Researchers discovered the weak link in child protection laws: Parents. A federal rule designed to keep stalky marketers away from kids is being thwarted by moms and dads seeking to expose their kids to... stalky marketers, of the sort bundled into Facebook. We clearly need new laws, but a new set of parents wouldn't hurt, either.
The 2.0 crowd's favorite social media academic, Danah Boyd — she types it as "danah boyd" because it looks prettier — is going over to Microsoft's newest research team in Boston (read: Harvard and MIT.) She's already done research at both Yahoo and Google, so the move makes sense. Even though Boyd once likened Microsoft to Germany:
By happy coincidence, I landed Valleywag's sex reporting gig just before my first-ever trip to the hormone-fueled SXSW ("South by Southwest") Web, music and video festival in Austin. It's still three weeks away, but I'm trying to get a leg up by decoding all the parties I've been told I shouldn't miss. Which ones will really get interactive? Can I get some kind of mobile map mashup of which naughty bloggers will be stumbling distance between Austin's Sixth Street — the after-dark party block — and my hotel suite? How many inhibitions will be wiped out by Red Bull and vodka open bars? Or will my girl-on-girl action be limited to fondling Danah Boyd's hat? Suggestions and solicitations can be mailed to email@example.com.
Looking for worried tones and ominous music? Then check out Frontline's "Growing Up Online." The premise of the PBS special: Kids rule the Internet. And they're totally out of control! "It's really hard to control what our kids are doing online. What we have here is the new Wild West. Nobody's really in charge," fulminates author Anne Collier. But then, whew, good old Danah Boyd straightens them out: "This is a generation that sees online not as a separate place that you go, but a continuation of their existence. It's socialization. It's learning about life." Which, online or off, is what always brings an end to childhood.
Academics Danah Boyd and Nicole Ellison published a paper titled "Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship." Onekey point they make is that Facebook is only the latest in a long line of social networks stretching back 10 years. Which means we only have another 90 years to go before the next media revolution. After the jump, Boyd and Ellison's timeline.
And in Kotaku's E3 coverage: