Thursday, November 8, 2007

Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship

Nicole Ellison and Danah Boyd have been working for the last year on a special section of JCMC focused on social network sites. The introduction to the issue, which might be of interest to many of you working in this area, is now online.

It is titled "Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship," and has
four sections:

- a usable definition of "social network sites"
- a history of some of the major shifts in the development of SNSs
- a literature review of work done in this space
- a description of the articles included in the special issue

The article is available here:

Please note that not all the pieces are live yet!

Here's the abstract:

Social network sites (SNSs) are increasingly attracting the attention of academic and industry researchers intrigued by their affordances and reach. This special theme section of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication brings together scholarship on these emergent phenomena. In this introductory article, we describe features of SNSs and propose a comprehensive definition. We then present one perspective on the history of such sites, discussing key changes and developments. After briefly summarizing existing scholarship concerning SNSs, we discuss the articles in this special section and conclude with considerations for future research.

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