My UGC #4

9 07 2007

Chris Brogan: Considering Social Network Etiquette.

Thanks for a very thoughtful post.

Each of these social networks struggles hard to differentiate itself and this attracts sometimes only slightly different overlapping social groups, but sometimes very different, so to come up with overall rules which apply everywhere is almost impossible. What’s netiquette in MySpace is different to, say, Facebook, and certainly to Twitter where the demographic and expectations are based on knowledge of different social memes.

I do think there are class differences and that means manners differences. I wouldn’t dream of (for example) using **profanity in jest** within LinkedIn, but I certainly would in MySpace, where it’s de rigeur. Equally, if I write for a newspaper or journal, I am going to use / avoid certain turns of phrase, depending on the publishing outlet.

I am still surprised at the extent of personal information that people are prepared to freely offer up to Facebook, Twitter, Pownce, especially regarding their physical / geographical whereabouts. We’re possibly only a few moments away from criminal activity, based around someone knowing that someone else is miles from their home, and using that information to remove items of value in their absence. Now, unless you’re naturally suspicious you maybe won’t think in such terms of vulnerability; but this is where the danger lies in social networking - they are wide open to be exploited by anyone, from any background, with any motive, and we rather kid ourselves that the bubble we play inside is protective. It isn’t, and this is why people can get hurt. In the end, social networks are only as well behaved and pleasant as the people using them.


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