Comments

  1. This is not an easy subject and you handled it deftly. Viewing social media as a gifting system has much explanatory power. Similarly, your explanation for why “the yin of the Panopticon effect is countervailed by the yang of the Potlatch” makes sense.

  2. Makes sense but sounds a bit too pat (like most theories) – it assumes we all behave according to norms and we don’t -but something to think about -thanks!

    • Thanks for the feedback, Deborah. It’s true, the downside of a theoretical model is that it simplifies things, pointing to an ideal case that is perhaps only rarely realised in practice. Real life is messy, and we deviate from norms more often than we hold to them (indeed ‘deviation from’ is intrinsic to the notion of a norm). So I appreciate the point you’re making.

      Ultimately, though, I’m not trying to offer a perspective on normal behaviour online. Rather, I am looking for models that can help us understand the ‘systems dynamics’ of social media from a user’s point of view. If we think about social media as a dynamic interactive system, how can we best understand the way our behaviour is encouraged and compelled by the system, leading us to act and reciprocate in a more or less regular way? Even if the Potlatch and the Panopticon models oversimplify how we normally behave online, they can help us understand how our behaviour is ‘normalised’ – how we are encouraged and compelled to act – by the intrinsic dynamics of the systems themselves.

      Does that make sense to you?

  3. Reblogged this on syndax vuzz.

  4. life is a matrix cos everything is a matrix

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