How to Leverage Decentralized Social Networks : SXSW 2005

Mar 19th

Panel by Tantek Celik, Jonas Luster, Joyce Park, Ernie Hsiung , & Danah Boyd.

Social relationships only require single directional relationships. Social networks place more emphasis on relationships than personal information. Many of the things which are currently being touted as social networks are community based sites which place greater emphasis on individuals than on relationships.

Danah stated some of the more common problems with social networks are

  • social akwardness

  • articulation problems
  • problems with being public

Joyce also stated another recurring problem is that many networks are created by men and do not take women into account. Another common problem is that some social networks fail to adapt to their audience.

A couple interesting facts:

  • Orkut took off in Brasil for two main reasons

    1. Brasil had two large cities which for a long time did not mix much but recently started mixing more frequently on a larger scale.

    2. Orkut originally had many flags on it. This reminded many people in Brasil of the World Cup. Some people joined because they wanted to beat out the other countries. Now the innovation at Orkut is driven by the Brasil community.

  • For this next statement you will have to pardon any cultural ignorance I display, but I think this is what they were trying to say :) Friendster is popular in some Muslim areas because with certain segments of that cultural background you have to show how and when you met someone, you can't just meet someone and instantly marry them.

They also talked a bit about XFN and recommended a few books. Jonas recommended John Scott's Social Network Analysis. Danah recommended Robin Dunbar's Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language

Published: March 19, 2005

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