Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Frenic Web

I predict (it’s that time) that the day of the aggregated social media personality online will become passé. It is a flawed idea. It flies in the face of community psychology and Maslow. There is no actualisation in being famed in Facebook and tweaked in Twitter at the same time. Where is the joy of community? More important, where is the science?

Most people who know would not associate me with the Bristol DJ Frenic.

Running gigs around Bristol and a long standing member of Myspace (2004), with the massed ranks of 24,000 profile views (that's 13 visitors a day on average), he last did anything with his presence three months ago.

Obviously not the top priority for this Hip Hop DJ.

Frenic says that “Bristol is an amazing place to play, the crowds are so into their underground music but their never snobby about it."

He talks about underground music. Some of this music might not be shared with all your friends in Facebook or Myspace but might be shared using Instant Messenger.

Some people have an online presence and group of friends who are not all the same as their public profiles would suggest.

For some, this could be put down to Dissociative identity disorder but does not stand up to close scrutiny.

Kate Lindsay, Principal Investigator / Manager for Engagement and Discovery, University of Oxford has a more interesting view:

Last October she wrote: Even without the Internet we still have different personas or profiles that we project to the world, for instance our ‘work’ persona and our ‘home’ persona. However when we start to put these profiles online they can become quite difficult to juggle. Of course, developing multiple online identities has its usefulness: providing context for a specific area you are networking in. However they can produce some mental anguish, remembering all those passwords for one thing, for another I may not want my professional cohort who look to my blog for musings on e-learning or user engagement to find out about my passion for burlesque dancing via some careless identity clues (oops). But it happens, so how can we help academics through this minefield? We are currently researching a new course to be run on the subject of online identity in collaboration with the Oxford Learning Institute. She notes David White talking about yet another principle of web use (remember ‘immigrants’ and ‘natives’) in terms of Visitors and Residents.

“The visitor goes online they do what they need to do they come away again, they leave no trace, they have no social persona online….The resident lives out a portion of their life online….they have a form of their identity which stays online, even when they log off.”

“Think about social networking….the current extreme Twitter….if you want to stay on top of that stack, you have to keep feeding that machine….residents within social media places are treating their own personal identity like a brand, they are selling their brand into these spaces and keep their visability high”

“A resident sees the web as a social space”

“Visitors are primarily concerned with privacy”

Here is David’s video http://blip.tv/file/2714106

The three main forces that typically affect the dynamics of social networks are size, feeling of community and relevance. These forces are constantly in flux (Stutzman, 2006). There are thousands of such networks available. Some are not big. Many are small. Some very small and the very small ones often have intensive community feel and are so relevant to their community that they can be written by a Times Correspondent but declared as “a form of vanity publishing. No wonder most content is instantly forgettable. And does that which survive really have a beneficial impact on society, on political discourse, giving a voice to those who genuinely can’t be heard as some proponents claim?”

But the key here is that there are lots of people who have a range of personalities and drivers in an even wider range networks and centres for interaction and the big ones like Facebook, eBay, Amazon and Myspace are not where ‘the underground’ really is.

Franic in Myspace is the same in Acid Planet where he is promoting an artist with free downloads and there is more.

He pops up everywhere and in the strangest places and with different personalities.

His activities on line are cool, not collective.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV TR (Text Revision). Arlington, VA, USA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.. pp. 526–528.doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890423349. ISBN 978-0890420249.