Danah Boyd published an article comparing the demographics of MySpace and Facebook. The conclusion? Geeks, jocks, and preps head to Facebook. Stoners, goths, and bangers head to MySpace.
So… Essentially all cliques are steadily moving into personal and social publishing spaces. And they’re finding where they feel most comfortable.
I’m not seeing the problem. Do we really expect the various groups of kids to all flock to the same communities online? It sure doesn’t happen offline.
The key is that they’re reading and writing much more than they would have been without becoming active in online publishing. That’s fantastic, no matter where they do it. I’m quite sure there are large groups of kids who are most active in other online communities like Nexopia and the like. So what? The goal isn’t to collect them all into one big bin, but to let them find their voices, however they need to do that.
The take away message for me isn’t that there is some socioeconomic segregation of youth, but that we need to remember that not all youth hang out at the same place. This isn’t new. It’s been going on for decades (centuries)? but us “web 2.0” types seem to forget that it’s a natural part of being a kid, and assume that everyone’s playing in the same sandbox. That just ain’t so, and it’s not necessarily a bad (or good) thing. It just is.