From Descriptive Observations to Regulations of Organisations

A small exert from “The limits of networks as models for organizing the social” by Ulises A. Mejias in New Media & Society, 12(4) 603–617  2010.

The design of social network services has taken these scientifically-derived descriptive observations of behavior in networks and, by programming them in the code that regulates the interaction among nodes, has transformed them into normative rules of behavior. That this translation from observations to rules has taken place is not surprising since, to a certain extent, the application of scientific knowledge in the creation of systems is what engineering as a discipline is all about. What should be open to critique, I argue, is the deployment of these rules in such a way that they become dominant models of social subjectification: controlled by a few, consumed by most, and presenting an obstacle to the creation of alternative forms of social organization.

Which I like to think the paper I am presenting in Odense, Denmark also approaches. Although Mejias does not discuss blogs I feel that the conclusions drawn and the discussions entered into when looking at corporate owned networking sites like Facebook also apply to the Singapore blogosphere and are beginning to dominate.

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