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More on Facebook as a stage for performance October 6, 2007

Posted by jeremyliew in facebook, performance, social media, social networks.

From today’s NY Times, a core Facebook (college aged) user notes:

Facebook did not become popular because it was a functional tool — after all, most college students live in close quarters with the majority of their Facebook friends and have no need for social networking. Instead, we log into the Web site because it’s entertaining to watch a constantly evolving narrative starring the other people in the library.

I’ve always thought of Facebook as online community theater. In costumes we customize in a backstage makeup room — the Edit Profile page, where we can add a few Favorite Books or touch up our About Me section — we deliver our lines on the very public stage of friends’ walls or photo albums. And because every time we join a network, post a link or make another friend it’s immediately made visible to others via the News Feed, every Facebook act is a soliloquy to our anonymous audience….

My generation has long been bizarrely comfortable with being looked at, and as performers on the Facebook stage, we upload pictures of ourselves cooking dinner for our parents or doing keg stands at last night’s party; we are reckless with our personal information.

As I’ve noted before, this is why facebook apps with a performance component are doing well.

Hat tip to Publishing 2.0 for the pointer to the NY Times article.


1. boiboi - October 7, 2007

Stickam.com is the live stage and requires not just your real name as proof that you’re real. In fact, it doesn’t require it at all. But if you’re not seen live by other members, you’re considered a fake or worse –a predator. Live theater is always tougher for actors. We all have our good angles. So most are comfy about being looked at as long as it’s the ‘performance’ they want people to see. With stickam, you can still set the camera at your good angle, but there’s no editing.

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