Pieces of me on community...

Reflections regarding the intersection of community and technology, broadly defined. A pit stop on the way to the next phase of Microsoft community solutions

Public privacy?

Public privacy?

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While things have been quite busy at work as we undertake a feedback driven planning experiment, the tragic events at Virginia Tech does give one pause.  My heart goes out to the family, friends and loved ones for all parties involved.

In terms of what any of this has to do with community, I want to draw your attention to some recent posts by Anastasia Goodstein, author of Totally Wired (and Ypulse).

Witness.  Record.  Share.  Grieve
The Collective Network

She points to several other articles that chronicle how different social software services like Facebook, and MySpace have played a role in terms of how many are coping with this.  Not only that, but it's clear that social networks impact how traditional media outlets report on these tragic events.

One of my friends once said that community is defined as the place or people you go to in times of crisis.  I find it incredibly fascinating that while some turn towards NBC, ABC, or newspapers and radio, those traditional outlets are turning to the social networks where those directly affected participate.  Put another way, rather than traditional print and media outlets serving as a collective, unifying force, the articles cited by Anastasia (and others here, here and here) show that people go online for their community. 

This should be (but unfortunately is to many) no surprise.  For a generation of folks who grew up with the notion of teamwork in sports, social groups, school, etc is it noteworthy that people instinctually turn towards the collective (community) in times of grief?

Granted, this change has been gradual and as a result, it's not yet clear what the rules of engagement are.  What does a public grieving process look like?  I don't know but I think we're witnessing it right now as people cope with the Virginia Tech tragedies.

Other links, loosely related.

danah boyd on "super publics."
New York magazine's feature on privacy being the new generation gap Say Everything

(xposted with my beta blog)

Comments
  • Hey there, what you say is in fact true.  However, this was not what I was really looking for in the article titled "Public Privacy".  I think this is a huge issue.

    We are guaranteed the right to privacy from the government.  Who would have ever known that this question would need to be extended to the public arena.  However, I am a strong believer in the idea that the individual is entitled to ownership of the data collected by the businesses.  And the individual should have the right to know what information has been collected on them and who the information has been sold to.  In addition, when information collected about individuals is sold to a third party, the individual should be entitled to a portion of the profit and have the right to know who it is being sold to.

    What do you thing about this?

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