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35 Different Ways of Looking at Social Networks 47

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the one-internet-several-reasons dept.
jg21 writes "Social Computing Magazine has just published a list of thirty-five perspectives on online social networking reflecting how protean and difficult to pin down the phenomenon is. It was compiled by Malene Charlotte Larsen, a PhD student at Aalborg University in Denmark, who has been doing research on Danish youngsters and online social networking. She ends with an open request for further perspectives."
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35 Different Ways of Looking at Social Networks

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 07, 2007 @11:36AM (#19780179)
    THIRTY FIVE Perspectives on Social Networking?

    Dash it, All I can come up with is but one: Sex.
    • 35 was necesary so that no group, race,gender, color, programming lanuage, etc would be left out. She ask for more because in her heart she is sure that she has unconsciously discriminated against somebody.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 07, 2007 @12:22PM (#19780585)
      You forgot about the other perspective. The one who simply don't give a fuck about Social Networking sites.

      So theres 2 perspectives: Sex and those who can get laid without them
      • You both forgot the biggest one of all, MONEY.... for those who can exploit humanities desire to network... and for those who can actually get something useful out of these vast clouds of vague relationships without purpose.
      • by vinoloco (1130847)
        While there certainly are social networks with strong sexual overtones, http://www.mocospace.com/ [mocospace.com] for example, I don't think sex explains the success of a site like http://www.linkedin.com/ [linkedin.com].
    • Dash it, All I can come up with is but one: Sex.

      I found it to be kinda short sighted in the article that they would seperate the "sex" perspective from the "youth" and "identity" perspectives. Of course teens are going to have all sorts of pictures of themselves tring to be sexy, they are learning what being sexy means. That's why younger teens often have such crazy fashion sense, trying to find what their own sex appeal. Which is one of major newly emerging parts of their identity. I think the only big
  • by Timesprout (579035) on Saturday July 07, 2007 @11:37AM (#19780183)
    Sums it up I think.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Looking through TFA, looks like the list of alternative 'takes' ranges from the idealistic ("The love perspective") to the realistic ("The generation gap perspective") to the distinctly disquieting ("The bullying perspective"). It's still a work in progress, though, and there must surely be additional 'perspectives' that we could offer Ms Larsen.

    How about "The nothing-new-here perspective" - to refer to all those who say Web 2.0 is just déjà vu all over again.

    One she already has that seems in

  • 35 MADLIBS (Score:2, Funny)

    by mathmatt (851301)

    In any case, mapping out the different perspectives has been a good exercise for me as a researcher.
    I'm glad you had fun. 35 Perspectives on anything is really boring for me as a reader. You basically cut and pasted "The _______ Perspective: Social Networking is really _______" and filled in the blanks with 35 random words. Are you a researcher of MADLIBS?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 07, 2007 @11:48AM (#19780283)

      Are you a researcher of MADLIBS?

      I resent your SMELLY accusation, as I have been FARTING my research for over ELEVENTEEN years now. Just because you're bored by POOP doesn't mean this research won't help FLYING MIDGETS in the long run.

    • by Threni (635302)
      It's more than I would have managed.

      1) Sad, lonely bedrooms boys (and girls, in some cases, I guess) trying to get laid.
      2) Sad, lonely bedrooms boys (and girls, in some cases, I guess) trying to get laid.
      3) Sad, lonely bedrooms boys (and girls, in some cases, I guess) trying to get laid. .. ..

    • I take it you will not enjoy my list of 50 ways to leave the lover you found on a social networking site.
  • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Saturday July 07, 2007 @11:45AM (#19780257)
    It may not be the most interesting article I've ever read, but at least it's not about the iPhone.
  • by kaos.geo (587126) on Saturday July 07, 2007 @11:46AM (#19780265)
    I think this is a simplistic approach to Online Social Networking.
    The plea in the end to contribute more perspectives just stresses that.
    There are as many perspectives as people involved in (online or offline) social networking.
    IMHO the only insight I can contribute is that networking is a human trait that we carry to every medium we use to communicate with.
    When you contribute to a network you get more than what you put in.
    I think an analysis of peer-to-peer networking, with contributors, leechers, etc. would show the dynamics very clearly and that could be extrapolated to a lot of human networking activities, i.e.: The economy.

    Well, this is MY rambling contribution to this topic anyway.

