danah boyd said something in her panel presentation the other day that’s stuck with me, and I thought I’d post it here before I forget. In talking about social network sites like Facebook and MySpace, danah called them a public space to which youth actually *have* access to, as opposed to other aspects of public life where youth have been marginalized for years. I’d never heard it framed that way, and I thought it was a really interesting point. According to danah, online spaces like MySpace provide public spaces where youth actually have some control (to the extent that the coders/software permits, anyway) – which also provides some measure of motivation and ownership.
Where this becomes worrisome I think, is when I hear administrators at universities talk about ways to harness Facebook, to tap into some of that enthusiastic participation. Kinda makes me cringe.