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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announcing two new academic papers

I am pleased to announce that a paper i wrote a while back is part of a cool collection of papers in Reconstruction’s Special Issue on Theories/Practice of Blogging (edited by Michael Benton and Lauren Elkin). My piece – “A Blogger’s Blog: Exploring the Definition of a Medium” – argues that blogging needs to be looked at as a practice on top of a medium, not simply a CMC genre.

Not to jump the gun or anything, but another piece of mine will go live next week in First Monday in a special issue on “Identity and Identification in the Networked World” (edited by Tim Schneider and Michael Zimmer). That one, entitled “Friends, Friendsters, and MySpace Top 8: Writing Community Into Being on Social Network Sites” examines the Friending practices that are so common in social network sites. I suspect that this piece might be quite valuable to those of you who are looking at MySpace and going why on earth do people have 9000 friends??? Stay tuned on First Monday for that one!

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7 comments to announcing two new academic papers

  • Michael Foulds

    I look forward to reading the pieces!

    Without having seen them of course, I’m not sure if this comment is on-topic or not. Regarding “Identity and Identification in the Networked World”, I wonder if an article I saw at on eContent ( http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/ArticleReader.aspx?ArticleID=17286 ) is relevant. It referred to an “Identity Hub” service being offered by Marc Canter’s company Broadband Mechanics ( http://www.broadbandmechanics.com/strategies.html ). Essentially the idea appears to be to allow users to maintain a single identity and manage their various identity presentations (eg toMySpace, Facebook, etc) from there. I also recall recently seeing that a portal had been launched for adult dating social networks (sorry can’t find the reference now). Both talk about the need for user authentication (the latter because subscribers need to be over 18). There are obviously interesting implications one might draw – eg is managing (& presenting) multiple identities becoming cumbersome; will open interoperable standards arise to enable mesh networks of social networks (as Canter envisages). The authentication angle might also be interesting – on Korea’s Cyworld, subscribers must use real-names (eg see http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2006/11/cyworld_insight.html ). If social network portals require user authentication, but enable pseudonyms for identity presentation on multiple social network sites, then are they really aiming to verify the identity of the dog pretending to be a person on the internet?

  • simple silly question: What is CMC?

  • Not silly at all – computer-mediated communication

  • Not to sound facetious, but why 9000 friends? Why not 10000? Or 8000? Or is this an allusion to Demetri Martin?

  • Obviously, 8000 and 10000 are just as obscene; my brain stuck with 9000 when Demetri did his skit and so i figured that it’s a perfectly fine number to use as an example reference to obscenely large.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong but is the “9000 friends” part an allusion to Demetri Martin?

  • Bertil

    Thank you so much:

    I have read you with delight, I admire your work with enthousiasm and I’ll quote you with pride. Your insights made my work leap forward, your distinctions will structure my PhD, and your body metaphor are one more pair of giant shoulders on witch I’ll firmly stand.

    You are, for instance, the first one whom I’ve read to give a structured explanation on the success of 3D virtual-space: one needs a personal space to support his privacy concessions.