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.

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a funny dodgeball moment

Last night, i landed at Oakland and decided to announce that i was there so that i could switch Dodgeball back to SF and hear what folks were up to even though i was feeling quite asocial. Just as i received a confirmation email saying that people got my message, i got a message from an old friend announcing his presence at OAK. Now, normally, i don’t drive to the airport but i was running uber late last week so i called up this kid and asked if he was just arriving and if he wanted a ride back to SF; he was totally taken aback and laughing – he had just come back from an interview with Red Burns (ITP, where Dodgeball was created). It was particularly hysterical because while i’ve passed him on the streets in SF, i really haven’t hung out with him at all since college. (Why is a longer issue involving issues of confidence and head space.) Driving back to the city, catching up, he got a call from a girl i used to hang out with freshman year in college – she was living in the city and wanted to see a movie. The end result was that i got to catch up with a whole group of college folks that i hadn’t seen in years. I have to admit that it was utterly wonderful to see this group and realize that i am back on solid ground again.

While Dodgeball has certainly been useful in social settings, this was the first time i had the opportunity to see it be useful beyond just the basic bar hopping scenario. It reminded me of a time when two friends realized they were in an airport together because they saw each other’s music on iTunes. I think that funny points of synchronicity is only going to get more interesting as technology become mores infused into society.

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