User: A book of Ideas

New theories of networked culture and society are taking off in a number of directions and are increasingly cross-disciplinary, drawing on expertise from a number of key subject areas including politics, psychology, philosophy, ethnography and media theory. I have learned much from readings of the work of Dana Boyd with regard to networked teenage sociality in America. As well as X Richardsons paper Face to Facebook published in BT journal last year that provides an enthnographic study of the issue of individual [and group] reputations or saving face in Facebook user profile presentations. Lev Manovich seminal paper that explores how data is non-reductable? [nor amplifiable] to narrative interpretations is persuasive. I do however believe that in this stage in the history of social media in particular, narrative adaptation and interpretation is the way most people [users and super users alike] interact and respond to the data they come into contact with, that is to say by organising it cognitively and systematically into stories. Facebook now even offer new tools to Import Your Stories [they actually use the word stories] from other social media sites to enhance your Facebook account pages. Despite the seeming fragmentary and dislocated arrangement of data that sometimes appears on users profiles there is a narrativisation at play in the presentation of selected data that constructs and impression of self that denotes a particular individual identity. Thinking about data displayed in social media contexts in this way is not only illuminating but essential to understanding how SNS work. It is this view underpins the narrative of User [plot, character development and setting]. I intend to write a paper reflecting on this subject for a forthcoming journal Book 2.0 later in the year.


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