danah boyd

Sometimes I Feel Like a Bitch

For the most part, I'm a fuzzy lovable energetic creature (or at least I like to think so). But new technologies combined with information overload sometimes bring out the inner bitch in me. And then I feel guilty.

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Twitter: 'Pointless Babble' or Peripheral Awareness + Social Grooming?

I challenge each and every one of you to record every utterance that comes out of your mouth (and that of everyone you interact with) for an entire day. And then record every facial expression and gesture. You will most likely find what communications scholars found long ago - people are social creatures and a whole lot of what they express is phatic communication. (Phatic expressions do social work rather than conveying information... think "Hi" or "Thank you".)

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Teens Don't Tweet... Or Do They?

Yesterday, Mashable reported Nielsen's latest Twitter numbers with the headline Stats Confirm It: Teens Don't Tweet. This gained traction on Twitter turning into the trending topic "teens don't tweet" which was primarily kept in play all day yesterday with teens responding to the TT by saying "I'm a teen" or the equivalent of "you're all idiots... what am I, mashed potatoes?"

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Help Me Find Innovative Practitioners Who Address Online Safety Issues

I need your help. One of our central conclusions in the Internet Safety Technical Task Force Report was that many of the online safety issues require the collective engagement of a whole variety of different groups, including educators, social workers, psychologists, mental health experts, law enforcement, etc. Through my work on online safety, I've met a lot of consultants, activists, and online safety experts. Through my work as a researcher, I've met a lot of practitioners who are trying to engage youth about these issues through outright fear that isn't grounded in anything other than myth.

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Would the Real Social Network Please Stand up?

This ideas in this post are based on conversations with Bernie Hogan and should be interpreted as the production of our co-thinking.

All too frequently, someone makes a comment about how a large number of Facebook Friends must mean a high degree of social capital. Or how we can determine who is closest to who by measuring their email messages. Or that the Dunbar number can explain the average number of Facebook friends.

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Obsessively Recording and Sharing Our Vacations

At Blogher yesterday, the issue of "addiction" emerged in the keynote. A woman in the audience noted that she twitched for the first day of vacation because she desperately wanted to tweet the things she was seeing and witnessing, like the bald eagle flying by. On stage, the conversation turned so that we talked more generally about being able to take a technology free vacation, but I want to address the tendency to tweet the things we see directly for a moment.

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I Want My Cyborg Life

For the last few years, I've been spoiled. I've been surrounded by people who, when asked a question, immediately bring out a digital device and look it up. The conferences that I've attended have backchannels as a given. Tweeting, blogging, Wikipedia-ing... these are all just what we do. It's not all there - it's still broken. My cohort is still always in search of a power plug and there's a lag between the time a question is asked and the point at which the iPhone's slow browser is loaded, the query is entered, and the answer is given. Still, we're getting there. Or so I thought.

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PDF Talk: 'The Not-So-Hidden Politics of Class Online'

Two years ago this week, I wrote a controversial essay in an attempt to locate divisions that I was seeing play out between MySpace and Facebook. This week, at the Personal Democracy Forum, I revisited these ideas in a new talk:

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Understanding Retweeting on Twitter

As we try to work out how Iranian citizens, activists, journalists, new media propagators, and politically conscious folks are using Twitter to converse about the Iranian election, we need to step back and think about some of the practices that are core to what's taking place. One of these is retweeting, or the act of spreading a message along inside Twitter. Earlier this week, Scott Golder, Gilad Lotan, and I just finished a descriptive paper on retweeting as a conversational practice:

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Twitter Is for Friends; Facebook Is Everybody

by: danah boyd

I was talking with a friend of mine today who is a senior at a technology-centered high school in California. Dylan Field and his friends are by no means representative of US teens but I always love his perspective on tech practices (in part cuz Dylan works for O'Reilly and really thinks deeply about these things). Noodling around, I asked him if many of his friends from his school used Twitter and his response is priceless:

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