Posts concerning social networking

Google Tries Again: Google+

23:36 28 Jun 2011

Before, there were Orkut, Wave, and Buzz; now, there’s Google+, Google’s latest foray into social networking. I don’t have an account (if any of my Googly friends want to help me out there, I’d be happy to try it out), and most of my info comes from the intro, the announcement, and Stephen Levy’s piece.

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Facebook Risk Reduction

19:55 08 Nov 2010

I’m fascinated by this danah boyd post about teens who take relatively extreme approaches to dealing with their Facebook profiles. In a way I guess I think it’s sad—this kind of thing reminds me of the stereotypical small village, where community opprobrium is a major feature in people’s lives. I generally regard “community” as a positive, but clearly the nature of any community is the critical point.

The question of how various groups and individuals manage their online identities and presences is an interesting one, and I wonder if services will eventually cater explicitly to the various strategies rather than having them manually tacked on by users.

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Race and Class Divisions in Online Social Networks

23:25 29 Sep 2009. Updated: 01:26 30 Sep 2009

I haven’t had time to formulate an opinion yet, but I respect past work by danah boyd and am quite certain that she’s onto something important in the research that led to her talk “The Not-So-Hidden Politics of Class Online”, some of the implications of which she discusses in an interview, “MySpace to Facebook = White Flight?”. A key line: “We’re seeing a reproduction of all kinds of all types of social segregation that we like to pretend has gone away.”

That, in itself, is extremely important, and as more people use online arenas as “public spaces”, the fact that these arenas are actually deeply stratified and subject to a variety of hidden pressures becomes more and more significant. Also significant is how the other arenas, while technically easier to encounter because of all the wonderful information-sharing aspects of the internet, become almost hidden because stratification and habituation make each of us less likely, rather than more, to venture into spaces where we don’t have connections.

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