Social network(ing) sites...revisiting the story so far: A response to Danah Boyd & Nicole Ellison


Beer, D.


Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Volume 13, Number 2, United Kingdom, p.516-529 (2008)





social network sites; computer mediated communication; Online Social Networks


Comments on an article by danah boyd and Nicole Ellison (see record 2007-19531-011). The authors described features of Social network sites (SNSs) and propose a comprehensive definition. We begin to see here the authors developing a vision of these sites not as spaces where users are solely preoccupied with forming networks around themselves but where they involve themselves primarily in other activities, thus, for the authors, the term networking is misleading in this regard. For them, 'networking' can only refer to particular set of these sites and not to the range of site to which the authors would like it to refer, so by using 'network' in its place the authors feel they can open up the scope of the discussion and the type of sites to which this discussion might refer. My argument here would be that given these rapid cultural shifts and the dynamic and disjointed nature of much contemporary online culture there is a pressing need to classify in order to work toward a more descriptive analysis. The difficulty that authors' use of the term social network sites created is that it becomes too broad, it stands in for too many things, it is intended to do too much of the analytical work, and therefore makes a differentiated typology of these various user-generated web applications more problematic. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)


Accession Number: 2008-02110-008. First Author & Affiliation: Beer, David; Faculty of Business & Communication, York St John University, United Kingdom. Other Journal Title: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Other Publishers: Blackwell Publishing. Release Date: 20080505. Publication Type: Journal, (0100) Peer Reviewed Journal, (0110). Media Covered: Electronic. Media Available: Electronic. Document Type: Comment/Reply. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Computer Mediated Communication; Online Social Networks. Classification: Communication Systems (2700) . Population: Human (10) . References Available: Y.