trendspotting: social networking

Note:  I can no longer find this video on youtube and the one I originally used was taken off…sorry (February 27, 2008).

Before Demetri Martin received my vote for the funniest comedian in America–assuming Dave Chappelle is retired–he was the goofy “trendspotting” guy on the Daily Show (for those of you who don’t watch the Daily Show–perhaps because you prefer receiving your news from what some people might consider “legitimate” sources–trendspotting is a series of humorous and somewhat informative segments about current cultural trends). The video above first broadcast on the Daily Show back in February of 2006 and is about online social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook; because both Myspace and Facebook have grown exponentially over the last year or so, the segment is already a bit outdated – for instance, the reference to Friendster, which is another online social community that—although it may have started the whole craze—is now basically non-existent due to the incredible popularity of Myspace (110 million users) and Facebook (47 million users) [1]. I am fascinated by many aspects of the Facebook/Myspace phenomenon, so you can count on seeing posts in the future about the many different ways I see online communities influencing how people in my generation see themselves and interact with each other [2]. Newsweek has included a few articles about the differences between Facebook and Myspace over the past months and there was even a story on the CBS Evening News this past Monday on sites like Facebook (I haven’t watched it yet, but it’s still on my DVR); but for now, I thought this short video would be a great not-so-serious introduction to the topic and to the work of Demetri Martin [3].

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[1] Statistics from a Newsweek online article (November 20, 2007).

[2] I spent two weeks at a Bible camp in Wisconsin this past summer interviewing college-aged counselors to study how they make meaning amidst the influences of things like Facebook, reality TV, People magazine and other pop-culture creations. I have not had time to complete the study yet, but you can count on hearing more about it when it is finished. Right now it is called the Meaning Project: Faith & Facebook.

[3] If you like Demetri’s style of comedy, check Comedy Central’s schedule for a rerun or search youtube for last year’s comedy special “Demetri Martin. Person.” It’s a good one; very funny stuff.

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