« Signal vs. Noise in Online Communities | Main | Facebook: What is the definition of a friend? »

Facebook & Myspace. . the online communities of the new millenium

“More recent conceptions of the folk group require that groups only share a common factor and unique traditions, or that traditions are grounded in distinct shared rules for the conduct and interpretation of speech.? (Kiesler, p103)

I believe this quote describes the Kiesler writing style and description of online communities. “Newsgroups? as Kiesler describes in this article seem to be rather foreign and seems that the article is seeking justification for online communities. It quotes members of the R.A.T.S. to be “well educated.? It also describes the common term blogging as “posting.? (Kiesler, p105) This contrast in terminology I believe represents the impact that the web culture has implemented in today’s society. Today we say online communities with pride and a sense of belonging. Today people are more open about their desire to belong to communities and obtain their own sort of web language when belonging to specific communities.

Two online communities that I participate in are facebook and myspace. My personal participation within these communities are distinguished by Kieslers defining of lurking and posting. Facebook I am an active participate. I leave notes, considered blogs, for my friends accompanied by photos that emphasize meaning to my notes. Myspace I would be considered to only lurk as I do not actively have an account but use it to not post but just to check people out and participate at a minimal level. I believe your affiliation within an online community can play bias to an individual. For example, my friends belonging to Myspace and posting hundreds of so-called model photos of themselves are trying to portray a specific demeanor.

The most useful and important online community that I participate in at this stage of my life is Linked In. It is an online community for business professionals and used strictly for networking and business discussion. I feel comfortable belonging to this community because I want to be affiliated with other individuals seeking professional networking.

In conclusion I feel that there is a significant difference in the acceptance and comfort that people feel within and belonging to online communities today versus fifteen years ago. I appreciated Kieslers definitions but feel that more up-to-date terminology speaks greater to the true communities that exist today.


Thanks for the comment!

I apologize, but the thing I have to criticize you on is your definition of blogging. When you post on a message board or someone else's "wall" on these networking sites, it is a post. According to Wiktionary (which I personally see as the god off all web 2.0 words) a blog is "a personal or corporate website in the form of an online journal, with new entries appearing in sequence as they are written, especially as dealing with personal reflections or opinion". The name comes from weblog (web log) and can relate to a diary or log of someone's life. On the other hand, posting is the act of adding to something, which comes from posting things on bulletin boards. You can post a post to your blog, message board or newsgroup, but you cannot post a blog to your post, message board, or news group. I hope you understand, maybe Krista will see this and can explain anything I left out.

I think it's interesting that you use the Facebook and MySpace online communities. I have never know anyone before that has. I thought you comment about how your friends use those SNS's highlighted our readings on gender and the persona we choose to show. Your lurking comment reinforced for me one of our readings this week (Baym, p. 105). Thanks.

I never thought to think about acceptance in relation to the internet, but now that you mention it, I agree. In regards to the terms, I think that since they are still new, and ever-changing, it would be absurd to maintain that their definitions are set in stone. A post could mean one thing to one person, and something completely different to someone else. I often find myself in a position where I'm wondering whether or not a person that I'm talking to assigns the same meaning to a word, and sometimes it does cause confusion.

I'm a little late to the comments on this post, but William's definition of blogging is spot-on. Thanks for clarifying it for everyone.

I just saw your post and would like to point out that these days, apart from myspace and facebook, many niche communities have sprung up. I guess, this is the way it will be in the future.

To say that many niche communities have sprung up is an understatement! I myself run a niche network of site owners that try to help each other build traffic and members. It will be interesting to see where MySpace and Facebook are in the future.

MySpace has become a huge collection of fake profiles and spammers. They are attacked by bots and are constantly having lag issues. I agree that sites like Facebook and Xanga will have bigger clout vs. MySpace being a site full of skin show photo n fakes.