Social media and protocol / 1 comment

Social media is the largest mainstream technological development of recent years. While it has undeniably lead to an increase in the interactions we have with others, I would argue that these interactions also inherently seem less meaningful due to more stringent mediation. The latest generation of social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Digg, is characterized by highly formalized, high-frequency content formats—streams of short messages, status updates, short videos, and other forms of content, all apparently aimed towards instant gratification for short attention-spans. It appears that the more structure we impose on communications, the more homogeneous and predictable they become.

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Identity and the Branded Community

Branded communities are an emerging phenomenon. Certainly, the term “branded community” is increasing in popularity. Yet—and this should not come as a surprise—brand has always been an important factor in regard to communities, and not only new communities. In this context, brand is a platform for creating and communicating a sense of place; it is the stated or perceived identity of a community. Branded communities, in their attempt to formalize sense of place, are not only the latest chapter in the ongoing narrative of the ideal or utopian city; they are also the outcome of a changing relationship between identity and community.

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