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Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook
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Too many issues to count: Signifying friendship on Facebook

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A presentation on my final paper for LIBR 559B: New Media for Children and Young Adults. The paper is a semiotic analysis of a popular Facebook meme and concerns the establishment of theoretical …

A presentation on my final paper for LIBR 559B: New Media for Children and Young Adults. The paper is a semiotic analysis of a popular Facebook meme and concerns the establishment of theoretical principles of human communication to online social networking behaviour.

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    • 1. “Too many issues to count”: Signifying friendship on Facebook Daniel Hooker LIBR 559B: New Media for Children and Young Adults Spring 2010 1
    • 2. Some stats Text Social Media and Young Adults 2 [Pew Internet and American Life Project]
    • 3. Some stats Teens who go online daily are also more likely to use social network websites... with 80% of daily internet [teen] users visiting these sites. Social Media and Young Adults 3 [Pew Internet and American Life Project]
    • 4. Some stats Teens who go online daily are also more likely to use social network websites... with 80% of daily internet [teen] users visiting these sites. Posting comments, either to a picture, page or wall remains popular with teens who use social networks. Fully 86% of teen social network users post comments to a friend’s page or wall, and 83% have added comments to a friend’s picture.  Social Media and Young Adults 4 [Pew Internet and American Life Project]
    • 5. More stats Generation M2: media in the lives of 8 to 18-year olds 5 [Kaiser Family Foundation]
    • 6. More stats In a typical day, seven in ten 8- to 18-year-olds go online (70%). Generation M2: media in the lives of 8 to 18-year olds 6 [Kaiser Family Foundation]
    • 7. More stats In a typical day, seven in ten 8- to 18-year-olds go online (70%). The three most popular computer activities among 8- to 18-year-olds are going to social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook (:22), playing computer games (:17), and watching videos on sites such as YouTube (:15). Generation M2: media in the lives of 8 to 18-year olds 7 [Kaiser Family Foundation]
    • 8. More stats Generation M2: media in the lives of 8 to 18-year olds 8 [Kaiser Family Foundation]
    • 9. What is social networking? • Social network sites are a type of networked public with four properties that are not typically present in face-to-face public life: • Persistence • Searchability • Exact copyability • Invisible audiences boyd, d. (2007). “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life.” 9
    • 10. Memes “At its most basic, an Internet meme is simply the propagation of a digital file or hyperlink  from one person to others.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_meme 10
    • 11. Memes you may know lolcats 11
    • 12. Memes you may know lolrus 12
    • 13. Memes you may know All your base are belong to us 13
    • 14. Memes you may know The “friendship-grid” 14
    • 15. 15
    • 16. 16
    • 17. 17
    • 18. 18
    • 19. 19
    • 20. 20
    • 21. The semiotics of Facebook • The purpose of applying a semiotic framework to the friendship- grid meme taking place on Facebook is to apply a theoretical foundation to the types of sub-textual communication that are occurring via SNS comments, walls and tags. • Without a systemic understanding of the ways in which tagging can affect forms of personal communication and signification, it will be very difficult to understand the impact that social media and SNS are having on our youth. 21
    • 22. What is semiotics? • “Is there a hidden story behind such ludicrous behaviours that makes the human species unique in some way?” • Semiotics attempts to answer that question by “unraveling the meanings of the symbols, known more exactly as signs, that make up the system of everyday life that we call a culture of a society.” • “The semiotician is, above all else, a people-watcher, an observer of how people gesticulate, of how they communicate, of how they behave typically in certain situations.” Danesi, M. (1999). Of cigarettes, high heels and other interesting things. St. Martin’s Press. 22
    • 23. Van Leeuwen (2009). • “Yet, for all this multimodality and contingency, children will also become aware of the specific potentials and constraints of Playmobil, and indeed, of any other semiotic system.” • “As they are playing, they will gradually learn what can and cannot easily be done and ‘said’ with Playmobil, of the way it bends itself easily to some meanings and resists others, of the difference between what you want to say and what Playmobil (or the adults that may regulate its use) want you to say.” van Leeuwen, T. (2009). The world according to Playmobil. Semitotica, 173(1/4). 299-315. 23
    • 24. What is a “sign”? Huang, A. W. & Chiang T. (2009). Social tagging, online communication, and Peircean 24 semiotics: a conceptual framework. Journal of Information Science, 35(3), 340-357.
    • 25. What is a “sign”? Huang, A. W. & Chiang T. (2009). Social tagging, online communication, and Peircean 25 semiotics: a conceptual framework. Journal of Information Science, 35(3), 340-357.
    • 26. Semiotic analysis of “the grid” 26
    • 27. Semiotic analysis of “the grid” 27
    • 28. Donath & boyd (2004). • “The early and once enthusiastic users of these sites are frequently quoted as saying that they are ‘over’, that once one has amassed a big collection of ‘friends’ there is really nothing to do on the sites.” • “[W]ill at some point the fashion that is over be the sites themselves? Or will they play an increasingly important role in defining one’s personal on-line neighbourhoods?” Donath, J., & boyd, d. (2004). Public displays of connection. BT Technology Journal, 22(4), 71-82. 28
    • 29. Liu (2007). • “In the pseudonymous and text-heavy online world, there is even greater room for identity experimentation, as one does not fully exist online until one writes oneself into being through 'textual performances’” (Sunden, 2003). • “By utilizing the medium of social network sites for taste performance, users can display their status and distinction to an audience comprised of friends, co-workers, potential love interests, and the Web public.” Liu, H. (2007). Social network profiles as taste performances. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), 252-275. 29
    • 30. So what? • Using a friendship-grid, Facebook users are allowed to visualize, customize, and dictate roles to a tailored list of friends. • This goes beyond: • the automatically-generated friends list; the “public displays of connection” (Donath & boyd) • the text-based listing of “favourite” books, movies and quotes; the “taste performances” (Liu) described in existing literature. 30
    • 31. Too many issues to count • This is just the beginning of the research process into SNS and communication. But it is always difficult to study this behaviour because what is fashionable and interesting online one instant is gone the next. Memes establish a snapshot of online behaviour. • Semiotics represents a theoretical structure within which we can begin to interpret both textual and sub-textual communication on SNS and the Web. • Future research? There are always different memes, different networks, and different kids. 31
    • 32. Daniel Hooker LIBR 559B: New Media for Children and Young Adults School for Library, Archival and Information Studies University of British Columbia Spring 2010 32

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