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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The more things change

Social media maven Dana Boyd sees a growing divide between users of MySpace and Facebook (essay at link). The divide appears to be socioeconomic. Boyd is dissapointed to see familiar class divisions appear in what some have idealized (projected, perhaps) as a borderless utopian social community. Perhaps it is dissapointing, but it also seem entirely expected. Many of us want to see the internet as an entirely new social phenomenon. In many ways, it is, but culture is a persistent devil.
I actually see this development in a more positive light. Just a few years ago, we fretted about the growing digital divide. The fact that more than one class even exists on the web is surely progress.


El Gaffney said...

Her analysis of military use (and later MySpace ban) is really interesting. As are her thoughts on the role of aesthetics.

As she says, be careful what you take away. Top 3 active groups at Georgetown on Facebook right now are "Henry Got Jacked in Tangers and needs your numbers," "H de P Drinking Team! Los Originales," and "henry hotkowski drinks shine and f*cks his sister." The MySpace homepage has a significant portion of the page dedicated to advertising "Get a Summer Job" at MySpace.

mike said...

i think all the comment on the divide between myspace and facebook socioeconomic groups is a little rubbish. Its as easy as
1. myspace has been around longer and has had more time for people to get involved
2. fb started in universaties and its about connecting people with friends. People usually hang out with the same kind of people (eg: other people that went to uni)

once its given more time I think this will break down a bit. The only thing that will make the divide is people who are a little bit more technology capable. there are lots of little widgets and pieces to do on FB. Where myspace is simple. people will make the choice