Articulated Social Networks:
An Ethnographic Study of the YASNS Phenomenon

Research by: danah boyd - University of California, Berkeley (SIMS)


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Project Description

Social networking has invaded all aspects of social software. From blogrolls to Buddylists, people have learned to negotiate implicit networks in everyday digital interaction. Yet, in a re-popularization of a 1997 fad, social networking has achieved popular and technological prominence in its explicit form. Dozens of sites have emerged to address how social networks can help people connect to have sex, find jobs, sell cars, and waste inordinate amounts of time.

While developers are professing that they have a business plan in their back pocket, users are consistently challenging any and all expected behavior. In return, creators are playing whack-a-mole against unwanted actions to appease venture capitalists. Will masochistic users keep returning?

This research is focused on ethnographic, quantitative and visual analysis of the YASNS (Yet Another Social Network Service) Phenomenon. Primary research questions include: