Monday, December 11, 2006

Relationships first...

I‘ve been thinking a great deal about this Danah Boyd article, Friends, Friendsters, and Top 8: Writing community into being on social network sites that appeared last week in First Monday:

Social network sites provide a new organizing mechanism for developing context. Instead of slicing interest first and people second, the Friending process allows people to choose people first and interests second. People define their community egocentrically. Their list of Friends defines the context and this, in turn, defines the audience that they believe they are addressing whenever they modify their Profile or post a bulletin. Combined with Profile content, Friends serve as a signal to all visitors about the relevant context...
Such acts of information dissemination certainly raise possibilities concerning the political efficacy of social network sites but the important point here is that when content is relevant to individuals, they consume it and then share it. This act shifts the context to be defined egocentrically which means that rather than information being shared based on a common interest, it is shared based on an affiliation with an individual. The poster presumes that anyone who is interested in being Friends should also be interested in receiving such content.

Just some more stuff on being “community“ as opposed to “content“ centric. I will have more to say about this, but I‘m still working to get my arms around it. I‘ve been thinking a lot about the concept of the “top 8” and wondering if the kids aren‘t on to something with exposing this publically. We adults might learn something from this sort of transparency. I‘m just not sure our egos would be up to the challenge.

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