In yesterday's All Things Considered, NPR commentator Jake Halpern questions why you feel like you have a relationship with the characters in your favorite TV shows. His answer: "That's because you do." This idea is interesting not just to help us understand how we relate to imaginary characters, but also to correlate with our own understanding of Dunbar Number relationship limits and how they might relate to this concept. In his commentary, Bostonian Jake Halpern considers two academic ideas, "belongingness theory" and "para-social relationships", and how they affect the relationships we develop with television characters.
A blog on social software, collaboration, trust, security, privacy, and internet tools by Christopher Allen.
While I've been out attending the SXSW Music, Movie and Interactive Conference there has been a flurry of high-quality postings about Social Networking. Unlike many of my fellow bloggers, I find it difficult to post meaningful blogs while I'm on the road. It has been my policy in my own blog postings to also be "high-signal, low-noise", so normally I don't just post links without solid additional commentary, however, I'm making an exception this time because of the quality and depth of these entries.
I've read of emails, Orkut messages, and blog postings since my post yesterday, so I thought I would share some with you. There have been a number of good posts, as well as user comments at Danah Boyd's blog Apophenia. Danah Boyd writes Correcting Marc Canter's Perception of My Views Marc - i don't believe that users should take these relationships more seriously; i believe that YOU should. Users will do whatever they damn well please, and i think that we should learn from them.
Like many others, I've been paying attention to Orkut in the last couple of weeks. I've answered more requests to be "friends" on Orkut then I have of any of the other half-dozen Social Networking Services I've tried, and I've looking at other people's friends to see if I know anyone. I've yet to ask someone to join Orkut that wasn't already a member, and I've been careful to not have anyone as a "friend" that I didn't know reasonably well and I thought knew me.