Platform you and your friends use analysis




Overview:The idea here is to look at how communities use platforms and notice which features are shaped by social conventions that the community developed and which features of the community are a result of the technical features of the platform.

Step One: Pick a platform you and your friends use.

Pick one of the following platforms: Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, BeReal, or TikTok.

Answer the following about the platform you choose.

1. Describe how you and your this platform, and more broadly how college students in general think of this platform. (500-750 words).

2. Think back to our discussions, and about how platforms have affordances and limitations that shape how the platform is used. Now answer the following. To what extent is how the platform you talked about shaped by technical features? and to what extent is how the platform is used shaped by social conventions? (For example with Twitter the limit of 280 characters shapes the platform in a technical way, but the social convention of being quippy and snarky shapes it in another way.)(500 words)

Step Two: Same Platform Different Community

Using the same platform you picked in step one, find a community or group that uses the platform,but uses it in a different way than your peer group. Often our sense of how a platform operates, or what it is good for is dictated not by a universal sense of how the platform operates, but only by how people who use it like we do. So, the goal here is to find a community who uses the same platform but ends up building a different type of community.

This can be tricky so let me help a bit, pick one of the following:

  • Non US users. Pick a country that is different from the United States and look how people from that country use this platform. Note, you are going for difference here, so don’t pick a country whose use pattern is similar to the United States.
  • Marginalized or Minority Groups. Minority groups often use platforms in ways that run counter to the . , Latinx users, LGBTQ+ users, etc Pick a specific group.
  • . If you speak a language other than english this can be a good group to look at.
  • Substantially different age group than your own: Grandparents, Single Moms, Expecting Parents, Middle Schoolers.

Describe how this community leverages the platform, when viewed thru this community lens how does this platform look different. (400 words)

Step Three: A Whole Other Platform

Pick one of the platforms below that you do not use, some of them you might not even have heard of. You will want to spend some time researching and looking into your chosen platform. Describe what kind of communication platform this is and what community is built by using this platform. In your you detail both the technical and social aspects that shape how this platform is used. (500 words)

Protip: Lots has been written about these communities so don’t just study them, but spend some time seeing what others have written, this will drastically help your answers.

Choose ONE of the following.

  • Nextdoor (
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