Dec 16, 2007

The Washington Post on danah boyd and the Academic Study of Social Networking

From the Washington Post
December 16, 2007

About Facebook! Forward March!
Scholars Are Falling Into Line to Maneuver Through New Territory: Online Socializing as Academic Discipline

By Monica Hesse

First to Facebook were the teens. Then came the money, the market researchers and the media. And now come . . . the academics.

... Spend enough time talking Facebook with eager professors, and eventually you will reach the end of their expertise. And then they will say, in voices tinged with resignation, "Have you considered talking to danah boyd?"

Ah, danah boyd, such an early adopter of the no-shift-key lifestyle that she uncapped herself. She is a celebrademic, the high priestess of social networking. Still a grad student, she receives 40 to 50 interview requests per week, she says. A bureau handles her speaking engagements. She once employed an admin to sort her e-mail. She's done consulting for Yahoo and Google.

Her ascent began in 2002 when at 24 she started blogging about the newly launched Friendster. She had an undergrad degree from Brown and a master's from MIT's Media Lab when Berkeley came calling; boyd enrolled in the communications PhD program. Her late adviser, she says, "told me, 'I don't understand what you're doing, but I think it's really important.'" ...


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October 4, 2016