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Night communities

One point Barry W. made last week, in his talk at SUNY Albany, was that there are new “night communities” as a result of social media. It’s easy now to see which of your friends and colleagues are awake by sending them an e-mail–or by checking who’s online on Skype or on a favorite forum. I’m in China, so the night community concept doesn’t quite apply, but I am ‘talking’ to people at all hours of day and night. Barry’s point was that night communities are a completely new phenomenon in human culture and should be studied, and as I’m putting together a panel on “Community” for the Global Information Industry Forum in Berlin in September, all the variations of online community are on my mind. (Of course, I’m aware that some late night Internet activity can’t be called communal, more like dyadic.)

And on another social media note, it seems that some people find their blogs and forums–and especially their Facebook–so desirable that they are giving them up for Lent:

(CNN) — For some, it’s chocolate. For others, it’s coffee or cigarettes. But as this Easter approaches, some young and devout Christians are anxious to return to what they gave up for Lent: Internet sites Facebook and MySpace.

Many users describe the popular social networking sites as addictive, which is why they say giving up these 21st-century temptations is a sincere sacrifice. Members on both sites create profiles and add each other as friends. They can also share messages, photos, videos and personal blogs.

“It’s been hard, especially in the beginning,” said Kerry Graham, who says she gave up Facebook for Lent. Her boyfriend challenged her to do so, describing her as a “Facebook fiend.”

Here the article at News items picked up from–where else?–Facebook. Thanks, Tom.

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