The facts speak for the themselves: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. bought MySpace in 2005 for $580 million and is selling it this week to Specific Media for $35 million. It made its purchase price back perhaps a couple times over by crapping out the site with innumerable ads (remember, News Corp. was simply exploring new distribution channels and the ad model was the most obvious way to monetize the thing). But users abandoned MySpace in droves, from a peak of 90 million in 2006 to 18 million 4 years later. Today, the thing is all but dead.
I have never really been a user of Facebook or Linkedin, but more of a Hostage. I didn’t use them because they made me feel warm inside or helped me kick ass (as Kathy Sierra would say), I used them because everyone else was there.
Our contemporary ideas about privacy are often shaped by legal discourse that emphasizes the notion of “individual harm.” Furthermore, when we think about privacy in online contexts, the American neoliberal frame and the techno-libertarian frame once again force us to really think about the individual.
Twitter’s approach to easy social connections lets people build big networks, often quickly. Celebrities attract millions of followers. Even non-celebrities can develop many thousands of friends; some resort to automation tools to build their following more rapidly. But what do all these connections mean? Clearly, one can’t interact with all these people on a regular basis. New research shows that there’s an upper limit to how many truly interactive social contacts we can handle.
Last weekend I gave a talk at the International Communication Association about the increasingly interpersonal nature of the relationships between musicians and friends. In it, I draw on the interviews I’ve done with musicians to identify some of the positive new rewards they get when they can interact directly with their fans, cover many of the tricky interpersonal issues they face in trying to negotiate how much those relationships can be like friendship, and briefly summarize the main strategies they use to manage boundaries in ways with which they are comfortable.
In the fall, Alice Marwick and I went into the field to understand teens’ privacy attitudes and practices. We’ve blogged some of our thinking since then but we’re currently working on turning our thinking into a full-length article.
The phenomenal rise of social media has, without a doubt, created a wave of excitement in the online marketing industry. It has never been as easy to share information online and to connect with like-minded individuals as it is today.