Came across the article by Marlene (a PhD student in Denmark) at Social Computing titled 35 perspective on Online Social networking. On reading it I felt the enumeration was a tad to big but I felt the grouping in the end was neat. Do check out her blog – I liked her open style of writing and her background seems impressive. I especially liked couple of her post on ethnography. She finally groups the 35 perspectives on Social Networking in the following way :
Based on my – currently 35 – different perspectives I propose the following six overarching categories:
Research perspectives – e.g. the identity perspective, the youth perspective, the language perspective, the genre perspective, the materialistic perspective, the learning perspective, the creative perspective, the Community of Practice perspective and so on. All of those perspectives could (and should) be a way of researching online social networking and youth. (I am on it :))
User perspectives – e.g. the social perspective, the friendship perspective, the democratic perspective, the love perspective, the reassurance perspective, the sincerity perspective, the public perspective etc. Those perspectives could also be viewed as different motives that the users have for using social networking sites.
Professional or learning perspectives – To this category belongs the perspectives that consider the learning possibilities of social networking or see how it can be used in a (future) professional life. We have here the network perspective, the group work perspective, the source critique perspective, the technological perspective, the creative perspective, the Community of Practice perspective and more.
Adult or parents perspectives – In this category we have the voices from the worried parents or other adults who have a hard time understanding why the youngsters spend so much time in front of the screen. This is for example the time-consuming perspective, the anti-social perspective, the generation gap perspective, the language perspective, the consumer perspective, the public perspective etc.
Moral panic or news media perspectives – Some perspectives emerge out of a public concern or a news media discourse where creating selling headlines comes into play. Thus, we have in this category the paedophile and predator perspective, the bullying perspective, the sex perspective, the network perspective, the youth perspective, the public perspective and so on.
Marketing perspectives – In this category we find the marketing or business perspectives such as the consumer perspective, the materialistic perspective, the branding perspective, the surveillance perspective and the hardcore business perspective.
The various perspectives when grouped make sense. Reading the article couple of time might give you an insight. If you are from India – think about all the news Orkut has made and reflect on the various categories – it will make a lot of sense!!