Social Media Usage: Technology clusters and social site membership

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Social network site membership

One particularly popular type of social media that blurs interpersonal and mass media is the “social network site” (boyd and Ellison, 2007), or SNS. At the time of this survey’s administration, MySpace was the most popular Web site in the United States, claiming some 83 million total users (Metz, 2006) and 12 million unique visitors per day, as well as the most popular SNS (comScore.com, 2007). On SNSs, activities include sending of private messages, viewing of profiles, and leaving public comments. Boyd responds to this variety of activities by stated that privacy on these sites is not clearly delineated, and that, “social convergence occurs when disparate social contexts are collapsed into one.” Similarly, SNSs, particularly MySpace, also increasingly “collapse” other forms of mass media as they serve as venues and vehicles for online media. MySpace promotes music and video through placement on the site, and funding of original video series is an area of expansion for the company. In late 2007 they funded two series, the MySpace–created “Roomates” and the dramatic series “Quarterlife.” In the same year, MySpace musician and model Tila Tequila received her own series, “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila” on MTV. SNSs are increasingly used as part of media campaigns with both traditional and other new “social technologies” (Li and Bernoff, 2008). Advertisements, as games, videos, or other presentations, are frequently deployed in embeddable widget form to speed their propagation online generally, and through SNS profiles specifically. Given the popularity of MySpace, and the new ways it is being integrated with advertising and video, it was included in analyses to determine what other technologies these users are likely to use.