MySpace for the Proletariat, Facebook for the Uppercrust


“Many of us would like to believe the Internet is a force for unity, but Danah Boyd, a social-media researcher at Microsoft Research New England and a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, thinks we’re deceiving ourselves.”

In a recent study, Boyd found that there’s a clear social divide between the two biggest social networks, Facebook and MySpace. The difference can almost be painted in black and white:

“Ms. Boyd got some answers from the group of people she’s been hanging out with over the last four years: U.S. teens. During the 2006-2007 school year, her conversations with high-school students began showing a trend of white, upper-class and college-bound teens migrating to Facebook–much like the crowd in the conference hall has. Meanwhile, less-educated and non-white teens were on MySpace. Ms. Boyd noted that old-style class arrogance was also in view; the Facebook kids were quicker to use condescending language toward the MySpace kids.”

David Weinberger in his Joho blog (http://bit.ly/nDRzn) cites from this NYT blog post about Boyd’s findings:
http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/09/does-social-networking-breed-social-division/

The social life of brands, specimen #2

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