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.

Relevant links:

Archive

rebecca blood on saving orkut

I really like Rebecca Blood’s article on 13 ways to save Orkut.

Print Friendly

8 comments to rebecca blood on saving orkut

  • I have one objection to Rebecca’s 13 ways to save orkut (although i believe orkut is past saving).
    Its the graduated acquaintenance scale. For all the social problems that orkut and other YASN’s hvae right now, the worst would be designations of strength of tie… cause the emotional attachment to such designations is far more than to any other. OMG… this person, whom I designated as a friend, only thinks of me as an acquaintenance! The horror! The shame! Human relationships are delicate balancing acts and maybe visualizing all of those at the same time as making htem public is just not a good idea.

    On the other hand I’ve often wondered about statements like – the people I value most don’t show up win my little Orkut window. Well the people I value most are not on Orkut. Or, if they are, they are not designated in a way that is much different from the rest. That’s fine with me for a simple reason – just how much value does a manifested connection on a YASN add to a close relationship, friendship for example? NONE. So we are connected on a YASN and other people can see that. That has nothing to do with us going out for drinks or coffee, chatting about things, gossiping about sex over a bottle of wine during one of those intimate, best friends only nights.

    Yet there is a space, where a connection on a YASN makes a difference and is important. That’s the space of weak ties, geographical distance, acquaintance. Its a space where any kind of manifestation of attention matters, can be interpreted, manipulated. That’s why, I think, adoption of the graduated acquaintenance scale would doom any YASN that adopted it more so than any of the current Orkut flaws. As long as we can blame it on the system and play with it, its ok… But the social theorists, as much as technologists, must not, must never forget – people can be very manipulative and cruel. Social manipulation manifested so richly is a very dangerous tool.

  • Thirteen Ways To Save Orkut

    Again, an article on Orkut. This one by Rebecca Blood sums it up perfectly. On reading almost every point I was about to say out loud “yes, that’s it!”. In a way, many of the points boil down to number…

  • Thirteen Ways To Save Orkut

    Again, an article on Orkut. This one by Rebecca Blood sums it up perfectly. On reading almost every point I was about to say out loud “yes, that’s it!”. In a way, many of the points boil down to number…

  • Thirteen Ways To Save Orkut

    Again, an article on Orkut. This one by Rebecca Blood sums it up perfectly. On reading almost every point I was about to say out loud “yes, that’s it!”. In a way, many of the points boil down to number…

  • I certainly understand the point you are making, however I think it makes one assumption that might not be necessarily factual — that the gradient scale is visible.

    Imagine if those categorizations were hidden from the world at large and used only for my own internal categorization. It is possible that I would choose to “publish” those internal gradients to the standard.

    Just a thought.

  • I agree that the assumption I am making is that the gradient is public. Tha’ts a really good point. I suppose this stems from the rating systems and “testimonials” already available and very public (in fact they are a sort of awkward system of social exchange and validation)

    Yes, if the gradient was simply personal customization that’s a different point – just another way to waste my time on a YASN – organizing my friends. Maybe that will make me rethink some friendships in the process, yet it would be a profoundly personal process: private and unavailable for comment unless I make it visible. This still does not deal with the problem of “what next?”. So I organized my friends on my orkut page so that when i log in i see them in the order i would like to see them in. So what? What exactly does that do for my relationship to them? Still most likely, very little. YASNs have been plagued with the question of “so what” and “what next” though, so I suppose this argument is far from new.

  • Do people want to do all that extra work even if it’s an option? I have friends that I’ve invited that refuse to join another SN site after seeing all the non-action on Friendster — What is the point, they ask.

  • I can’t find you on orkut…