, undergoing fertility treatments, adoption and pregnancy. Drawing on a series of conversations with a small group of women bloggers, together with extracts from their blogs, this paper asks: how does blogging allow these women to 'make sense' of their experiences of infertility?
These blogs are notable for their detailed yet accessible reporting of the medical tests and procedures which the writers undergo in their attempts to conceive. This 'translation' of medical discourse, and the network of comments/support which emerge, are facilitated by the format and style of the blog and help the women to renegotiate their identities during a difficult transitional period in their lives. These blogs, however, are embedded in broader contexts which shape their use, and which suggest the contingency and limitation of the 'sense' that is produced.
New York London: Routledge , 2011.