“A Private Activity Done  on a Public Domain”Social Media Users’ Engagement with   Concepts of Public and Private         ...
Internet Research 13.0              Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement...       @sarah_m_ford
Why on EARTH                                    would anyone do                                        THAT?Internet Resea...
Why on EARTH                                    would anyone do                                        THAT?              ...
n g                                    n i                               e out                              p b           ...
How do users of social              media engage with            “public” and “private”?Internet Research 13.0            ...
1            definitional                                    complexity                       2            definitional   ...
Definitional Complexity     3                                                           Private (mean 2.07)               ...
spatial                                    sociopolitical                                      personalInternet Research 1...
spatial                                    sociopolitical                                      personalInternet Research 1...
spatial                                    sociopolitical                                      personalInternet Research 1...
spatial                                    sociopolitical                                      personalInternet Research 1...
Public & private are               INFORMATIONAL.                       content/     audience                        contr...
Content/Control & Audience       100%                       90.6%                                            Public       ...
Internet Research 13.0              Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement...       @sarah_m_ford
control       content                                audienceInternet Research 13.0                           Sarah Michel...
control       content                                audienceInternet Research 13.0                           Sarah Michel...
Public is                              EVERYONE.Internet Research 13.0                      Sarah Michele FordSocial Media...
Information that is                                    accessible for anyone to                                       find...
Public describes information ...           that is widely available for the             use or knowledge of almost        ...
Private is                     NOT JUST YOU.Internet Research 13.0               Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Eng...
[T]here are degrees of privacy,          including availability to those known          to that person, to a small culture...
Private is something I would                                    not want most people to see                               ...
Private is things that are not                                    to be revealed to everyone                              ...
even though a blog is                   public, i understand... it’s                     private but it’s really          ...
"Privacy ... essentially                                      describes content whose                                     ...
Private Is...              family                    friends     not family             control                   anonymou...
Private Is...              family                    friends     not family             control                           ...
Internet Research 13.0              Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement...       @sarah_m_ford
control       content                                audienceInternet Research 13.0                           Sarah Michel...
control       content                                audienceInternet Research 13.0                           Sarah Michel...
Public             PrivatesInternet Research 13.0                         Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement...
Sarah Michele Ford                        University of Massachusetts, Amherst                                    ford@soc...
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Sarah Michele Ford - "A Private Activity Done on a Public Domain"

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presentation given at the Association of Internet Researchers' IR13.0 conference, October 20 2012.

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  • \n
  • tell story of when I started thinking about personal blogs\n
  • tell story of when I started thinking about personal blogs\n
  • So this is the big-picture question that I ended up asking myself.\n
  • And this is the question that’s guiding today’s presentation.\nwe care because people who are using social media are constantly engaging (whether they realize it or not) with these shifting ideas about public and private. \n\ndescribe the data set\n
  • definitional complexity - based on the number of applied to survey respondents’ definitions of the concepts of public and private \nelements of definitions - were there any patterns in the ways that survey respondents defined these terms? (hint: there definitely were)\nwhat does it all mean? - turning to observational and especially interview data, how are bloggers really talking about these concepts?\n
  • just quickly... there is a small difference in the complexity of bloggers’ definitions of public and private as measured by number of codes applied to their definitions...\nI had kind of expected to see some difference based on whether or not their primary blogging service included access controls, but none appeared.\nSo there are no easy answers there.\n
  • Next we look at the definitions of public and private. There are a number of ways that we academics tend to like to think about public and private.\n\nspatial - referencing public and private SPACES. But very few of them used this definition.\n\nsocial - referring to the social and political divisions (home/work, public sphere/private sphere, public sector/private sector). Nope, not many of them, either.\n\npersonal - referring to “personal” things as private (though this was more common than the other two)\n
  • Next we look at the definitions of public and private. There are a number of ways that we academics tend to like to think about public and private.\n\nspatial - referencing public and private SPACES. But very few of them used this definition.\n\nsocial - referring to the social and political divisions (home/work, public sphere/private sphere, public sector/private sector). Nope, not many of them, either.\n\npersonal - referring to “personal” things as private (though this was more common than the other two)\n
  • Next we look at the definitions of public and private. There are a number of ways that we academics tend to like to think about public and private.\n\nspatial - referencing public and private SPACES. But very few of them used this definition.\n\nsocial - referring to the social and political divisions (home/work, public sphere/private sphere, public sector/private sector). Nope, not many of them, either.\n\npersonal - referring to “personal” things as private (though this was more common than the other two)\n
  • Instead, these respondents are overwhelmingly conceptualizing the public and private as INFORMATIONAL.\n\ncontent/control: what type of content are they publishing and do they have control over who has access to it.\n(In retrospect, these should really have been two codes)\nAudience size: how many people are going to be able to SEE the content?\n\nYes. There’s almost certainly some bias here - these questions are from a web-based survey and all of the questions that came before the ones where I asked them to define public and private were about their internet use.\n
  • Instead, these respondents are overwhelmingly conceptualizing the public and private as INFORMATIONAL.\n\ncontent/control: what type of content are they publishing and do they have control over who has access to it.\n(In retrospect, these should really have been two codes)\nAudience size: how many people are going to be able to SEE the content?\n\nYes. There’s almost certainly some bias here - these questions are from a web-based survey and all of the questions that came before the ones where I asked them to define public and private were about their internet use.\n
  • These really were overwhelmingly the most common definitional elements.\n\nNote that the 26% who defined public as both one person and a small group duplicates the codes individually.\n
  • That’s all well and good but WHAT DOES IT MEAN?\nThere’s an interaction going on between content - what people post - control - how much control they think they have over the content - and audience - who they expect to be seeing the content.\nThis becomes even more clear when we look at selected survey definitions as well as some interview conversations.\n
  • That’s all well and good but WHAT DOES IT MEAN?\nThere’s an interaction going on between content - what people post - control - how much control they think they have over the content - and audience - who they expect to be seeing the content.\nThis becomes even more clear when we look at selected survey definitions as well as some interview conversations.\n
  • That’s all well and good but WHAT DOES IT MEAN?\nThere’s an interaction going on between content - what people post - control - how much control they think they have over the content - and audience - who they expect to be seeing the content.\nThis becomes even more clear when we look at selected survey definitions as well as some interview conversations.\n
  • That’s all well and good but WHAT DOES IT MEAN?\nThere’s an interaction going on between content - what people post - control - how much control they think they have over the content - and audience - who they expect to be seeing the content.\nThis becomes even more clear when we look at selected survey definitions as well as some interview conversations.\n
  • That’s all well and good but WHAT DOES IT MEAN?\nThere’s an interaction going on between content - what people post - control - how much control they think they have over the content - and audience - who they expect to be seeing the content.\nThis becomes even more clear when we look at selected survey definitions as well as some interview conversations.\n
  • That’s all well and good but WHAT DOES IT MEAN?\nThere’s an interaction going on between content - what people post - control - how much control they think they have over the content - and audience - who they expect to be seeing the content.\nThis becomes even more clear when we look at selected survey definitions as well as some interview conversations.\n
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  • this is the same person as the second definition of “public”\n
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  • anonymity, separateness\n
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  • so if we think back to the interaction between content, control, and audience, where it leads us is to...\n
  • so if we think back to the interaction between content, control, and audience, where it leads us is to...\n
  • so if we think back to the interaction between content, control, and audience, where it leads us is to...\n
  • so if we think back to the interaction between content, control, and audience, where it leads us is to...\n
  • so if we think back to the interaction between content, control, and audience, where it leads us is to...\n
  • so if we think back to the interaction between content, control, and audience, where it leads us is to...\n
  • public as clearly defined, etc. a spectrum of private.\n\nfrom the “preaching to the choir” files... we can’t deal with public and private in a dichotomous way (can we deal with ANYTHIGN in a dichotomous way anymore?) but more importantly - it’s not just we academics who are thinking in more complex ways about these issues, it’s the social media users themselves.\n
  • \n
  • Sarah Michele Ford - "A Private Activity Done on a Public Domain"

