Essay about Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship

14097 Words Oct 1st, 2012 57 Pages
Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship

danah m. boyd
School of Information
University of California-Berkeley

Nicole B. Ellison
Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media
Michigan State University -------------------------------------------------
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Abstract
Social network sites (SNSs) are increasingly attracting the attention of academic and industry researchers intrigued by their affordances and reach. This special theme section of theJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication brings together scholarship on these emergent phenomena. In this introductory article, we describe features of SNSs and propose a comprehensive
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This special theme section of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication brings together a unique collection of articles that analyze a wide spectrum of social network sites using various methodological techniques, theoretical traditions, and analytic approaches. By collecting these articles in this issue, our goal is to showcase some of the interdisciplinary scholarship around these sites.
The purpose of this introduction is to provide a conceptual, historical, and scholarly context for the articles in this collection. We begin by defining what constitutes a social network site and then present one perspective on the historical development of SNSs, drawing from personal interviews and public accounts of sites and their changes over time. Following this, we review recent scholarship on SNSs and attempt to contextualize and highlight key works. We conclude with a description of the articles included in this special section and suggestions for future research.
Social Network Sites: A Definition
We define social network sites as web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature

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