Social Spaces on the Internet:  social ( signals + media )

Fall 2017


Assignment 1

Read

1.  Judith Donath. Signals in Social Supernets.  Journal of Computer Mediated Communication. 2008.
2.  John Maynard Smith and David Harper.  Animal Signals. Oxford University Press. 2005. (Link in compass.)
3.  Jeffrey T. Hancock, Catalina Toma, and Nicole Ellison.  The Truth about Lying in Online Dating Profiles. CHI 2007.


Write up

1. Give 2 examples of "handicap" or costly signals taken from online communities or social network sites.  Describe why and how they are costly to the sender of the signal.  How and why are they costly to the receiver?  What can you say about the 'quality' of the sender?  The receiver?

2. Give 2 examples of conventional signals taken from online communities or social network sites.  Describe what these signals suggest about the sender.  The receiver?

3. Choose an online community or social network site that you frequent.  Briefly discuss how the interface of the online site influences the signals and cues you receive.  For example, Facebook's birthday reminder system allows for quick and dirty "happy birthday" greetings.  This lowers the cost of remembering and sending someone a birthday note.  It also, however, adds utility in reviving dormant friendship ties. 

Responses should be submitted via compass in PDF form. 

Late responses will not be accepted.


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