Friendship changes, but 'friending' stays the same across cultures

Following in Judith Donath and dana boyd’s researches on online friendship and drawing on social network analysis of tie formation, this Hui-Jung Chang article sets up to detect cross-cultural variations in ‘friending’ between a US-based service (Myspace) and a Taiwan one (Wretch).
Hui-Jung Chang (2010). Social networking friendships: A cross-cultural comparison of network structure between MySpace and Wretch Journal of Cultural Science, 3 (2).

Understandably, Taiwanese and US cultures have different approaches to friendship. The author characterizes Taiwan as a more collectivistic culture where explicit messages and content exchange are less important that  the context (all the information either coded in the physical setting or internalized in the person) for establishing who’s your friend. US, on the other side, is defined as a “low-context”, individualistic culture [note: pictures are just random. Neither peace sign nor thumbs up in photos appear to bear any significant effect on friendship formation]. Consequently, Hui-Jung Chang formulates the hypothesis that Taiwanese offline friends networks are larger and denser. Does the same apply to online networks?


Links for Education and Social Media (eng, fr, pt)

A Study on the Effective Use of Social Software by Further and Higher Education in the UK to Support Student Learning and Engagement (by Shailey Minocha, Department of Computing, The Open University, UK)

Manifesto sobre as Mídias Locativas (by André Lemos, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil)

L’Observatoire des Mondes Numériques en Sciences Humaines (OMNSH)

Social Network Analysis for beginners

In the last few decades, Social Network Analysis (SNA) has established itself as one of the essential tools for sociology. And computer science. And medicine and management and economics and so on. Now, it is a fact that NOT everyone among my friends and colleagues is aware of what the hell SNA is about and how it can come handy when studying social phenomena. Instead of suggesting the canonical readings (Granovetter, Wellman, White, etc.), I’ve been looking for a satisfactory and comprehensive online SNA tutorial. The closest I’ve come to that is:

View more presentations from Hendrik Speck. (tags: xing web)

Just skip the introductory part about Myspace and Avril Lavigne. I mean, the man wrote it in 2007, so the first 18 slides have that spooky scent of an afternoon nostalgia television show… Go straight to part 2 and you will find that, though longish, the presentation is quite educational. Also, it has a few wicked social graphs. Hope that’s useful.


Powerpoint de mon séminaire sur corps, MMORPG, médecine et réseaux sociaux (Paris Descartes)

Pour ceux qui l’avaient demandée, voilà la présentation powerpoint de mon intervention du 3 mars 2009 à la Faculté de Médecine de l’Université Paris Descartes.  Vous pouvez la télécharger en cliquant sur l’image.