Oct 07 2008

Social Technologies and National Contexts

by at 6:20 pm

When you are doing an interdisciplinary study of social technologies across four countries, it is important to focus on the connections between otherwise unrelated factors, and it is useful to develop a framework to look for these connections.

Here’s the framework we have been using for our research on social media in BRIC countries —

The Connection Between Social Technologies and National Contexts

The outer circle is the national context, which comprises of the five interconnected Cs of computing devices, connectivity, culture, content and capabilities. The inner circle is the social media ecosystem itself. Our research, which looks at the connections between the two, has three layers —

Layer 1: The role of the national context in social media adoption
Layer 2: The dynamics of the social media ecosystem
Layer 3: The role of social media in changing the social context

Finally, the national contexts we are looking at are the four BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and United States (as a reference point). Continue Reading »

One response so far | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,Announcements,Gaurav Mishra,Theory | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Oct 05 2008

Danah Boyd on Social Networking and Values

by at 10:43 pm

Danah Boyd, a digital ethnographer who was recently hired by Microsoft Research New England to study online social networks, posted a much-publicized essay last year about how she perceived there to be class divisions between the userbases of Facebook and Myspace.  This essay was entitled “Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace”.

Since part of my research is about whether different cultures and countries will use the internet differently, based on their values, rituals, and customs, it would be important for me to make sure that there indeed is a potential for people to express those key differences by selecting a different social networking site online versus others.  Some would argue that behavior online is converging on universal behavior (generally:  feedback loops, transparency, collaboration), but I think cultures will retain their identities even after buying into the online revolution. Continue Reading »

6 responses so far | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,Ben Turner,Privacy | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sep 05 2008

Will We Ever See the Emergence of a Diverse, Culturally Differentiated Social Web?

by at 4:31 pm

At the Intercultural Communications & Technology blog, where I cross-posted my analysis of social media usage in BRIC countries using Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions1, Margarita Rayzberg and Matthew Marco have joined the conversation with some astute observations on whether a diverse, culturally differentiated social web is possible.

I love astute comments, even when I don’t agree with them, perhaps especially when I don’t agree with them. Continue Reading »

One response so far | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,BRIC,China,Culture,Gaurav Mishra,India,Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sep 01 2008

Using Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions to Study Social Media Usage in BRIC Countries

by at 4:05 pm

We felt that it will be useful to start our study on the BRIC model of social media by doing a deep dive into the area of cross-cultural communication — how national cultural nuances mediate communication.

Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions

Perhaps the most important model to study cross-cultural communication is the one developed by Prof. Geert Hofstede 1. The Geert Hofstede framework defines national cultures using five dimensions — Power Distance (PDI), Individualism (IDV), Masculinity (MAS), Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI), and Long Term Orientation (LTO). Continue Reading »

7 responses so far | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,Culture,Gaurav Mishra,Social Media | Tags: , , , , , ,