Levinson, Chapter 7


MySpace vs. Facebook

Subjective Differences

Levinson on Facebook actually started out as a MySpace vs. Facebook debate which seemed pointless to me. Maybe three years ago when this book was written this question was useful.

How many of you have ever had a MySpace account? I have not. One possibility for my disinterest in MySpace is Levinson’s idea “that what people most prefer is what they first encountered and loved.” Seems like a biased unuseful idea. Why does it seem like Levinson is bragging about being one of the first people on Facebook because of his .edu email address?

Levinson  says ” whatever their objective differences and advantages, their ultimate value is he good they do for each indivisual user’s needs.” Check. Why does it seem like Levinson is trying to justify MySpace in this section. Because this is how he describes his experience on MySpace, “I feel as if we are part of a community — one that comments on political issues, on television shows and movies we have seen — a community even though, with just a handful of exceptions, we have never met.” I think his experience is irregular.

 Objective Differences

Facebook has a much higher ratio of real-life friends than does MySpace.”

Levinson has 2,000 friends on Facebook and has real life relationships with 500 of them.

Levinson has 6,000 friends on MySpace and knows 100 of them.

Facebook Friends as a Knowledge-Base Resource

Levinson points out that both MySpace and Facebook have “status bars” and that Facebook is great for finding answers to questions that you couldn’t find on the web. I rarely ask a question on Facebook but this is what Levinson has experienced.

Facebook Friends as Real-Time Knowledge Resources

Levinson could just say in one sentence that because of new new media you can receive your knowledge in real-time and that this information should be checked and corrected if need be. But then we wouldn’t be able to get another personal story.

Facebook Groups as Social and Political Forces

Guess what? “MySpace and Facebook both have “groups.”

The Facebook Group for Barack Obama, “One Million Strong” was a political forced

Levinson also created a Facebook Group.

Facebook as Myriad Local Political Pubs

You can have political discussions on Facebook that don’t have to end when you leave the pub.

Meeting Online Friends in the Real World

Meet them in a safe and public place. Levinson was found that they are often just like their online personalities, hoow great.  

Connecting with Old Friends Online

Isn’t great that random people from your past can track you down?

Protection for the “Hidden Dimension”: Cleaning Up Your Online Pages

Basically if its not something you want your Grandma or potential employer to see don’t put it on there to begin with.

Photos for Breastfeeding Banned on Facebook

This happened when Facebook was trying to ensure that there was no pornographic photos on its site. People were upset but only the breastfeeding photos that showed the areola were banned.

Final Thoughts:

This chapter was about Facebook and Paul Levinson and how Paul uses Facebook and MySpace differently.  




4 thoughts on “Levinson, Chapter 7

  1. I agree on every single point you make here. This chapter did not teach me a thing, except that back in 2004 you could not sign up for Facebook without a .edu address. This fact is new to me, but also irrelevant as I have been signed up on Facebook with my .com address for five years.
    In my opinion you are certainly onto something when you suggest that Levinson is “bragging” about his early use of Facebook.
    So, again I state: I AGREE WITH YOU COMPLETELY!

  2. lexsterling says:

    I agree that Lev’s debate was really outdated. I find that myspace appears to be more of a popularity contest than a real social network. A good example being that he has 6,000 myspace friends and knows maybe 100 of them and only 40-50 of them even have read his books. Facebook can be a popularity contest if you wish for it as well though.

    It is probably a biased statement of his saying that you fall in love with whatever you see first. I do agree in some respects though. Although I did join myspace first it lasted a handful of days before I joined facebook years later. But I also fell into a routine with facebook and threw fits each time it was updated. Although fundamentally it was the same website the layout changed. I still prefer the original facebook and thus I have yet to conform to the new layout. Lev probably feels he is some sort of demi-God because he was able to join facebook first, but I think he’s also just a little bit of a d-bag and that clouds his judgement as well.

  3. […] I agree with Beth. (this time) Levinson on Facebook actually started out as a MySpace vs. Facebook debate which seemed pointless to me. Maybe three years ago when this book was written this question was useful. link […]

  4. Kevin says:

    You can’t really blame Levinson for being outdated; the nature of book publishing requires that he would be outdated, since it takes a minimum of a year and usually longer to get a book published, and that’s from the point of selling the manuscript to the publisher to the time of publication, not from the point of beginning to write the manuscript to the time of publication, which is considerably longer.

    Beth obliquely approaches one of my concerns with the Levinson book, and that is that he draws so many of his conclusions (maybe all of them), not from scientific analysis but from “I feel”: from subjectivity that can and ought to be dismissed. I’m quite surprised that a publisher with the reputation of Penguin wouldn’t have insisted on scientific analysis before they agreed to publish this book.

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