    1. 1. “A Private Activity Done on a Public Domain”Social Media Users’ Engagement with Concepts of Public and Private Sarah Michele Ford University of Massachusetts, Amherst ford@soc.umass.edu @sarah_m_ford
    2. 2. Internet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    3. 3. Why on EARTH would anyone do THAT?Internet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    4. 4. Why on EARTH would anyone do THAT? Well DUH.Internet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    5. 5. n g n i e out p b h ap a s vat e? ’s de ri t u ha tit d p W at an to lic p ubInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    6. 6. How do users of social media engage with “public” and “private”?Internet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    7. 7. 1 definitional complexity 2 definitional elementsInternet Research 13.0 3Social Media Users’ Engagement... what does it all mean? Sarah Michele Ford @sarah_m_ford
    8. 8. Definitional Complexity 3 Private (mean 2.07) Public (mean 1.86) 2 1 0 Blogger MT WordPress LJ Vox Xanga OtherInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    9. 9. spatial sociopolitical personalInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    10. 10. spatial sociopolitical personalInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    11. 11. spatial sociopolitical personalInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    12. 12. spatial sociopolitical personalInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    13. 13. Public & private are INFORMATIONAL. content/ audience control sizeInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    14. 14. Content/Control & Audience 100% 90.6% Public 86.9% Private 75% 73.2% 50% 39.9% 36.8% 25% 0% 0.1% 0% 0% Content-Control OnePerson SmallGroup LargeGroupInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    15. 15. Internet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    16. 16. control content audienceInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    17. 17. control content audienceInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    18. 18. Public is EVERYONE.Internet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    19. 19. Information that is accessible for anyone to find and consume... Open is [a] term close to public.Internet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    20. 20. Public describes information ... that is widely available for the use or knowledge of almost anyone... [it] refers to the open end of a continuum from entirely secret to ubiquitously available...Internet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    21. 21. Private is NOT JUST YOU.Internet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    22. 22. [T]here are degrees of privacy, including availability to those known to that person, to a small culture of people plus professionals with a right to know. Private refers to the closed end of a continuum from entirely secret to ubiquitously available.Internet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    23. 23. Private is something I would not want most people to see or be aware of. Many of my blog post[s] are limited to friends and family--private, in other words.Internet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    24. 24. Private is things that are not to be revealed to everyone in the world. It is anything I wouldnt want my family to know about.Internet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    25. 25. even though a blog is public, i understand... it’s private but it’s really meant for people who don’t know meInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    26. 26. "Privacy ... essentially describes content whose readership I can control. There can be varying degrees of private depending on who has access, but as long as I have control over who sees it, its private."Internet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    27. 27. Private Is... family friends not family control anonymous closedInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    28. 28. Private Is... family friends not family control MESSY anonymous closedInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    29. 29. Internet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    30. 30. control content audienceInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    31. 31. control content audienceInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    32. 32. Public PrivatesInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford
    33. 33. Sarah Michele Ford University of Massachusetts, Amherst ford@soc.umass.edu @sarah_m_fordInternet Research 13.0 Sarah Michele FordSocial Media Users’ Engagement... @sarah_m_ford

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