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Facebook’s ‘Smart Lists’

I find the cross-discipline between technology and communication very interesting- particularly social networking and media sites, and especially when they make changes that enrage all of their users (a la Facebook updates leading to annoyed statuses about the new layout). These changes are the topic of my main article below.
A couple of days ago, I found an article about one of Facebook’s newest changes: ‘Smart Lists’. ‘Smart Lists’ are Facebook’s answer to users wanting to share select information with certain people, and, likewise, an answer to all that are tired of the life/status updates of someone who they, quite frankly, do not really care about. This directly relates to in-class topics of networking, the strengths of ties within these networks, and the relationships that are formed as results of social networking. A feature of these ‘Smart Lists’ is the ability to mark someone as a ‘close friend’ or just an ‘acquaintance’, to filter what they see of your information, and also what you see of theirs. Additionally, a feature that has been more quickly integrated into the newsfeeds of Facebook users, is your ability to select who views your status, photos, and other posts very easily with an icon directly underneath said post. Essentially, it is a manual ‘close friend’ or ‘acquaintance’ selection that applies to a larger group of people. Both the ‘Smart List’ and post restricting options on Facebook are revolutionizing our own views of ties that we have due to social networking sites. Someone who we have added as a ‘friend’ may be someone that we hardly interact with. We now have the option to physically click and acknowledge that weaker tie, before we post our personal photos for the viewing pleasure of an entire network of unestablished weak ties.
It is interesting how Facebook was first created to allow us to create a network, and we now have enhanced abilities to restrict and monitor that network formed by us. The ‘accept friend request’ feature has gone quite a long way- now we can accept both ‘close friends’ and ‘acquaintances’ and further track the information that we share with both groups. We are not creating new ties with our current friends- just updating them to a strong or weak status to better organize this sprawling, connected data.
I have also linked two more articles that examine another new feature of Facebook (the ever-changing privacy controls!) and an article that discusses the time spent managing social networks, which directly relates to both other articles here. The privacy control article essentially outlines Facebook’s new privacy tools in detail. The other article elaborates on the time spent learning about, and toying with, these new privacy features, and other new features that keep cropping up within Facebook and other networking sites (see above ‘Smart Lists’!). While not directly in sync with each other, the articles on the new tools for privacy and ‘Smart Lists’ describe the added time that we spend managing our networks, rather than using them for the purpose of socializing- the crux of the third article! All three articles together provide an interesting contrast about how revolutionary social networking takes away from intended social networking.

I find the cross-discipline between technology and communication very interesting- particularly social networking and media sites, and especially when they make changes that enrage all of their users (a la Facebook updates leading to annoyed statuses about the new layout). These changes are the topic of my main article below.

A couple of days ago, I found an article about one of Facebook’s newest changes: ‘Smart Lists’. ‘Smart Lists’ are Facebook’s answer to users wanting to share select information with certain people, and, likewise, an answer to all that are tired of the life/status updates of someone who they, quite frankly, do not really care about. This directly relates to in-class topics of networking, the strengths of ties within these networks, and the relationships that are formed as results of social networking. A feature of these ‘Smart Lists’ is the ability to mark someone as a ‘close friend’ or just an ‘acquaintance’, to filter what they see of your information, and also what you see of theirs. Additionally, a feature that has been more quickly integrated into the newsfeeds of Facebook users, is your ability to select who views your status, photos, and other posts very easily with an icon directly underneath said post. Essentially, it is a manual ‘close friend’ or ‘acquaintance’ selection that applies to a larger group of people. Both the ‘Smart List’ and post restricting options on Facebook are revolutionizing our own views of ties that we have due to social networking sites. Someone who we have added as a ‘friend’ may be someone that we hardly interact with. We now have the option to physically click and acknowledge that weaker tie, before we post our personal photos for the viewing pleasure of an entire network of unestablished weak ties.

It is interesting how Facebook was first created to allow us to create a network, and we now have enhanced abilities to restrict and monitor that network formed by us. The ‘accept friend request’ feature has gone quite a long way- now we can accept both ‘close friends’ and ‘acquaintances’ and further track the information that we share with both groups. We are not creating new ties with our current friends- just updating them to a strong or weak status to better organize this sprawling, connected data.

I have also linked two more articles that examine another new feature of Facebook (the ever-changing privacy controls!) and an article that discusses the time spent managing social networks, which directly relates to both other articles here. The privacy control article essentially outlines Facebook’s new privacy tools in detail. The other article elaborates on the time spent learning about, and toying with, these new privacy features, and other new features that keep cropping up within Facebook and other networking sites (see above ‘Smart Lists’!). While not directly in sync with each other, the articles on the new tools for privacy and ‘Smart Lists’ describe the added time that we spend managing our networks, rather than using them for the purpose of socializing- the crux of the third article! All three articles together provide an interesting contrast about how revolutionary social networking takes away from intended social networking.

http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/facebooks-new-friend-sorting-features/?scp=5&sq=facebook&st=cse

http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/facebooks-new-new-privacy-controls/

http://www.businessinsider.com/help-im-spending-more-time-managing-my-social-networks-than-being-social-on-them-2011-9

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