Danah Boyd, a digital ethnographer who was recently hired by Microsoft Research New England to study online social networks, posted a much-publicized essay last year about how she perceived there to be class divisions between the userbases of Facebook and Myspace. This essay was entitled “Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace”.
Since part of my research is about whether different cultures and countries will use the internet differently, based on their values, rituals, and customs, it would be important for me to make sure that there indeed is a potential for people to express those key differences by selecting a different social networking site online versus others. Some would argue that behavior online is converging on universal behavior (generally: feedback loops, transparency, collaboration), but I think cultures will retain their identities even after buying into the online revolution. Read More