Webometric Thoughts

November 8, 2009

The Presentation of Self: A framework for understanding social media

Filed under: Goffman,Social Media,real-time web — admin @ 11:53 am

I dislike the current focus on a real-time web for its tendency to emphasise recent information rather than quality information. The two do not have to be mutually exclusive, but often we are failing to take into consideration works of the past as we attempt to keep up with the new. This seems to be especially true in the realm of social media, where we are constantly striving to spot the next big thing. However I’ve just finished one of the best books for understanding the effect of social media, and it was published fifty years ago: Goffman’s The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.

Discussing social interactions and the presentation of self in a world very different to the one we find ourselves in today, Goffman provides both an intentional framework to help us understand the interactions, and an unintentional example of how these interactions can change over time.

August 27, 2009

The Distraction of the Real-Time Web: I want to get off

Filed under: Twitter,blogosphere,real-time web — admin @ 2:12 pm

Whilst everyone seems to want to get on the Twitter train of the real-time web these days, I think I want to get off and take my time to blog a bit more.

Since I first went to the Birmingham Social Media Cafe back in January I have thrown myself into Twitter head first: following 124 people, posting 1,403 updates, and even going along to the BrumTwestival! However there is a downside: I blog less.

Those who read my blog may not think of my blogging less as a downside, but blog posts are as much for me as my readers. They are an opportunity for me to put down my thoughts on the web in a fairly coherent manner. The real-time web means that I am more focused on what is happening right now, rather than reflecting on what has happened.

The real-time web has it’s place for breaking news and customer engagement, but for some of us a slower blogosphere (or even traditional publishing) is a more suitable place to explore our thoughts. Let’s hope the world doesn’t go too far exchanging quality for speed.

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