just so people know where to find it..this is what i started out with...

After more thought I think I might not focus on Facebook alone. Going on the critical project bent, I still want to examine social networking and community on the internet, but also explore how they are formed and how one is able to create an identity for themselves in such a space. Are sites such as Myspace a way of bringing the chaos of people roaming about on the internet into order? Because of the anonymity, total or partial, offered by the internet, do people choose to present an 'idealised self' online as opposed to a honest portrayal? Do people trust those they interact with on the internet more or less than they would people they meet every day?

I think I would like to explore the history and development of social networking on the internet more extensively, maybe look at predictions of how it will continue to expand or falter. Are there certain characteristics that make one site or form more widely popular than others? There is a (growing?) minority of people that are becoming tired of being socially connected through the internet, feeling that sometimes there is too much information either being put out there about themselves, or coming at them.

There are also certain theories regarding social networks that look at the size of the community and number of people required to create a 'genuine' network in the 'real world' and I'm interested to see how that translates into cyberspace. I think at the beginning of the semester we discussed how preoccupation with interactions in cyberspace was both a perpetuation of anti-social behavior and yet also participation in a social setting of sorts.

Readings on the syllabus that I hope to be able to draw upon include articles by Levy, Poster, Rheingold, Ronell and Pew Internet & American Life Project.
I'd also like to find ways of bringing the reading I did on Facebook into my final project. How, is not exactly clear at the moment.

Ah, reading back on all I've just typed it seems pretty clear to me that I need some assistance regarding focusing this project. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

One thing I think about when social networking comes up is that their size has to be large for them to be considered important or useful. This isn't necessarily true as I'm sure a lot of us would agree. Can social networks be used for more than just the social? would niche political networks work well? I think the answer is yes, even if you can create groups in facebook and myspace etc.

Also, what about making our own social networks? Ning is a new company that provides the software and services to make your very own facebook. we can make our own blogs, why not our social networks.

Finally, if OpenID ever takes off in the near future, what would this mean for social networking? could there just be one giant network that used OpenID usernames? or would people shy away from publicizing their information to the entire internet community? just things that might help you. good luck

This blog functions as a small social network with meaning, at least to a few people in the world. Furthermore, the wiki is our version of facebook, I think, but in much greater detail. We are already doing what you wanted to do without even realizing it.

Maybe I'm old-fashioned, or whatever you want to call it, but I don't think I personally would ever feel comfortable on a site like OpenID. I do get worried about too many people (or the wrong kind of people--and no, sorry, I don't know who these people are, or what they want to do to me, I am just afraid they're out there--maybe future employers? i dont' know) having access to my information and identity. I wonder how many other people feel this way. Many?? I think if my paranoid attitude is common, then no, OpenID will fail. BUT, maybe my fear is unjustified and a new social networking project like OpenID would prove to be the next rage. I don't know . . . just sharing one of my deepest fears

Like we talked about in class the other day, I think one of the defining features of Facebook is that it is a cyberspace social network and which I would wager most, if not virtually all, members who interact online have had SOME sort of interaction in real life. This type of online social network seems to be really different than others we've talked about where members of the online community may never meet face-to-face, but still share a strong sense of community. Then again, one has to consider the growing trend of people meeting on the internet and then meeting in real life and forming meaningful relationships, be it friendship or something more.

This idea of virtual reality penetrating real life and vice versa is something that might be really interesting for you to explore on your look at the development of social networking sites. Just a thought! Best of luck.

I like this project quite a lot -- there's certainly a LOT to deal with. You should do some searching around for recent scholarship that's been done on social networking software; in particular, you should look at the work of danah boyd, but danah's also compiled a quite extensive bibliography of work in this area. Once you've looked at some of this work, you will likely find that you want to narrow your focus a bit, to ask once specific research question about these kinds of systems -- for instance, when is big too big? Or what's the relationship between the social and the anti-social in these systems? Or whatever it is that most piques your interest. But do take a look at some of that scholarship; it's a very hot area of research these days. I'll look forward to seeing more.

There are also certain theories regarding social networks that look at the size of the community and number of people required to create a 'genuine' network in the 'real world' and I'm interested to see how that translates into cyberspace.

i think you should use this part to relate to our class discussion (from Monday, 4/2) about online avatars/online dating services, with how much of people's "personalities" are displayed, or rather, filtered to viewers, and the resulting online AND real life relationships/interactions that are formed. I know that your topic, facebook, is the only online forum through which i have met/interacted with people who i was first introduced to online, because I had the safety of knowing that the people i spoke to were in fact the exact same age, gender, and person they claimed to be. This is because I felt there was actual proof through the person's account because he/she would not have been given this access without a school email address (confirming that I in fact went to school with them), as well as when i would see that we had friends in common (which facebook makes sure to display). On any other site with the same purpose, I would never plan to meet a person using the website.