Guest post by Kim de Vries: Your Friend has just tackled you

Kim de VriesBite, lick, or tackle them back, or click here to theorize about what this all means. I'm very happy to publish the first guest posting here on datadirt. Kim De Vries, who I met via Facebook, wrote a very interesting paper about the symbolic kind of communication we all know so well from social networks like Facebook. “He who never superpoked shall throw the first rock” – enjoy the reading! Dr. Kim De Vries is working at the California State University Stanislaus, you can reach her at kdevries [at]


Though Facebook was initially the province of college students, it has become popular with a broad range of users since opening its door to anyone with an email address in September 2006. However, until very recently, most research on Facebook has focused on the student demographic rather than exploring how Facebook is growing into a massive online society that is inhabited by many different groups using Facebook in a variety of ways for a variety of reasons. The academics studying Facebook generally join it and use it in order to observe students; now that more faculty are using Facebook outside the classroom, to organize events and to socialize, turning the focus to our own use of Facebook reveals that our own communities are being affected as well.

As of August 2008, Facebook is one of the most rapidly growing social networks, boasting 100 million active users, translated into twelve European and a growing number of Asian and African languages. The extent to which groups of people connected on Facebook can be defined as communities is highly debatable and a useful alternative has been suggested by Rieder and Sch


Guest Authors

Casually, I post articles by guest authors. Here's a list of all my colleagues and friends who honored me by publishing their works on this blog. This page only lists guest authors whose English postings I published here on datadirt. For a list of all guest authors on datenschmutz please take a look here [in German].

I'm always looking forward to new and interesting guest postings – if you want to share some of your thoughts with my readers, don't hesitate to contact me at datenschmutz [at] or use the contact form.

Kim de VriesKim de Vries works at California State University Stanislaus, researching new media and changes in communication. I met her on Facebook where we soon found out that our “social graphs” overlap.

Postings on datadirt:
Your Friend has just tackled you