My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & 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:


my talks at SXSW

I did actually talk at SXSW. I’m so bad about posting recaps of what i talk about. But here’s a short overview.

Panel 1: Blogging Next: Where Personal Publishing Goes From Here [w/ Justin Hall and Anil Dash]

The only thing i remember talking about was the importance of storytelling in blogs. People want a way to share their stories with their friends and their future. They want to do so in a way where they can control the vulnerabilities that they’re faced with. We can tell people to get over the public/private concern until we’re blue in the face and it’s never going to work. People don’t get that public means persistent/searchable and they don’t get how they’re going to feel about this data in the future. It’s like asking Derrida to imagine IM when he talks about the differences between writing and speaking in the 70s. Never gonna happen. People don’t conceptualize this future, especially not when they’re 15 and trying to figure out their identity by screaming to the world “look at me!!” We all regret that. Luckily most of us don’t have it on record.

Jason Calcanis: Entry 1Entry 2

Fast Company (transcript)

Panel 2: The Aesthetics of Social Networks (with Jon Lebkowsky, Molly Steenson, Honoria Starbuck)

I brought up the Kant/Nietzsche approach that the only aesthetically pleasing thing is that which represents ourselves. I showed pretty pictures of Visual Who, Social Network Fragments and BuddyZoo. I talked about how people wanted to see themselves represented in relation to those that they knew. Articulated vs. behavior driven networks. Social networks stemming from anthropology and kinship networks. YASNS and the tendency to represent ourselves in context of friends… our representation being affected by our friends (including Clay turning me into a porn queen).

Fast Company (transcript)

I’m sure i babbled more; send me links if you blogged it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

8 comments to my talks at SXSW

  • About the “people publish without being aware of what it really means”-thing: This is why some of us use nicks rather than full names in our blogs/journals/forum posts.

    Some people attribute this to cowardice: “What, you can’t stand by your own words?” No, not really, not to everyone and at the same time. We use different words for different people (spouses, friends, family etc.) and at different times (I am not overly pleased by reading some of the stuff I’ve written in the past, I don’t know how some future employer would like it). As you are aware, we try to control the way we are perceived, by acting/speaking a little different in different situations (with different people).

    Some might argue: “Your stuff would be better if you used a full name, you’d be forced to reflect harder”. Maybe, maybe not. I think it’s hard enough to post as it is. And I don’t know how interesting a “least common denominator”-style blog would be for either part. There is a reason our IM-chatlogs aren’t available to the public, and it would cripple the conversation.

    I think I had the naive notion that after some initial stumbling and well-known anecdotal horror stories people would learn that what they write online becomes searchable. But they don’t seem to, so maybe you are right that they never will. We do however have a school system and though I don’t know how much the school teach the kids about Internet consciousness and similar issues, if society changes in ways so that we need new knowledge, schools should respond to that.

    Communicating online is a powerful concept that should be available to all. From a democratic point of view it’s not right that it should work fine for those in-the-know but serve as a trap for the unitiated.

    (Nice blog by the way, keep raising those interesting questions).

  • Tomi

    I also think that a “visual” of a social network adds much to the whole experiance. See for example where you can search and watch your social web.

  • i277 – of course, people also love to collapse that material. zephoria is actually a name that i used when i was studying queer youth. It was my nic on various channels, in various places. It was my blog after i left LJ. It was separate. And then it was collapsed and i stopped fighting it. Instead, i changed the location of my blog, altered all old posts and gave up on being able to keep things separate. This is sorta the problem with relying on that complete separation. It just takes one person to link you and you can no longer maintain the separation with anyone…

  • andy

    danah, they have transcripts of both of your talks available at the site below,

  • Bill

    what do you think about the efficacy of robots.txt? to what degree will this allow a degree of temporal privacy?

  • Bill

    what do you think about the efficacy of robots.txt? to what degree will this allow a degree of temporal privacy?

  • Decorating a Social Space

    The design of online spaces reflects personal identity, danah boyd said in her excellent talk on the SXSW panel on…

  • Decorating a Social Space

    The design of online spaces reflects personal identity, danah boyd said in her excellent talk on the SXSW panel on…