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The Impact of Social Networking on ResNet Users Kevin Guidry IT Fellow at Sewanee: The University of the South Member, ResNet Applied Research Group All.

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Presentation on theme: "The Impact of Social Networking on ResNet Users Kevin Guidry IT Fellow at Sewanee: The University of the South Member, ResNet Applied Research Group All."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Impact of Social Networking on ResNet Users Kevin Guidry IT Fellow at Sewanee: The University of the South Member, ResNet Applied Research Group All original content in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

2 Introductions Who am I? Who are you?

3 Disclaimers I don’t know it all No one knows it all We’re going to play loose and fast with some of the language

4 Outline 1.Foundation and generalities 2.Facebook 3.Practical implications and practices

5 Part 1: Foundation and generalities

6 First, the Web 2.0 hype... The Machine is Us/ing Us video from Kansas State University’s Digital Ethnography Project Available at

7 Staggering Statistics Levy (2007) MySpace: –More than 66 million users visit each month –12 percent of all time on Internet spent there Facebook –23 million users visit each month –More than 2 million users joined in April (150,000 a day) Compare with countries of the worldcountries of the world

8 What is a Social Networking Service (SNS)? Are these SNSs? Blackboard Digg Facebook MySpace Second Life Slashdot Wikipedia World of Warcraft Group Activity

9 What is a Social Networking Service (SNS)? Blackboar d Digg Facebook MySpace Second Life Slashdot Wikipedia World of Warcraft Group Activity

10 How some researchers define SNS UNC Social Software Symposium December 8-9, 2006, Chapel Hill NC 37 attendees Their definitions of SNS

11 How some researchers define SNS danah boyd (2007): “These three features - profiles, Friends lists, and comments* - comprise the primary structure of all social network sites, although individual sites provide additional features for further engagement. While SNSes allow visitors to wander from Friend to Friend and communicate with anyone who has a visible profile, the primary use pattern is driven by pre-existing friend groups. People join the sites with their friends and use the different messaging tools to hang out, share cultural artifacts and ideas, and communicate with one another.” * - emphasis added

12 Key properties of SNS (boyd, in press) 1.Persistence: Unlike the ephemeral quality of speech in unmediated publics, networked communications are recorded for posterity. This enables asynchronous communication but it also extends the period of existence of any speech act. 2.Searchability: Because expressions are recorded and identity is established through text, search and discovery tools help people find like minds. While people cannot currently acquire the geographical coordinates of any person in unmediated spaces, finding one’s digital body online is just a matter of keystrokes. 3.Replicability: Hearsay can be deflected as misinterpretation, but networked public expressions can be copied from one place to another verbatim such that there is no way to distinguish the “original” from the “copy.” 4.Invisible audiences: While we can visually detect most people who can overhear our speech in unmediated spaces, it is virtually impossible to ascertain all those who might run across our expressions in networked publics. This is further complicated by the other three properties, since our expression may be heard at a different time and place from when and where we originally spoke.

13 Key properties of SNS 1.Persistence 2.Searchability 3.Replicability 4.Invisible audiences Brief excerpt from video of danah boyd’s talk at the University of North Carolina on September 14, 2006 Available at 4#boyd06 4#boyd06

14 Why Youths use SNS To create a “digital publics”: Socialization Identity development Brief excerpt from video of danah boyd’s talk at the University of North Carolina on September 14, 2006 Available at 4#boyd06 4#boyd06

15 Internet Disinhibition Suler (2004) Dissociative anonymity Invisibility Asynchronicity Solipsistic introjection Dissociative imagination Minimization of authority

16 It’s a dog-eat-dog world

17 Part 2: Facebook

18 Caveats I am not an expert in this application/tool Research takes time Significant gaps in the research Facebook continues to change

19 “Recent” Facebook Changes February 2006 – High school users allowed September 2006 – All users allowed May 2007 – API expanded/changed “More than 40,000 developers have requested to be part of the project, around 1,500 applications have been produced so far, and some of the most popular went from zero to 850,000 users in three days.”

