Why MySpace is Popular (and Friendster, Too)

Danah posts a treatise on the success of MySpace and compares it to the cooling off of Friendster (though they just got a chunk of change recently and have secured a patent on social networking).

  • Social technologies succeed when they fit into the social lives and practices of those who engage with the technology.
  • People use the social technologies that all of their friends are using.
  • Social technologies need benevolent dictators who love their constituents.
  • It’s not all about productivity.
  • It is not about technological perfection.


The challenge is that outsiders are panicking about a culture that they are not a part of. They want to kill the super public rather than support people in learning how to negotiate it. No one knows how to live in such a super public, but this structure is going to become increasingly a part of our lives. It is no wonder that youth want to figure it out.

Read Danah’s full paper…






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