Signals in social supernets.


Donath, J.


Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Volume 13, Issue 1, United Kingdom, p.231 - 251 (2007)





social network sites; social supernets; society; social tools; self presentation; risk taking; signal theory; Social Identity; Computer Mediated Communication; Online Social Networks; Risk Taking; Social Skills; Society


Social network sites (SNSs) provide a new way to organize and navigate an egocentric social network. Are they a fad, briefly popular but ultimately useless? Or are they the harbingers of a new and more powerful social world, where the ability to maintain an immense network--a social 'supernet'--fundamentally changes the scale of human society? This article presents signaling theory as a conceptual framework with which to assess the transformative potential of SNSs and to guide their design to make them into more effective social tools. It shows how the costs associated with adding friends and evaluating profiles affect the reliability of users' self-presentation; examines strategies such as information fashion and risk-taking; and shows how these costs and strategies affect how the publicly-displayed social network aids the establishment of trust, identity, and cooperation--the essential foundations for an expanded social world. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved) (from the journal abstract)


Accession Number: 2007-19531-012. First Author & Affiliation: Donath, Judith; MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA, US. Other Journal Title: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Other Publishers: Blackwell Publishing. Release Date: 20080107. Publication Type: Journal, (0100) Peer Reviewed Journal, (0110). Media Covered: Electronic. Media Available: Electronic. Document Type: Journal Article. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Social Identity; Computer Mediated Communication; Online Social Networks. Minor Descriptor: Risk Taking; Social Skills; Society. Classification: Communication Systems (2700) Social Psychology (3000) . Population: Human (10) . References Available: Y.