Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sharing, Consuming, Branding and Judging in Social Networks

Grace McDunnough wrote a great post yesterday discussing Second Life relationships in the context of the social network models of Facebook and Twitter. It inspired me to do a little VizThinking on the topic and here's my first iteration:

Dimensions of Social Networking

From an individual activity point of view, social networking consists of sharing and consuming information. . . posting and viewing. These sometimes are part of conversations with one or more people, either explicitly (through an @name) and/or collectively when a particular topic is active within a social circle.

In addition to the literal message of the content, there are also meta-messages related to the sender. Our choices in posting (including who and what we choose to re-tweet) reflect to some extent how we wish to be seen by our social network. And we form impressions of others over time based upon the content, frequency, tone, etc. of their posts.

Although the form of this matrix applies to just about any social network we participate in, the content may vary greatly from network to network and from identity to identity. For instance what I post on Twitter from @botgirlq is very different from what is posted under a human identity on Facebook. Although most of the variance is based upon my perception of the particular interests of each social circle, the question of personal branding sometimes plays a part in my choice of what and where I choose to post (or not post) any particular item of interest.

Anyway, I plan to go through one or two more sessions on the topic and post more later this week.


Kwame Oh said...

Hummm a topic right up my street regarding concept of "who am I/you" and specific to this evolving digital persona mashup.

From most of my posts you would have gathered I shy away from different persona in my digital footprint in fact would go as far as to say our footprints are now open to more people than before because of the digital age, as such cannot quite go with the different postings" by the different persona you describe, though would say we apply nuances to our message depending which persona/avatar we are and the platform we speak on.

I would even boldly predict we shall move these persona's closer to unity as we progress simply because these different places/platforms will in themselves become one voice/footprint

Botgirl Questi said...

I think one practical use of multiple identities is to handle multiple interest areas. For instance, I tend to limit tweets under @botgirlq outside of topics related to virtual worlds, social networks, etc. Other user names are used to post about other subjects that are relevant to different communities of interest. I wish Twitter would allow a single identity to have multiple channels, like @botgirlq#virtualworlds, @botgirlq#agile, @botgirlq#humor, etc.

Mera Kranfel said...

I myself feel very uneasy with mixing my real life identity on Facebook with my virtual identitys. Not because I do a lot of "hanky panky" stuff in VWs. No its just that I feel more and more reluctant about Facebook and unsafe on that platform.

It feels safer to interact with people on the internet in avatar shape. I think thats the future as i writed in todays posting...FB uses our identities a bit to much for my liking.

When my real life is safe im cool with moving my other personas together =)