MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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SNSs- the ideal versus the reality

 The assigned reading “Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship” written by D. Boyd and N. Ellison provided a comprehensive overview for those of us new to the SNS scene. I was particularly captivated by the research and analysis presented on the cultures that emerge within these sites. For example, under the subheading “SNSs Hit the Mainstream” the authors provide an insightful background on the birth and growth of MySpace, detailing how the SNS was able to expand its ‘social capital’ by way of Friendster’s “alienation of its early adopters.”  The article names indie-rock bands as one particular group that converted to MySpace and prompted other SNS users to adopt the site in spite of Friendster’s homogenous and strict profile regulations.  This is a perfect example of how sub-cultures are formed and how the required or intended system can sometimes result in an emergent or rebellious system, different from what was initially intended.  MySpace did not seek out indie-rockers or bands specifically, but because the SNS offered a more flexible regulations it was able to create a virtual haven for ambitious musicians, groupies, promoters and industry associates to converse and exchange ideas and dialogue.  Viewing SNS through the cultural lense allows for interesting discoveries about humans as a collective cohort. I look forward to learning more.


Until next time,



May 15, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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