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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AAAS presentation on MySpace data

Today, i did my first proper presentation of the data i’ve been collecting on MySpace. “Identity Production in a Networked Culture” looks at how youth use MySpace for socialization, identity production, and hanging out. In particular, i investigate how and why youth are (re)creating a public in digital space. I’ve uploaded a rough crib of the 15 minute presentation that i gave there since i suspect some of you might be curious what i’ve been thinking about with respect to MySpace.

This talk was part of AAAS in a panel called “It’s 10PM: Do You Know Where Your Children Are… Online!” The panel was an unbelievable collection of quant and qual researchers thinking about these issues from all sorts of perspectives: Justine Cassell, Amanda Lenhart (PEW), Henry Jenkins and David Huffaker.

This talk went over exceptionally well (much to my surprise). Two teenagers who whispered to each other the whole way through the talk came up to me afterwards to tell me that what i said was true. A mother told me that her 15-year old son would surely thank me because she now understands that there is a positive side to the Net and she wants to start a conversation with her son about it (she had been banning access). Other parents told stories of their teens and quite a few thanked me for putting the scare issues into perspective. I have to say… it was one of the most rewarding talks i’ve given. I feel like i might have done some good in the world…

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