Exciting new thesis on social networking

Dr Danah Boyd has successfully defended her very interesting PhD Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics (PDF) and of course the text is available online (under CC license). This is from the abstract

While teenagers primarily leverage social network sites to engage in common practices, the properties of these sites configured their practices and teens were forced to contend with the resultant dynamics. Often, in doing so, they reworked the technology for their purposes. As teenagers learned to navigate social network sites, they developed potent strategies for managing the complexities of and social awkwardness incurred by these sites. Their strategies reveal how new forms of social media are incorporated into everyday life, complicating some practices and reinforcing others. New technologies reshape public life, but teens’ engagement also reconfigures the technology itself.

Danah is also a prolific writer and blogger with valuable insights in online life. She is also keen to get feedback about her text as she intends to rework and publish it in other formats- “The more feedback I get now, the better I can make those future document. So, pretty please, with a cherry on top, could you share your reflections, critiques, concerns? I promise I won’t be mad. In fact, the opposite. I would be most delighted!”

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