Social Networking Project

spring, 2008.

Groups will collect, describe, analyze rhetorical interaction and uses on some current social networking apps:

SNS and The Rhetorical Situation
Open analysis with a consideration of the particular ways different SNS fit into and address different rhetorical situations.

An overview
While f2f private interactions might not be seen as overtly rhetorical, because SNS exchange are public, they move into the rhetorical realm. Issues, broadly

Some themes


Add what you find where it fits, or create a new heading.

Search for tags: socialnetwork, socialnetworking, twitter, facebook, myspace, digitalrhetoric ...

selected from, via TechRhet list

These articles address uses for twitter that point to rhetorical strategies for those uses. Mainly from a delcious.twitter search. Most are popular press but touch on rhetorical matters tangentially.

MySpace and Facebook

Required (aka useful) reading
if:book 10 types of publication

Can you hear me now? Sherry Turkle in Forbes.

Evolution of Communication places SNS in a communication grid.

Profiles as Conversation, danah boyd and Jeffrey Heer. pdf
Profiles have become a common mechanism for presenting one’s identity online. With the popularity of online social networking services such as, Profiles have been extended to include explicitly social information such as articulated “Friend” relationships and Testimonials. With such Profiles, users do not just depict themselves, but help shape the representation of others on the system. In this paper, we will discuss how the performance of social identity and relationships shifted the Profile from being a static representation of self to a communicative body in conversation with the other represented bodies.

Analyses of conversations are usually concerned with the speaker(s) and the recipient(s), implicitly assuming that the speaker has a conception of the audience. In digital environments, the lack of presence makes it difficult to know who is listening. Thus, how are unknown audiences negotiated? and If context is necessary for conversation, how is context transferred, created, and interpreted in digital environments? and What are the goals of digital conversations and how are they maintained?

Quick answer: by performative conversations of others. Profiles are constructed as conversation starters, using affordances to set the stage for exchange. Poking, invitations to friend, groups and invitation to groups set the stage and provide context for exchange. Communication through photos.

more to be organized

The Small-World Problem: Six Degrees, Friendster, Mr. Micawber and Kevin Bacon, Chad Lowe, Alida Pask, and John Vickery, "

It's Not What You Know, It's Who You Know: Work in the Information Age by Bonnie Nardi, Steve Whittaker, and Heinrich Schwarz
First Monday, volume 5, number 5 (May 2000)
We discuss our ethnographic research on personal social networks in the workplace, arguing that traditional institutional resources are being replaced by resources that workers mine from their own networks. Social networks are key sources of labor and information in a rapidly transforming economy characterized by less institutional stability and fewer reliable corporate resources. The personal social network is fast becoming the only sensible alternative to the traditional "org chart" for many everyday transactions in today's economy.

use "Information Revelation and Privacy in Online Social Networks," Ralph Gross and Alessandro Acquisti, ACM WPES Workshop, 2005.
In this paper we study patterns of information revelation in online social networks and their privacy implications. We analyze the online behavior of more than 4,000 Carnegie Mellon University students who have joined a popular social networking site catered to colleges. We evaluate the amount of information they disclose and study their usage of the site’s privacy settings. We highlight potential attacks on various aspects of their privacy, and we show that only a minimal percentage of users changes the highly permeable privacy preferences.

Deals with social network theory. Kinds of information shared. trust, intimacy, new forms of intimacy. Strong and weak ties. Variable: connection of online identity with offline - anonymity.

Profiles performances
Social Network Profiles as Taste Performances, Hugo Liu.
This study examines how a social network profile's lists of interests—music, books, movies, television shows, etc.—can function as an expressive arena for taste performance.

use? Writing Community into Being, boyd. Using friending as a rhetorical affordance.
[Friending is] a key component of social network sites. Participants must select who on the system they deem to be ‘Friends.’ Their choice is publicly displayed for all to see and becomes the backbone for networked participation. By examining what different participants groups do on social network sites, this paper investigates what Friendship means and how Friendship affects the culture of the sites. I will argue that Friendship helps people write community into being in social network sites. Through these imagined egocentric communities, participants are able to express who they are and locate themselves culturally. In turn, this provides individuals with a contextual frame through which they can properly socialize with other participants. [...] the established Friending norms evolved out of a need to resolve the social tensions that emerged due to technological limitations. [...] Friending supports pre-existing social norms yet because the architecture of social network sites is fundamentally different than the architecture of unmediated social spaces, these sites introduce an environment that is quite unlike that with which we are accustomed.

Weblogs as Deictic Systems, Collin Brooke. An essay as weblog. Comments closed.

Social Networking on YouTube, Patricia G. Lange

Digital Rhetoric:. Genres, Disciplines, and Trends, Elizabeth Losh. Overview. Set of slides to accompany lecture.

overview of the field Digital Rhetoric: Toward an Integrated Theory, pdf. James P. Zappen.

search model?
work under the keyword Actor-Network Theory (ANT) -->

rhetorical situation: Bitzer et al


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