Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Reaction to Nov. 12th reading

Today I read an article out of the journal First Monday called ""Shout into the wind, and it shouts back." Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal." This article is written by Lori Kendall and discusses a social networking site (SNS) known as LiveJournal. LiveJoural is a SNS that includes a friends list and comments with the interactions written in diary form (Kendall, 2007). As mentioned by Kendall, in this site you are able to connect with people through a friend's list and view their posts (para. 2). These posts, range anywhere from personal problems to jokes. Each user is then able to view their friend's LiveJournal entry depending on the filter restrictions of the post. The communication on this site that makes it a SNS is done through comments that a user is able to post on an entry they have read (Kendall, 2007).

In this article, Kendall looks deeper into this SNS by interviewing a total of twenty-six users of LiveJournal (para. 5). By doing this she identifies some problems that come up when a user is communicating in LiveJournal. Kendall mentions that when using LiveJournal a user comes into the conflict of whether to keep their entry private through the filter system. In this filter system a user is able to allow their post to be private, public or set to a list where only friends on this list can see it (para. 39). Via Kendall's research, she discovers that most users prefer to keep certain information private depending on the audience they want to view it (para. 40). In the rest of the article Kendall talks about other issues, such as the lack of control users have over another user's journal and the tension of posting the "right" thing on a friend's journal (Kendall, 2007).

The issue of control over who views your message is an intriguing point brought up by Kendall (para. 39). Many of the LiveJournal users who were interviewed discussed how they use the filter when they post information they don't want certain people to see. The common example was when people complained about someone who they worked with (Kendall, 2007). This issue of privacy is something that needs to be considered when using LiveJournal, blogs or other social network sites. Employers now venture into these online communities searching for information on their potential hire. Just because your journal or blog is set to private does not mean it will be completely protected from public viewing. With search engines indexing your personal blogs and information from these sites, it is now easy to become exposed. I believe personal information that could warrant trouble should be left off your favorite SNS or blog completely. The risk is there and a perfectly good opportunity, such as a job shouldn't be taken for granted.


1. Kendall, Lori. (2007). "Shout into the wind, and it shouts back." Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal. First Monday, 12. Retrieved on August 21, 2008 from http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_9/kendall/index.html

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