Artikel zu Facebook im JCMC

In der neuen Ausgabe des Journal of Computer-Mediated Communcation sind zwei Aufsätze erschienen, die sich mit Netzwerkplattformen (genauer: mit Facebook) beschäftigen; ich habe die Texte noch nicht gelesen, deswegen hier nur die Titelangaben + abstract:

The Faces of Facebookers: Investigating Social Enhancement and Social Compensation Hypotheses; Predicting FacebookTM and Offline Popularity from Sociability and Self-Esteem, and Mapping the Meanings of Popularity with Semantic Networks (p 1-34) – Jolene Zywica, James Danowski

This research investigates two competing hypotheses from the literature: 1) the Social Enhancement („Rich Get Richer“) hypothesis that those more popular offline augment their popularity by increasing it on FacebookTM, and 2) the „Social Compensation“ („Poor Get Richer“) hypothesis that users attempt to increase their FacebookTM popularity to compensate for inadequate offline popularity. Participants (n= 614) at a large, urban university in the Midwestern United States completed an online survey. Results are that a subset of users, those more extroverted and with higher self-esteem, support the Social Enhancement hypothesis, being more popular both offline and on FacebookTM. Another subset of users, those less popular offline, support the Social Compensation hypotheses because they are more introverted, have lower self-esteem and strive more to look popular on FacebookTM. Semantic network analysis of open-ended responses reveals that these two user subsets also have different meanings for offline and online popularity. Furthermore, regression explains nearly twice the variance in offline popularity as in FacebookTM popularity, indicating the latter is not as socially grounded or defined as offline popularity.

The Taste for Privacy: An Analysis of College Student Privacy Settings in an Online Social Network (p 79-100) – Kevin Lewis, Jason Kaufman, Nicholas Christakis

The rapid growth of contemporary social network sites (SNSs) has coincided with an increasing concern over personal privacy. College students and adolescents routinely provide personal information on profiles that can be viewed by large numbers of unknown people and potentially used in harmful ways. SNSs like Facebook and MySpace allow users to control the privacy level of their profile, thus limiting access to this information. In this paper, we take the preference for privacy itself as our unit of analysis, and analyze the factors that are predictive of a student having a private versus public profile. Drawing upon a new social network dataset based on Facebook, we argue that privacy behavior is an upshot of both social influences and personal incentives. Students are more likely to have a private profile if their friends and roommates have them; women are more likely to have private profiles than are men; and having a private profile is associated with a higher level of online activity. Finally, students who have private versus public profiles are characterized by a unique set of cultural preferences—of which the „taste for privacy“ may be only a small but integral part.

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