July 2nd, 2009


Class Divisions Reflected Online

Two interesting articles about class divides online, one a transcription of a speech The Not-So-Hidden Politics of Class and, with heavy irony, Facebook: Stuff White People Like.

Of course LJ gets a mention in comments on Feministing's article about the speech-- The Online Class Divide--here's the excerpt:

ElleStar said:

I wonder where LiveJournal falls on the Facebook-MySpace continuum.

Maybe we're the kids in the back of the class playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Ravencomeslaughing replied to ElleStar :

LOL! I'm curious too, as I'm on both LJ and FB. I had a MySpace page for a short while, but left because of the reasons others state. Mainly, the annoying messages from total strangers and the browser-crashing pages with annoyingly loud music. I don't even go to the MS pages of people I know due to that music feature.
I'm not sure LJ can really compare, though, as social networks aren't necessarily fulfilling the same function as a journal. And now that LJ's development team is based in Russia, I have noticed being "friended" there by a few more spambots than usual. Fortunately, you can report them to get them shut down.
I didn't get on Facebook for the being in college thing, I actually use it to keep in touch with old friends from college and high school. (I'm almost 40) But I find the little quizzes entertaining. That's the lovely thing about this being a free country with free Internet access at the library: You don't have to visit a site you don't like.

Meep replied to ElleStar :

I was just about to say the same thing: what about LiveJournal? Or Dreamwidth?

Facebook and MySpace are both for socializing online with people you know offline (who tend to be the same race as you), whereas LJ is a free-for-all with online and offline friend alike, and there's usually no photo of the user (other'n the userpic, which isn't usually of the account holder).

There were also a lot of comments about Myspace's garish interfaces. I think Myspace would benefit from emulating LiveJournal in one thing: make it so that you can read your friend's updates, blogs, etc., in your own page design. Thus the young people can have the white-on-black pages that are hard for us older folks to read, but we can read them in our own mellow color scheme. :)

Also please for the love of Goddess stop the automatic music.

I maintain my Myspace just because people I know are there, but having found LJ first, I prefer it immensely. FB I joined because lots of people I knew were joining and the use of real names meant I could find people I hadn't seen in years. Disclaimer: most of the people I knew on FB already were college-educated and many are middle class. But then, I got online originally because I had access at UCSC before the internet was available to all comers, back in the early 90s. So many of my early online associates were middle class college students, some of whom have migrated to LJ or FB after our Unix-based boards got replaced by the world wide web, blogs, forums, and social networking sites. Back in the day, AOL was "the ghetto."

So the more things change, the more they stay the same.