Taina Bucher on social media and “programmed friendships”
Poking around the internet, as one does, I came across Taina Bucher’s MA level class MEVIT4610 Social Media at the University of Oslo. Taina got in touch with me several months ago asking about things like how to integrate blogging in a class, and has blogged about her many ideas about how to use blogs in a class. Here’s the blog guide for students, explaining how they should blog weekly on the shared class blog.
She’s set up a lovely syllabus, with many articles I know and many articles I now want to read. At her blog I found an article she’s just published looking at The Friendship Assemblage: Investigating Programmed Sociality on Facebook. I like the concept of “programmed friendship”. Here’s part of the abstract:
Through a close reading of various sociotechnical processes in which friendship is activated on Facebook (i.e., registering, making a profile, finding friends, communicating, etc.), this article suggests that friendships online need to be understood as a gathering of heterogeneous elements that include both humans and nonhumans. Moreover, this article attempts to show how the traditional notion of friendship as something created between equals and free of structural constraints does not apply to the realm of social networking sites, where software increasingly assists users in making certain choices about who will and who will not be their friends.
Needless to say, I have subscribed to Taina’s blog.