My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and a Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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social networking software + me = Etech

For those who will be at Emerging Tech this year, i’ll be giving a presentation on the tension between users and creators in the social networking software space, focusing on how users repurpose technologies to meet their needs.

In addition, Joi Ito, Mimi Ito, Howard Rheingold, Scott Fisher and i will be on a panel about social mobility.

Also, Liz and i are going to gather folks who want to talk about categorizing blogs.

And finally, i’m psyched to attend the Digital Democracy Teach-In.

I hope to see some of you there!

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5 comments to social networking software + me = Etech

  • Ian

    Something I’ve been thinking (and writing a tiny bit) about is the problems associated with tangible models of social and professional networks. The one I’ve been thinking about most is how these systems create a potentially dangerous kind of embedded representation of an extremely subtle and nuanced mode of human activity. Now that we *can* model such systems as data structures, how do we *use* them?

    This is why your talk is important and exciting. I wonder if you are considering this specific issue?

    Here’s an example of a hypothetical scenario that should give us pause: what if I am hiring for a new position. Is it ethical to sort resumes based on the size and shape of an applicant’s LinkedIn network? Since LI and others still represent *only* the size and shape of the network, and not it’s *value* (is that even possible without human intervention?), the average HR manager would probably privilege the applicant with 150 connections over the one with 5. Now, this wouldn’t be the only criterion in a decision, but the point is that it could be one, and so it’s worth thinking about.

  • hey, you’re panel discussion link goes to your session. were you speaking with Joi on this topic?

    i hadn’t been paying attention to etech, but after reading some of the tracks i’m considering going. it looks like a good program.

  • Scott

    I am really hoping to make it to this conference, it’s shaping up nicely. danah, are you in any contact with TL Taylor? I ask because while she is looking at different kinds of online environments, she has studied and written on embodiment (gender, sexual and racial) and the relation between developers and users. If you haven’t, I recommend giving these two papers a scan:

    “Intentional Bodies: Virtual Environments and the Designers Who Shape Them,” International Journal of Engineering Education, vol.19, no.1, pp.25-34, 2003.

    “‘Whose Game Is This Anyway?'”: Negotiating Corporate Ownership in a Virtual World” (ed.), Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference Proceedings. Tampere: Tampere University Press, 2002.

    Both are on her site:

    I offer this because I think the two of you could have a lot to talk about and I can say from experience that the tension between how designers, developers and their investors expect their users to behave and how users actually behave is also repopularized fad. :)

  • Davee – Joi’s panel includes Mimi Ito, Howard Rheingold, Scott Fisher and myself…