I need scholarly research regarding online social networking!
April 20, 2007 3:45 PM   Subscribe

I need to find scholarly articles for a podcast assignment. My topic is online social networking. Advice?

For my communications class I have to come up with a 4-6 minute podcast. I chose online social networking (I've been following it for some time now - since the time of bbs). I plan on spending half the time discussing the past and present of this topic and then predicting the future of it based on the trends/powers that be. My hope is that you can offer me some assistance in finding scholarly resources for this project (I am required to use two). Scholarly means it must have citations and be based on actual research such as that done by experts, grad students, professors etc. I do have some resources available to me as a student (through the Univ. of WA library system) but maybe the wide world of mefi'ers can point me in different / better direction.
posted by pontouf to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
If you are required to use scholarly resources, the databases and journals provided to you by your library are probably your best bet. Were you unable to find anything?
posted by foxinthesnow at 3:56 PM on April 20, 2007

Danah Boyd is a PhD student at UC-Berkeley who has studied and written on social networking, among many other related topics. Her papers might provide a start.
posted by bradlands at 4:20 PM on April 20, 2007

A couple of other names from the Univerity of Michigan, my current academic home:
Lada Adamic and Mark Newman. Adamic is much more applied than Newman, but Newman has done some seminal papers in network theory in general that are often cited by almost any paper on networks. I recommend finding a couple of articles by these guys and the person bradlands suggested that look good. Follow the citations in them and also track back-citations to get more resources. It's a fun, diverse topic, so I hope you can enjoy it!
posted by Schismatic at 4:28 PM on April 20, 2007

Here's a google scholar search for 'online social networking' restricted to papers newer than 2005. The results seem to be pretty relevant. If you change it to show older articles as well you'll find ones that are cited by many more other articles.

I find generally you can get to a lot of papers without needing to go through an academic library, but for the ones with fewer sources (the "Group of X" link) you may need to go through the library.
posted by benign at 4:52 PM on April 20, 2007

Try First Monday-- it's an academic, peer reviewed journal with free access. There are some great articles about myspace, wikis, etc. Good Luck!
posted by LizardOfDoom at 9:52 PM on April 20, 2007

In addition to danah boyd, also check out Danyel Fisher's work. He was at UC-Irvine, but is now at Microsoft Research (The entire group there, Fisher, Brush, Smith, etc. does good work). You probably have access to the ACM Digital Library (www.acm.org/dl) through UW, and "social network" would be a good search term to start with. Duncan Watts is also a good name. Second Mark Newman.

I used to keep up with this literature a lot more than I do now, so I'm probably missing some stuff. CHI, CSCW, and GROUP would be the major conferences. Association of Internet Researcher (AIR) is another source. If you need more pointers, drop me a note.

<academic snob>First Monday is good, but not great</snob>
posted by printdevil at 11:33 PM on April 20, 2007

"Don't Fear the Penguins": Negotiating the Trans-local Space of Linux Development by Matt Ratto, published in Current Anthropology (Vol. 46, No. 5) (probably available online through your university library)

-This is a short article (8 pages) on how work is organized in the Linux community, in particular looking at the creation of "Tux" as a symbol for Linux.
posted by carmen at 6:58 AM on April 21, 2007

This is a Wiki for a very smart book on the topic. Well worth pursuing. In the book, the author contemplates why people do things for each other, usually for free, and what that means to democracy and markets.
posted by Toekneesan at 1:19 PM on April 21, 2007

Lois Ann Scheidt is a doctoral student at Indiana University who studies adolescents and social networks. Might be something worth looking at.
posted by jeversol at 9:40 PM on April 21, 2007

MeFite Quartermass wrote an MA thesis about social patterns on this site. You should be able to Google it up.
posted by LarryC at 6:24 AM on April 22, 2007

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