In the most recent reading that I have done for my COM 430Z class, we ventured into the world of LiveJournal. The article by Lori Kendall titled, “Shout into the wind, and it shouts back” Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal, discusses the uses, concerns and advantages of the blog. People use LiveJournal for many different purposes. Kendall discovered through her study that some people use the site as a journal for personal thoughts, similar to a diary. Then there are those who are opposed to the use of the blog as a diary because although there are some levels of privacy control, it is understood that any content put online has potential to be public. Some users also use LiveJournal to make announcements. For example, one of the users in Kendall’s study preferred posting the birth of a child on LiveJournal rather than emailing or calling each and every person they wanted to notify. The process of posting news on LiveJournal is quick and easy with one simple post.
Kendall also noticed a trend of users concern with their different worlds colliding. They often felt the need to filter other users and the content they allowed people to see. This is understandable because with the growth of LiveJournal, the audience that is exposed to ones journal is growing as well. Many people have different identities when it comes to who they are around. The amount of personal information, feelings and thoughts that are appropriate to expose around coworkers or supervisors is different than what you might feel comfortable exposing to friends or family. I can personally relate to this situation. I don’t blog outside of the realm of this class, however, I think that Facebook, a popular social networking site, can perpetuate some similar concerns. Certain information on my Facebook page I feel comfortable sharing with my friends, but not my family. I know there are some professors that are on Facebook and I wouldn’t think that it was appropriate for them to see pictures of me at a party. More and more people are on the site and similar to the concern with LiveJournal, there is the increased potential that people who see you differently can be shown a side of you that you may not want them to see.
Kendall, Lori. (2007). "Shout into the wind, and it shouts back." Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal. First Monday, 12. Retrieved on August 21, 2008 from http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_9/kendall/index.html