Monday, August 13, 2007

Web 2.0 Faceoff

On August 3rd, Danah Boyd spoke on On the Media about the social striation of social networking sites, specifically Facebook vs. MySpace. Her description boiled down to this: Facebook is for elitist college-educated people, while MySpace is for grungy non-college bound blue-collar folks. Boyd claims that this is because Facebook was started by a bunch of Harvard kids while MySpace was started by some kids who wanted to keep track of their favorite rock band concerts.

Now I had done absolutely no conscious thinking about this topic, and actually I have very little interaction with MySpace at all (I'll admit to being on Facebook - I like being able to keep tabs on what my baby sister is doing at college and see other photos from friends, but I really only joined as part of some research I was doing at work). However, I will admit that in my head, MySpace was always in the "skanky" list. I remember reading an article in Time (or possibly Business Week) a year or two ago where one of the 100 most influential people was a girl who had made a huge business out of selling suggestive pictures of herself based to her 100,000+ friends on MySpace. However, when the topic came up at work recently in a discussion of web design, MySpace was also immediately and consistently consigned to be a "don't" by my colleagues. I guess we've all bought into the "MySpace is skanky" hype.

What I do wonder is when the assumption was made that people who are into music don't go to college. I suppose the idealized view of a band groupie is someone who's sort of anti-establishment, but I taking it to the next step of assuming they're also all uneducated seems extreme. Either way, I'm not planning to hit MySpace any time soon. I guess that makes me an elitist, college-educated snob.

Bonus: check out one of my favorite geeky comics on Facebook:


Anonymous said...

"but I really only joined as part of some research I was doing at work"

i call BS on that one!


SabraGirl said...

I only JOINED for work purposes...I will freely admit that I am now hooked :-)