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GAFA speaks: Metaphors in the promotion of cloud technology
University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.
University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Documentation, ISSN 0022-0418, E-ISSN 1758-7379, Vol. 73, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The article explores persuasive rhetoric in the legitimization of cloud computing by critically scrutinizing metaphorical devices utilized by leaders of the cloud industry. This article introduces a critical approach to the promotion of cloud technology.

Design/methodology/approach: 13 video clips from were analysed, containing presentations and talks delivered by leaders of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – four of the most influential companies within the IT industry, sometimes referred to as GAFA. With the help of conceptual metaphor theory, often-repeated metaphors for cloud technologies reveal what properties were promoted and hidden.

Findings: GAFA mainly used the same persuasive metaphors to promote cloud computing’s positive aspects. Potentially negative or complex issues were mostly avoided. Implicitly, GAFA exerts power through the extensive dissemination of their metaphors and these are used in order to negotiate and overcome doubts about cloud computing and related technologies.

Originality/value: This is the first study aimed at understanding the persuasive rhetoric of GAFA, seen as a uniform object of study, in the legitimization of cloud computing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 73, no 1
Keyword [en]
cloud providers, cloud technology, Conceptual metaphor theory, marketing rhetoric, GAFA
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Bussiness and IT; Library and Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-10712OAI: diva2:971576
PhD thesis
Available from: 2016-09-16 Created: 2016-09-16 Last updated: 2016-09-16Bibliographically approved

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