And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;” —If by Rudyard Kipling
Link. See also. Good read, though I disagree at several points(the premise of clear stratification in any network itself to begin with). What interests me is similar stratification in Orkut(i.e in internet social networks with large Indian userbase), which she briefly refers to in the article. The comments on her blog post and the Mefi discussion are worth perusing. A gem from the latter:
Over the last six months, i’ve noticed an increasing number of press articles about how high school teens are leaving MySpace for Facebook. That’s only partially true. There is indeed a change taking place, but it’s not a shift so much as a fragmentation. Until recently, American teenagers were flocking to MySpace. The picture is now being blurred. Some teens are flocking to MySpace. And some teens are flocking to Facebook. Which go where gets kinda sticky, because it seems to primarily have to do with socio-economic class.
You are a professor at the University of MySpace and Facebook College. You teach college freshman creative writing seminars of 10 people each. You gave both classes the same assignment: choose one of the three questions and write your response. It’s due today. At the University of MySpace, you get 8 papers returned on time, but the pages are stained with coffee grounds and glitter and cat pawprints, and while it may be some of the most amazing fucking writing you’ve ever seen, you’re distracted by the fact that it was printed on A3 paper instead of the requested A4 paper, written in Comic Sans, lacks endnotes, and has two stickers juxtaposed to create Spongebob and a Lisa Frank unicorn doing the nasty smack in the middle of page 12. No one seems to have answered the questions posed, exactly, and the writing often explodes out of the author’s mouth and lands on the page in piles, often with dozens of what seems to be HTML bits floating around the edges. One student enclosed both an mp3 of his band (he’s into Scandinavian post-punk harmonica/deep house) and a photo of someone’s eyes covered with dark eye shadow with his e-mailed submission but forgot to attach the file to the e-mail, and another tried to hand-deliver the assignment to your house printed on parchment and written in Celtic-style calligraphy that looked like his friend’s tattoo while riding a horse and wielding a vaguely-cartoonish fake sword - he claims his costume wasn’t finished until the day after the assignment was due. One of your students is an undercover police officer trying to catch child predators. At Facebook College, [..]
Linky. Via a brilliant Ask Mefi thread where irony is defined and demonstrated. Example:
An old man turned ninety-eight. He won the lottery and died the next day… of chronic emphysema from inhalation of the latex particles scratched off decades’ worth of lottery tickets.
If a diabetic, on his way to buy insulin, is killed by a runaway truck, he is the victim of an accident. If the truck was delivering sugar, he is the victim of an oddly poetic coincidence. But if the truck was delivering insulin, ah! Then he is the victim of an irony.