PCA: Genre Analysis of Facebook

Perceived Interactivity and Genre: A Genre Analysis of the Facebook Interface
Katie Retzinger, Old Dominion University

This is a live blogging of the session.

Pre-presentation:
Retzinger gave me both the paper copy she had prepared for attendees and a computer version as well, so that yall can enjoy the handout too. I’ve made a jing of the genre analysis of facebook model, as you can see, if you scroll just a bit.

I loved the idea of this topic when I saw it in the schedule and I was a bit disappointed to not have had her ask to present at SCMLA, until I looked at where she is from. Old Dominion is in Virginia, which is a bit out of the SCMLA area.

Presentation:
From dissertation.

FB is the artifact for study.
Interactivity, how does it work?

2007 in Newsweek “in the Ivy League… fb is a key piece of social structure”

Problem trying to address: How is interactivity is defined in the literature?
Problem is the social versus structural interaction.

How people communicate with each other = social interaction
different than an interface where people are engaging with the text itself

metaphors used in interactivity discussion are

can’t always take elements from f2f and apply to textual-interactivity comm.

elements of perceived interactivity: rely on user’s perceptions or what they think are interactivity

Categories:
control
speed or response time
directional comm. ->back to f2f comm., clicking on something or with others or with the work itself

In study used surveys, interviews, genre analysis.

Not an accepted theory for interactivity. Data used to build a theory on HER research, but not generalized or perhaps generalizable.

(This would be an interesting job talk.)

Genre analysis confirmed results from surveys and interviews.

Model used is on the handout. Model based on Askehave & Swales 2001 and Askehave & Nielsen 2005.

What is discourse community?
1. purpose
of fb creators
of fb users
2. goals = completed actions
3. values = what important in the actions

Features within the interface:
1. navigation and hierarchy
2. interaction -> click or not click, drop downs, and perception of use
3. constraints = factors that shaped the study

User purpose:
to keep in touch with friends and families, to make contacts and meet new people
most said to keep in touch with friends and families

FB creators’ purpose, Mission purpose is on fb:
defined later as open media having access to information and helping people stay in touch
having one world
fb transcends national/geographical boundary
free-flow of information
able to share and connect in any medium and any information
“but we still come to work everyday and make decisions we think are best for (users)”

User goals:
check on other folks’ updates
creep (stalking)
comment on pictures
update profile and status
information sharing

Features analyzed:
those that were indicated
like button
comment feature
pictures
profile itself
status updates
and a whole bunch of other things

Features were used to make connections.
“Doesn’t need to communicate … but can make conclusions by what they post”
assumes people come to see what she posted

some features do imitate f2f
talking or chatting wasn’t always chat feature
b/c of app on phone, respond right away, so becomes synchronous on something that was created as asynchronous

favorites:
72% looking at pictures
40% chat

did not like:
17% info on games, etc
privacy set-ups, default settings did not always work
changes to the privacy settings are in flux
provides services users don’t want
felt that the too much information was upsetting, but later was accepted

news articles, esp Newsweek and Time articles, problem of merging of social relationships

emphasize user purpose when looking at how interface is used and understood

distinguish how we are using the terms within the situations, interactive experiences

Question:
surveys first
195 surveys

interviews 2, one of the interviews didn’t use
3 people said they would come, one didn’t show up, but threw friend out because wasn’t rich,
used graphic theory for
memos, journals thoughts, memos progressed to track my thoughts, allowed me to create a rich description
half an hour interview, audio recorded, page recorded,
used cantasia screen recording, taking notes the whole time
able to see things later with the page report
got a ton of information from those two interviews

Purpose:
Want other people to be open, but don’t want to be open with their privacy… She follows trail of other people’s posts, but wanted to keep their stuff private. Mad when the person keeps it quiet.

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