I think a great deal about my responsibility as a kids community producer in establishing and maintaining a healthy and safe culture in the communities I manage. This has been the case since I began in 2000 and is a constant driving force in my career.
With the addition of Social Media to the landscape and the mass market adoption of the online world, I often feel the personal responsibility to act as a steward to this Digital Citizenship/Netizen culture with those I interact with online – be it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or whatever new site anyone is jumping into at the moment.
So danah boyd’s article on online networks and their role in our society was very exciting for me to stumble upon this week. It’s a couple months old now, but the concepts are textbook caliber and really made me reflect on the more conceptual aspects of my day to day work. I am proud that her final statement in the article is one that I remind myself of on a regular basis.
One thing’s clear: it’s high time we examined the values that are propagated through our tools. We all need to think critically about the information we create, consume and share. We all need to take responsibility for helping shape the world around us. – danah boyd
Definitely worth the read for anyone interested in the shift our collective societies are taking and the unique concerns that apply to the digital space, as well as the ones from the offline space that have followed us online.
I am just now getting the time to catch up on some of my more meaty blog feeds (read:academics) and devote the kind of time I need to their posts.
I was so disheartened by the treatment that danah boyd received at Web 2.0 a couple weeks ago. It’s hard enough getting over your nerves to speak at large conferences, but a publicly viewable (save by you) backchat seem like a nightmare. Backchats should be backchats – opt-in discussions, out of public view, not unavoidable speaking accompaniments on public screens. My heart goes out to her.
I got a chance to read the talk she gave, though. As is usually the case, danah does a great job articulating many of the abstract and emerging topics in the social media industry. I especially like her point that we should work on embracing these new immersive forms of communication and social norms that are developing because of (or in spite of) social media. She posed the challenge to the entrepreneurs and business folk in her audience to focus:
not simply [on]… aggregating or curating content to create personalized destination sites… Instead, [create] the tools that consumers need… that allow them to get into flow, that allow them to live inside information structures wherever they are, whatever they’re doing. The tools that allow them to easily grab what they need and stay peripherally aware without feeling overwhelmed.
As someone who’s path normally leads more toward the content producer side than otherwise, I appreciate the challenge she poses. I love me some Google Reader, but how often have I looked at my reader and seen the (1000+) on a category and felt disheartened enough to turn away and not catch up. Is this the semantic web? Is this a tools set? Maybe a combination? Not sure, but I will definitely have this in mind as I work on further projects. It’s especially interesting in the kids space, as they are so quick to adapt and let us know what works and what doesn’t for them.
Thanks danah (and Sara Grimes and Henry Jenkins and… 🙂 ) for keeping us on our toes and not letting us get to comfortable in this new landscape we are pioneering.