Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Keeping up with Facebook

Keeping up with all the changes, innovations, redesigns and additions constantly unfolding in Facebook is tough enough as a user...Never mind trying to analyze the site and its underlying matrix of business transactions, data exchange, market research and "synergies". A possible resource that may be useful in this regard is Inside Facebook - an industry news site that reports on all business-related Facebook developments. Here's a description of the site from it's official "About" page:
"Inside Facebook is the leading source of news and analysis on Facebook’s global growth, corporate developments, and product innovations. Inside Facebook provides daily news and analysis for developers, marketers, and investors.

Inside Facebook is an independent news service of Inside Network, the industry’s leading research and news organization dedicated to providing original market research, critical analysis, data services and news on the Facebook platform, social gaming, and mobile applications ecosystem"
While this type of site does NOT provide the type of critical discussion and analysis that we'll be doing in SMC300, it can nonetheless be useful in giving us background data and the frequent updates we'll need to stay current in this ever shifting, oftentimes quite confusing, world of SNS/personal data economies.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Clay Shirky on SOPA

Relevant to this week's readings, as well as today's web-wide protest against the "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA), Clay Shirky shares his thoughts with TED on SOPA/PIPA and delivers a manifesto on why creating and sharing online is important:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friending Your Parent/Friending Your Kid

Check out this new research infographic released by lab42, which summarizes the results of a Facebook study the market research firm conducted last December on parent-child habits within social networks (sample size = 500 social media users, but can't find out what age range they include in their category of "child" - clearly these parents are parents of younger kids, but how young???).

Reproduced in full here, courtesy of ZDNet:
©2011 lab42

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The More Things Change...

Hello and welcome students (and lurkers) of SMC300 "Mediating the Social." I will be using this course blog to post my lecture slides, additional thoughts & clarifications on lecture themes/concepts, as well as the occasional news story or development of interest. Such as the following:

©2011 Taylor-Ruth Baldwin/Hanging Rock Comics
Ah the power of blogging - social networking meets content creation, a perfect case study for a Book & Media Studies course on social media. Via Marisa Meltzer at Wired, a cute yet revealing story about the reach and accessibility of web 2.0 blog apps. Here's an excerpt:
Taylor-Ruth Baldwin, 17, created Hanging Rock Comics, a first-person chronicle of high school angst. The Star Wars-obsessed junior started her Tumblr last summer, posting comic panels from her diary. “It was a way of venting my frustrations,” Baldwin says. “I didn’t think much would come of it.” But she struck a nerve, and in a few months she had 15,000 followers. Her posts often get thousands of notes—reblogs, likes, and replies. One got more than 35,000, which is on par with posts by mainstream news orgs. And last fall, a Baldwin lookalike contest got 400-plus adults, kids, and animals aping her style of band T-shirt, big glasses, and braid.
The particularly interesting thing about this story is that it could easily have been written 10+ years ago, albeit for an earlier platform (Lycos' ChickPages comes to mind), and perhaps featuring slightly lower numbers than the ones seen here. This semester, we'll be talking a lot about the idea of web 2.0 and how WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") tools, apps and other technologies democratize media/content production...but we're also going to try to remember the deep continuities that exist between these "new" developments, prior online phenomena, as well as more traditional (analog) cultural practices. Here, I'm not only thinking about the ways in which the example above (teen-made comic, venting frustrations, dedicated fan base) is reminiscent of the kinds of stuff that appeared via earlier blog tools and personal websites, but also in paper zines, independently-published comics, etc. On the other hand, the immediate and dynamic social aspect of this story certainly distinguishes it from those earlier incarnations. The fact that readers can repost, like posts, comment, submit content, etc., adds this extra layer of conversation and iteration to the mix. Can't wait to chat more about this in class next week!