Where do the cool kids hang out?

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Cartoon of three young people: cleancut (Facebook), menacing (MySpace) and an operator (LinkedIn)

If you follow this stuff, then chances are you've at least heard about danah boyd's blog essay looking at youth participation in online social networks through the prism of class. It's an excellent read with some valuable insights, but I don't think it's the best piece on her site.

Dig a little deeper, and you'll find a remarkable perspective on online participation by young people, one that cuts past the paranoia and panic that too often color public discussion on that topic. She starts from the radical premise that kids are people worthy of respect and dignity; her posts regularly take on political and commercial hucksterism with a rare combination of passion and rigour.

Her interests and insights range beyond youth as well. If you'd like to check out her blog, have a look at some of her greatest hits – and then let me know what you think.



PIerre says

July 10, 2007 - 11:28am

Hi Rob, I am enjoying your editorial style cartoons.

I wonder what Danah would make of 'Taking it Global'?

One of the articles of Danah's I have enjoyed the most so far is the one on lifestages and social networks once you get past the Harry Potter references I think its quite good at attempting to explain the popularity of some of the most widely visited social networks (and some of the newer emerging ones)

Danah's top five values per life stage:

Life Stage #1 Life Stage #2 Life Stage #3 Life Stage #4
* Friends * Sex * Labor * Family
* Attention * Friends * Family * Health
* Play/Leisure* Money * Money * Religion
* Sex * Play/Leisure * Power * Hobbies
* Consumption * Labor * Property * Friends

Danah doesn't deliniate specific ages here but I would surmise that Stage 1 is 20 and under, stage 2 20-35, stage 3 35-55 and stage 4 55+.

By using this lens it is easy to plot certain social networks based on the needs they fulfill for their users, and potentially identify underserved groups.

How much of it is lifestage and how much of it is based on 'class' is an interesting question. In the US Danah seems to have a pretty stong theory on this I wonder how this would play out when analyzing usage in Canada?





Rob Cottingham says

July 10, 2007 - 10:45pm

Hi, Pierre -- Great to hear from you, and thanks for following the cartoons!

Looks like I have some personal catching up to do on life stages. :-) (And oddly, I don't see "Drupal modules" anywhere in her lists of values...)

I wonder if there's an automated way -- maybe using tags -- to track where various social networks and media-sharing sites fit on that scale, and perhaps how they change over time.

nicoduca says

February 28, 2008 - 10:44am
Take Two to Focus on Nintendo Take Two has had a rough week, from restructuring and bad quarter results to filling PS3 owners with GTA rage, it's time to make some changes in how they run a little thing they call business. One of the things on the to-do list is to start focusing on the Nintendo platforms including (what else?) the DS and the Wii. According to Chairman Strauss Zelnick: To be perfectly frank, I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to realize what's going on with Wii and DS. I will tell you that very quickly we turned to both 2K and to Rockstar and said guys, we need a DS strategy and a Wii strategy and we are working on it. As we get into the next quarter and into budget season for 2008, everybody in this company is completely focused on it. Of course, this doesn't mean that you will start seeing Nintendo games coming from Take Two anytime soon, unless they've invested some of that GTA money into some kind of magic bottom that they can pull Nintendo games out of. ______________________


ashley says

October 15, 2009 - 11:17am

hi. this is my first time on ur sight and the cartoons are really funny.

Rob Cottingham says

October 15, 2009 - 12:56pm

I'm so glad you like them!!

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