    I find the repetition of the word "perspective" in the article deeply annoying. :P
  • Riiight (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday July 07, 2007 @11:54AM (#19780339) Journal

    6. The paedophile and predator perspective
    Social networking sites are an El Dorado for paedophiles and predators who want to harm young people. The people behind the sites are not in control of safety and do not put enough effort into keeping predators out of the sites.

    Let's blame "The people behind the sites" and not:
    A) Kids who sneak away to meet predators
    B) Parents who aren't paying attention
    C) Online predators for their behavior
    D) Parole officers for not keeping tabs on sex offenders

    Do any of those alternative sources of blame sound reasonable?
    • Do any of those alternative sources of blame sound reasonable?
      Yes, but which sounds the most profitable? The parents wont sue themselves or the kids, and the predators don't have money, so obviously its the sites fault
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Animats (122034)

      6. The paedophile and predator perspective
      Catholic churches are an El Dorado for paedophiles and predators who want to harm young people. The people behind the churches are not in control of safety and do not put enough effort into keeping predators out of the churches.

      That's documented reality, [wikipedia.org] established in hundreds of lawsuits.

      Myspace, Facebook, etc. aren't losing multiple multi million dollar lawsuits for deliberately assisting in covering up child molestation by their employees. The Catholic Ch

      • by Tassach (137772)

        Catholic churches are an El Dorado for paedophiles and predators who want to harm young people.

        My opinion is that that it's more to the point to say that the Catholic priesthood and monastic orders are a haven for sexually aberrant and dysfunctional individuals. IMHO only someone who has major issues with their own sexuality is going to voluntarily take a vow of lifelong celibacy. There won't be any meaningful reform until the institutions have a population of people with a healthy outlook on sex, and that won't happen until the Church allows priests, monks, and nuns to marry.

      • Animats,

        I agree, "Catholic churches are an El Dorado for pedophiles and predators."

        Also, I know from friends back 30 years ago the Methodist, Jewish, Islam, Baptist, Lutheran, Mormon ... "are an El Dorado for pedophiles and predators." Parents need to be aware that when their kids are at a religious location/function that there is an equal (I think) chance of pedophiles and predators injuring their child.

        I have believed for decades, that the reduction in people attending church/temple/mosque... around the w
    • Could anyone explain to me how are online social networks any different, legally, to cell phone networks, email providers or even the postal system when it comes to pedophilia? Aren't they simply providing communication services? Aren't all of those used by pedophiles? is it because of the amount of public exposure given to any person in, say MySpace? Is it the websites' ability to keep logs and data of the exchanges?
    • For the most part, no, that's a bad argument:

      A) Kids who sneak away to meet predators

      Any adult with a profit motive who absolves themselves of responsibility and blames it on a horny 13-year old is being an arsehole.

      B) Parents who aren't paying attention

      Of course parents have responsibilities. But any adult with a profit motive who absolves themselves of responsibility with respect to children because it all rests with the parents is being an arsehole. Parents should not have to enforce a police s

    • It would be a good idea for wishful-thinking Scandinavian feminist PhD types to finally let go of the idea that pedophilia is a one-way street or that all sex is rape initiated by a male offender.

      I should know: ages ago, I was one of those kids who was too shy and too skinny to get laid with people their own age and who willingly sought older girls who had already achieved the age of majority. The point is that most adults I've had sex with had no harmful intentions; there was no "molesting" taking place

  • No information about where these "perspectives" came from. It's impossible to determine the authorativeness of these statements. I'm certain if you took a different 35 people, you'd get 35 more perspectives, so it's totally irreproducible and therefore not even close to being scientific.

    Let's have 35 perspectives on sociologists trying to sound like they understand the internet and how people use it.

    • Would any other "social interaction scientists" come up with some better information? I am at least sure these 35 are what the mainstream would conclude. Almost nothing outside of physics and mathematics is authorative.
  • People are a social animal (well most people...). Places like myspace and facebook let people expllore the social structure- and create a forum for gossip that was a written record. :)
  • that publicity and society genericize us online social networking sites magnify this effect, combining the effects of advertising, options, and networking to create a population homogenized to fit the standards of the site

    we create ourselves based on relations to others those relations are manifestations of our own perspectives we see ourselves from the outside looking through the other's eyes social networking literally gives us an outsider's perspective of ourselves, but this is only a exaggeration of t
  • ... to say we're making it up as we go along.

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