20 Basic stats (as of May 2007) Cashmore (2007) General Growth More than 24 million active users More than 100,000 new registrations per day since Jan An average of 3 percent weekly growth since Jan Active users have doubled since Facebook expanded registration in Sept User Demographics Over 47,000 regional, work-related, collegiate, and high school networks More than half of Facebook users are outside of college The fastest growing demographic is those 25 years old and older Maintain 85 percent market share of 4-year U.S. universities User Engagement Sixth-most trafficked site in the United States* More than 40 billion page views per month in May 2007 More than half of active users return daily People spend an average of 20 minutes on the site daily* Applications No. 1 photo sharing application on the web* Photo application draws more than twice as much traffic as the next three sites combined* More than 1.8 billion photos on the site More than 6 million active user groups on the site International Growth Canada has the most users outside of the United States, with more than 2.5 million active users The U.K. is the third largest country with more than 1.4 million active users Remaining Top 10 countries in order of active users (outside of the U.S., Canada and UK): Norway, Australia, South Africa, Lebanon, Egypt, Sweden and India *Source: comScore Media Metrix

21 How many students use Facebook? ECAR (2006): “More than 70 percent use social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, and of those 65.9 percent do so several times a week or more.” Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe (2006): 94% of MSU freshmen Stutzman (2006): In week 1, 85% of UNC freshmen; by week 16, 94% Vanden Boogart (2006): 94.4% of participants at 4 different institutions

22 Frequency of Facebook Daily Use Vanden Boogart (2006) NPercent minutes % 30 minutes - 1 hour % 1 hour - 2 hours % 2 hours - 3 hours893.1% more than 3 hours301.1% Total %

23 Is anyone not using Facebook? Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe (2006): “Neither gender, ethnicity, nor income appeared to relate to propensity to join Facebook. Older students, and those who have been at school longer are significantly less likely to be on Facebook, probably reflecting an effect of the recency which with the MSU Facebook community began.”

24 How many “friends” do they have? Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe (2006): “Students report…between 150 and 200 friends on the system.” Vanden Boogart (2006): “The average respondent had 145 friends at their institution and 127 friends at other institutions.” Golder, Wilkinson, & Huberman (2006): “Of the 4.2 million users in our dataset, we found a median of 144 friends and mean of friends per user.”

25 Dunbar's number = 150 Dunbar (2002): “The cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships.” Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

26 What are they doing on Facebook? Group Activity

27 What are they doing on Facebook? Vanden Boogart (2006): “The highest area for use on Facebook is staying connected to high school friends. One would expect more people using Facebook to connect to college peers; however a very small percentage (21.1%) are using it for this purpose.”

28 Why do they use Facebook? Bumgarner (2006): 1.Gossip 2.Directory 3.Diversion 4.Voyeurism and exhibitionism

29 Privacy expectations & awareness Acquisti & Gross (2006): “Most of privacy concerned undergraduates still join the network” Govani & Pashley (2005): “Facebook users generally feel comfortable sharing their personal information in a campus environment. [Survey] participants said that they ‘had nothing to hide’ and ‘they don’t really care if other people see their information.’” Jones & Soltren (2005): “Women definitely self- censor their Facebook data more than men do.”

30 Prolific “bad” photos? Watson, Smith, & Driver (2006): “The recent media reports indicating student users of Facebook routinely post questionable photos on their sites…appear to be largely unfounded based on the evidence elicited from this research study.” Results closely replicated by Saunders, Jamieson, & Hale (2007)

31 Part 3: Practical implications and practices

32 When are students in front of their computers? View pages 8 and 9 from Rhythms of Social Interaction paper Available at

33 How do we get started? Brief excerpt from North Carolina State University’s The Facebook Phenomenon video (specifically, 19:27 – 21:30) Available at

34 Digital Divide Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (2007): 53% of all US households have high-speed Internet access. High-speed services now account for about 72% of all home Internet subscriptions – compared to 60% last year. “While broadband subscriptions continued to increase across the country in the past year, broadband penetration remains strongly correlated with household income.” –68% of all households with annual incomes over $50,000 subscribe to high- speed access –39% of all households with annual incomes under $50,000 subscribe to high- speed access 81% of all US households have at least one computer but only 56% of those with annual household incomes under $30,000 have a computer at home 45% of households with annual incomes below $30,000 subscribe to an Internet service at home – compared to 92% of households with annual incomes above $75,000 7% of all Internet subscribers say that high-speed access is not available in their area

35 Participatory Divide Boyd (in press): “Those who only access their [MySpace] accounts in schools use it primarily as an asynchronous communication tool, while those with continuous nighttime access at home spend more time surfing the network, modifying their profile, collecting friends, and talking to strangers. When it comes to social network sites, there appears to be a far greater participatory divide than an access divide.”

