Thursday, December 20, 2007

A tale of two articles

Last week two mainstream media outlets - the New York Times and the Washington Post - published articles on SNSs. I, like many others, was surprised by the difference in tone and approach. The NYT article,
On Facebook, Scholars Link Up With Data, was a solid overview of a few slices of Facebook-centric academic research and a discussion of related issues, such as IRB concerns. The Washington Post piece, About Facebook! Forward March!, was, on the other hand, a rather cynical, mocking critique of SNS studies, with special vemon singled out for danah boyd (who I adore professionally and personally). I understand the importance of being able to laugh at oneself, and I enjoyed the clever wordplay of the article, but overall I just couldn't get past the cruel, snide treatment of academe in general and SNS studies in particular.