The latest issue of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (vol 13 issue 1) is published, available full text online. It includes a special theme of Social Network sites, with danah boyd and Nicole Ellison as guest editors. I particularly noticed
1) The introductory article by the guest editors, Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship, which is obviously a useful overview "This introduction describes features of social network sites (SNSs), proposes a comprehensive definition, presents a history of their development, reviews existing SNS scholarship, and introduces the articles in this special theme section."
2) Whose Space? Differences Among Users and Non-Users of Social Network Sites, by Eszter Hargittai. This reveals that surveys that lump together use of all social networking sites are masking differences (e.g. by ethnicity) in who is using which service. "Are there systematic differences between people who use social network sites and those who stay away? Based on data from a survey administered to young adults, this article identifies demographic predictors of SNS usage, with particular focus on Facebook, MySpace, Xanga, and Friendster."
The issue is at http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/
Photo by Sheila Webber: Coots in the harbour (I've never seen so many in one place), Konstanz, Germany, November 2007.