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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Social Network = Social Class?

Anna Owens says "MySpace has one population, Facebook has another."

Is your socio-economic status reflected in your favorite social networking software? A recent study seems to indicate a resounding YES. Check out the full article Does your social class determine your online social network?

Here are some highlights (or lowlights depending on how you look at it.)

A study by market research firm Nielsen Claritas found that people in more affluent demographics are 25 percent more likely to be found friending on Facebook, while the less affluent are 37 percent more likely to connect on MySpace.

Almost 23 percent of Facebook users earn more than $100,000 a year, compared to slightly more than 16 percent of MySpace users. And 37 percent of MySpace members earn less than $50,000 annually, compared with about 28 percent of Facebook users.

Even more affluent are users of Twitter, the microblogging site, and LinkedIn, a networking site geared to white-collar professionals. Almost 38 percent of LinkedIn users earn more than $100,000 a year.

An interesting quote by danah boyd(who does not capitalize the name) indicated the divide will continue. "The Internet is not this great equalizer that rids us of the problems of the physical world -- the Internet mirrors and magnifies them. The divisions that we have in everyday life are going to manifest themselves online."

This research also tracks with some research I found about virtual worlds, you can read about it in You are Your Avatar: Your Avatar is You.

Given this research, one has to ask about the implications for the use of social networks for learning.

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1 comment:

StLmom said...

I think people still choose where they feel they belong, and marketers are smart to evaluate who is self selecting where, to reach intended audiences.