Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I like what Boyd discusses in terms of the networked publics seen in popular social networking sites such as MySpace, Cyworld, Orkut, and Facebook. I would have loved to seen her address the Newsfeed on Facebook, though. What I find so fascinating about the Newsfeed is that many Facebook members were adamantly against the Newsfeed when it first started. Many Facebook groups (which is interesting-- a group within the network to oppose/state dissatisfaction with the network) were started to oppose the Newsfeed, complaining that it invaded privacy too much. This seems to be the most fascinating part when thought of in the context of Boyd's article-- public information made too public? What the Newsfeed did effectively was "network the network". What were isolated public facts about friends that you had to look up on your own was now made available all on one page-- and not only that, but was timelined, linked to other friends, etc. In Boyd's works, this public information was made more persistent, more replicable, more searchable, and more available to invisible audiences (instead of the more determined of friends finding your updated information, all of your friends could see it). This example of a networked public is so intriguing because it was not received well (at first) by the majority of the networked public. It leads me to think about how all of the Newsfeed-opposed Facebook users got used to the Newsfeed. Did they end up liking it? Did they stop using Facebook (unlikely)? Did it become a non-issue? My guess is that they grew accustomed to it and the Newsfeed made what was once thought of as a very linked and involved networked public even more persistence, searchable, replicable, and available to invisible publics.