Sunday, July 29, 2007

aephoneia and Danah Boyd's Research and Writing

Wow. Just got through reading Danah Boyd’s powerful response to all the posts and hype that her essay, Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace, received since June 24, 2007. aephoneia, was one of the first high quality and “bleeding edge” blogs I came across when I started my research. Wikipedia uses the verb risky to define bleeding edge, a term usually associated with new technology. Boyd's research centers on new technologies and how teens communicate on social networks such as MySpace, Facebook, and others. The topics she blogs on and researchs are new. No one understands or has a handle on it all yet, but Boyd is savvy. Her research, knowledge of teen social networks is out on the web and viewable by all. Her presentations and writings have been featured in NPR, Wired, MSNBC, USA Today, Newsweek , and The O'Reilly Factor. She has been profiled in The New York Times and in Financial Times .

Since her June 24, 2007 essay Boyd has been bombarded with what she calls "critiques". In a July 25, 2007 post, Responses to: "Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace" she takes criticisms received and responds to them all in an even toned, scholarly manner
even the ugly ones. Boyd’s response paper outlined how she works and writes, defined methodology terms, vocabulary used in her research, and she did not hedge when describing the ugliness of what some critics wrote, or how she felt what they wrote. Ouch, hard to read, but so well written and so eloquent I read to the end. It appears that she plans to keep blogging.

Awhile back another woman with high visibility in the blogoshpere, Kathy Sierra, posted on harassment and death threats that she was received online and quit blogging. Ellen Nakishima’s, (April, 2007) provocative article, on the darker side of women bloggers who"gain visibility in the blogosphere" detailed some of the ugliness of in the cyberworld and the sexual threats used to stifle some bloggers. It is worth going back to and reading. Other good articles related to Sierra's experience and cyberbullying are, PBS Teachers: Participate in Stop Cyberbullying Day and Is it time to crack down on the blogsphere?

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