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Digital Publics of My Youth

by David Sturtz

danah boyd has posted a transcript of her presentation, Identity Production in a Networked Culture, which gives an overview of her very interesting research. My thoughts ran off on a tangent at this point:

“At the core are profiles that are connected by links to friends on the system. Profiles are personalized to express an individual’s interests and tastes, thoughts of the day and values. Music, photos and video help users make their profile more appealing.”

It reminded me of being in college and obsessively “fingering” your friends (and crushes) to see if they were online, from where, how long, and if they had updated their .plan.

More importantly, you could usually tell if they were logged onto ISCA BBS, the “digital public” where I hung out early in my college career. (It’s still going. To visit, telnet into, they’ll let you log in as a guest and poke around a little. You probably won’t have to wait in the queue like we did back in the day, but you’ll get the idea.) What blew my mind, though, is they now have the topics available as RSS feeds.

There was no music (we did quote a lot of lyrics), photos or video (unless you count ASCII art), but otherwise it seems like not much has changed.

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Katie | March 2, 2006 4:15 PM

omg - i am so glad i came along after they had developed actual user-friendly interfaces for texting, webpages, and “interaction”. I would be lost otherwise. :-P