Anthropology of social networking
- A New Public Order: Network Politics and the Tea Party Movement
- Doing social network sites: the case of Cibervalle
- Facebook in Trinidad
- Mobile Berlin: Social Media and the New Europe
- Occupying Cyberspace: Indonesian Cyberactivism and Occupy Wall Street
- 'Online togetherness' of Brazilian migrants on social network sites
- Secret communication systems in Facebook
- Shifting Fields: Social Media, Religion and Popular Culture in Brazil and the Diaspora
- Social networking and social science
- The social experience of ageing in a technologically connected world
- What 'friends' on the screen may mean: social networking shaping the Filipino diaspora
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Child in India? Sorry! No Facebook then!
Mon, 20 May 2013 11:57:07 +0000
The Delhi High Court had questioned the Union Government of India on why minors (children below 18 years of age) were on Facebook and Google. This was in response to a case filed by an ideologue of a major political party in India. The issue they wanted explained was how someone under the age of [...]
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What is social media about?
Thu, 09 May 2013 11:53:59 +0000
In this post I will summarise my individual interest in this project and how it relates to my previous work. In my PhD I discussed a particular and apparently individual reaction to the lack of appropriate alignment of the individual to the external forces that come from society. I showed that in rural southeast Romania [...]
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‘What is social media?’ – a definition
Tue, 30 Apr 2013 23:01:01 +0000
Having described our project as the Global Social Media Impact Study, we realised there was just one little thing we hadn’t actually done. This was to define, at least for our purposes, what we mean by the words ‘social media’. Our studies are ethnographies, there is pretty much nothing we would not wish to include. [...]
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The secret world of the inbox
Wed, 24 Apr 2013 20:03:35 +0000
This is my last week in my field site until 2014. I’ve been hussling to spend as much time with as many people as I can in the last couple of weeks, I’ve been invited to a wedding, a ceremony of Hindu prayers (a puja), a political rally, a cd launch by a local band and [...]
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Chinese ‘WeChat’ social media app will make the world look around and shake!
Mon, 22 Apr 2013 01:38:40 +0000
Two years is a long time in the world of social media. This point has been reinforced to me multiple times in the last few weeks since my return to China. When I was in the country carrying out research for my PhD in 2011, no-one in my fieldsite was talking about WeChat (威信 weixin). [...]Read more...
Doing social network sites: the case of Cibervalle
Heike Mónika Greschke, email@example.com
"Once upon a time there was [...] just one more electronic bulletin board, entered by many nicks in order to read, to argue, to maunder, to calm down, to forward poems, to learn tags, to joke, to write novels and tales, to teach sex education, in short… I wanted to be part of that group, I read them for about three months and started to imagine how each one of them would be in reality. At that time there was neither a photo album nor member profiles, and hardly anyone had proficient usage of html, and we knew even less how to upload photos. Writing to someone in particular seemed like a shot into the darkness, because you never knew whether and how he or she would answer. To imagine the smile, voice or face of your counterpart was utopia. Knowing his or her strengths and weaknesses you could not even dream of." (Esther, Paraguay, Cibervalle-forum, my own translation).
The publicly accessible discussion forum www.cibervalle.com presents a virtual meeting point for Paraguayans in nearly all parts of the world. Despite the initial anonymity of Cibervalle users to one another, to which Esther points in her above quoted post, over the years they have build a community based on solidarity and trust. The Forum was inititially nothing other than a functioning part of the interactive communication environment of a commercial Paraguayan web portal. The operating company set it up online and left it to its own devices. More or less accidentally, the as yet lifeless Forum was then discovered and occupied by the first Paraguayan Internet travellers.
The development of computer-mediated communication was still in the fledgling stages and broadband technology was not yet available when they began to settle down in Cibervalle. The technological requisites were still insufficient for establishing personal relationships, as pointed out by Esther’s statement. She is one of the first settlers in Cibervalle, who became part of a mutual learning process between advancing technologies and their everyday appropriation. The members of Cibervalle have not only been involved in several technological renovations of the electronic bulletin board. They have rather actively been shaping the evolution of social network sites (SNS), as they creatively exploit the system’s features so as to play with new forms of socializing and community building.
The communities' social life relies on cross-media architecture which joins the WWW-based public site and more private mediated forms of communication (like e-mailing, instant messaging and mobile phone use) with co-presence based encounters, so as to turn the former online discussion forum into a pioneer of social network sites (Greschke 2011). Cibervalle, in other words, not only exemplifies, what Madianou and Miller (2011) define as „polymedia“, that is an „integrated environment, within which users exploit contrasts within media to manage their relationships“ (55). Moreover, drawing from this case, we may assume that the innovative features of SNS, which are currently a subject of a legal controversy between Yahoo and Facebook, have been emerging in parallel in many communities of practice inhabiting techno-social environments, such as Cibervalle.
- Greschke, Heike Mónika. 2011. Make yourself at home in www.cibervalle.com - meanings of proximity and togetherness in the era of 'broadband society'. In: Fortunati, Leopoldina, Raul Pertierra & Jane Vincent (eds). Migrations, Diaspora and Information Technology in Global Societies, Routledge.
- Greschke, Heike Mónika. Is There a Home in Cyberspace? The Internet in Migrants' Everyday Life and the Emergence of Global Communities, Routledge (forthcoming).
- Madianou, Mirca & Daniel Miller. 2011. New Media and Migration. Transnational Families and Polymedia, Routledge.
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