OH WON'T YOU BE MY FRIENDSTER?
According to Boyd, â€śParticipants in social network sites want to be public where public means interacting with all people who might have similar tastes or be entertaining or provide useful information.â€? I think this is a great summary of how online communities differ from physical communities. People participating in an online community are participating due to personal interest in the topic at hand. Where as in a public community, sometimes you donâ€™t have a choice about the interactions you encounter or the situations you will become involved in. However, both community types both encourage encountering with people and engaging in some type of conversation with others, whether it be personal or a topic of interest.
To gain social capital in the online community you have to almost create a desirable image for yourself. For example according to Baym, â€śThe use of humor as a criterion in evaluating performance on r.a.t.s. is directly related to important functional concerns in the group. It helps keep fans entertained during times when a soap opera may fail to do so, and it help to create an accepting and caring group atmosphere.â€? Overall I think itâ€™s all about how you present yourself and the image you create for yourself via the Internet and these various programs.
I think digital communities have become very popular within the past couple of years. I know that I wasnâ€™t too involved in any type of online communities, prior to hearing about MYSPACE and FACEBOOK. The article written by Boyd about Friends and Friendster was very interesting to read, because I could relate to some of the information within the article. For example, I know that on MYSPACE I have friends that are friends with over 500 people, and over Âľ of the friends they have listed as friends, they have never met or talked in real life before. Overall I believe digital communities are affecting physical communities. Boyd mentions a case about fights in schools because someone wasnâ€™t on someoneâ€™s TOP8 on MYSPACE.