36 How should these tools be used in hiring (students or staff)? Group Activity

37 NYU New Student Orientation 1.Undergraduate Orientation Leader application statement: “I understand that, as a UOL, I will be expected to serve as a role model and be conscious of how I present myself in all forums, including electronic ones, such as Facebook and Myspace [sic]….Furthermore, though any information I have available in an on-line community will not be formally researched as a part of the staff selection process, I understand that members of the selection staff may have accounts and unintentionally come across my on-line personal profile.”

38 NYU New Student Orientation 2.Facebook-related exercises during group interviews 3.Statement on Orientation Leader Contract: “I will be conscious of how I represent myself in all forums, including electronic ones, such as Facebook or Myspace [sic].”

39 Institutional monitoring? Steinbeck & Deavers (2007): 1.Is the college monitoring its students’ online activities regularly? 2.If the institution monitors this activity, why has it chosen to do so? 3.Has the college informed its students of its policy toward monitoring?

40 Facebook Platform Official website: Example application: UIUC Library Search

41 It’s a little “cheesy” but... The Internet has a Face video from Kansas State University’s Digital Ethnography Project Available at

42 References Acquisti, A., & Gross, R. (2006). Imagined communities: Awareness, information sharing, and privacy on the facebook. Cambridge, England: 6th Workshop on Privacy Enhancing Technologies. boyd, d. (2007). Social network sites: public, private, or what? The Knowledge Tree(13). Retreived June 11, 2007, from boyd, d. (in press). Why youth (heart) social network sites: the role of networked publics in teenage social life. In D. Buckingham (Ed.), Identity Volume New York: McGraw-Hill. Retrieved June 11, 2007, from Cashmore, P.. (2007, May 24). Facebook F8 Live. Mashable. Retrieved June 19, 2007, from Dunbar, R.I.M. (1992) Neocortex size as a constraint on group size in primates. Journal of Human Evolution 22: Golder, S., Wilkinson, D., & Huberman, B. (2006). Rhythms of social interaction: messaging within a massive online network. Retrieved January 23, 2007, from Govani, T., & Pashley, H. (2005). Student awareness of the privacy implications when using facebook. Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University. [Student Poster]. Hersh, S. & Hinkle, S. (2007). Shaping the “Facebook” of higher education: Teaching online street-smarts during new student orientation. Orlando, Florida: 2007 ACPA/NASPA Joint Meeting. Jones, H., & Soltren, J. H. (2005). Facebook: threats to privacy. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. [Unpublished student paper].

43 References Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (2007). Over half of U.S. households subscribe to broadband internet. Durham, NC: Leichtman Research Group, Inc. [Press release]. Retrieved June 11, 2007, from Levy, S. (2007, May 28). Is Facebook catching up with MySpace? Newsweek. Retrieved June 11, 2007, from McCarthy, Caroline (2007, June 18). FaceBook platform attracts 1,000 developers a day. CNET News.com. Retrieved June 20, 2007, from developers-a-day/0, , ,00.htm developers-a-day/0, , ,00.htm Steinbeck, S. E. & Deavers, L. M. (2007, April 3). The Brave New World of MySpace and Facebook. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved June 13, 2007, from Suler, J. (2004). The online disinhibition effect. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 7(3). Vanden Boogart, M. R. (2006). Uncovering the social impacts of facebook on a college campus. Unpublished Master of Science Thesis, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. Watson, S. W., Smith, Z., & Driver, J. (2006). Alcohol, sex and illegal activities: an analysis of selected facebook central photos in fifty states. [ERIC Document ED493049].


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