[iDC] Writing about the sociable web
mlucas at igc.org
Thu Jun 21 15:17:32 EDT 2007
As Lily notes, there do need to be caveats, particularly when
comparing different platforms.
When do the people who like a certain band become the people who like
a certain kind of music, perhaps earning the right to be called a
‘sub-culture’? The relationship of Pacifica to oppositional culture
in its founding in 1949 by Lewis Hill is clear. The motivation for
creating Pacifica lay in a belief in pacificism, specifically, and a
belief in the preservation of all sorts of bohemian and resistant
culture expression in general. The dependence on listeners for
financial support helped clinch the interactivity with a specifically
interested community. It is very difficult to make parallels between
this kind of media institution and online spaces like Facebook.
Perhaps more analogous to KPFK would be groups like Indymedia or even
Globalvoicesonline, which in one way are news media, but in another
important way form online communities with more specifically social
intentions. Or perhaps we should go even further and not to look at
any social site per se but look for communities such as a local or
regional blogosphere, where the blogroll on each individual blog
helps to create an online community with an intentionality and a
social concern more analogous to that of ‘public media’ like the
On Jun 21, 2007, at 1:54 PM, lilly nguyen wrote:
> Hi all-
> While I wholly agree with Trebor's comments about networked
> publics, I would throw in some caveats and potential barriers to
> this in that while to us, observing the phenomenon these social
> networking spaces appear as publics, I have a strong suspicion that
> the perceptions as individuals experience them and interact in them
> isn't necessarily the case. I think in the case of FB and MySpace,
> people sign onto them not to meet new friends, or to enact their
> public selves, but in fact they do so because they want to "hang
> out" with their friends. In fact, there is a lot of mirroring and
> replication of offline behaviors in these online worlds that make
> it more conducive to a perception of privateness. I think this
> disconnect between the perceptions and the reality of actions is
> what's really compelling about these online SNS. That distinction
> between private and public isn't so clean anymore (was it ever?).
> What's I find especially troubling is that the notion of public
> that you proposed earlier, in relation to public media like KPFK
> and NPR, is not one that I think will happen on social networking
> sites only because social networking sites are essentially ego
> networks. it's about "me." my profile says something about me. my
> friends tell you something about *me.* which is an increasing trend
> that i don't know will necessarily abate.
> Lilly Nguyen
> PhD Student, Dept. of Information Studies
> lillynguyen at ucla.edu
> On Jun 21, 2007, at 10:43 AM, Trebor Scholz wrote:
>> Hi Alex,
>> I really appreciate that you bring up the issue of social class and
>> I'd add gender--difference in general, alterity.
>> The ideology of most dominant Web 2.0 commentators is build on the
>> of capital as a necessity. The fact that their writing causes
>> mostly in entrepreneurs and business consultants shows that their pro
>> free-market economics interests are well catered to by this group
>> also often aims to teach business how to run a "smooth show,"
>> the cultural habits of youth, and still profit nicely.
>> Much of the most visible writing about the sociable web reduces
>> networked publics to their function as consumers, ignoring them in
>> role as lovers, parents, citizens, or working poor. In the few cases
>> that people are addresses in these roles, the commentary comes from a
>> market perspective.
>> The sociable web can do more to represent people's lives and
>> rights and
>> their wellbeing; it is not merely an engine for wealth production. We
>> should not give up on fundamental human desires. On the contrary, we
>> should formulate and collectively demand ethical ground rules of the
>> social web!!
>> I’m not talking about ethics in the sense of religion and also not
>> ethics as an overarching set of moral norms that can be arbitrarily
>> plugged in to manipulate people toward ideological ends. An ethics
>> rather, that grows out of specific situations and leads to a call
>> to the
>> right not to be mistreated. What constitutes betrayal or even evil in
>> relationship to the corporate social operating systems that we
>> in? For me, the impotence of Facebook users with respect to their
>> communal captivity is deeply puzzling.
>> Online social life can also be supported by public, independent
>> initiatives or hybrid forms. How can we apply the principles of
>> broadcast media (i.e. KPFA or even NPR) to social networking? What
>> it take to build a public, independent, non-profit MySpace?
>> I'm sorry that this note lacks examples. I'll also not be able to
>> respond right away as I'm off for some time in the woods but I look
>> forward to your response.
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