The Voice of Reason in Social Media: danah boyd

March 3, 2009 at 4:39 pm 4 comments

danah-boyd-comicSome of you looking to learn more about OneSeventeen Media are also interested in the larger field of social media, and I wanted to make sure you knew about one of the great minds in social media academia, danah boyd.  In a word, she rocks, but for a better description of what she does and her relevance in the social media scene here are her own words:

My name is danah boyd and I am a Researcher at Microsoft Research New England and a Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. I recently completed my PhD at the School of Information (iSchool) at the University of California (Berkeley). My research examines social media, youth practices, tensions between public and private, social network sites, and other intersections between technology and society.

Definitely worth your time to check out in detail.  It’s incredibly helpful that’s she’s even compiled a “best of” for you to catch up on her blog.  

danah particularly caught my eye today for her much anticipated (by me at least!) response to two stories I’ve posted about in the last week:  social networking making us dumber and measuring friends on Facebook.  She’s right on too.

“The bigger issue is that performed network ties (“Friends”) are NOT the same as the personal networks that sociologists and anthropologists have historically measured and theorized about. Comparing them is futile at best and dangerous at worst. The Economist article mixes apples and oranges, creating a sense that the networks people maintain are the same that they perform through the public articulation of contacts,”


“I would argue that we’re addicted to our friends, not the computer. When the computer lets us get access to our friends, we look like we’re addicted to the computer,”

are two of my favorite excerpts from her post.  Be sure you read the entire thing and the comments.  

A big thanks to danah for her insight and perspective!

(Comic by Marc Scheff found on danah’s blog)

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Entry filed under: Current Events, Great Blogs, OneSeventeen Media, Research, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology. Tags: , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. zephoria  |  March 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    ::blush:: Thanks for the kind words. If you ever want me to respond to a particular news story, drop me a note. The best way to get me to take a stab at it is to poke at me. I get so exhausted by the cycle of similar stories that I’ve lost track of what really needs a response.

  • 2. Amy Strecker  |  March 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks danah for stopping by! I will take you up on that offer to poke at you for your opinion in the future.

  • 3. Beth Carls  |  March 7, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    You mention danah’s interest in “tensions between public and private”and a great thinker in this area can be found at Philanthropy 2173

  • 4. Amy Looper  |  March 10, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Hey danah thanks so much for stopping by to comment! We appreciate your thought leadership and look forward to seeing more of your perspectives.


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