In this opportunity, Danah begins a conversation about practices and interface of two of the most popular social media networks. She says that, "There are two critical structural differences between Facebook and Twitter that are essential to understand before discussing the practices: 1) social graph directionality; 2) conversational mechanisms."
In short, the difference between the two has to do with the brokering of status. With Facebook, the dominant norm is about people at a similar level of status interacting. On Twitter, there's all sorts of complicated ways in which status is brokered. People are following others that they respect or worship and there's a kind of fandom at all levels. This is what Terri Senft has long called "micro-celebrity." Alice Marwick has been extending Terri's ideas to think about how audience is brokered on Twitter (paper coming soon). But I think that they're really critical. What makes Twitter work differently than Facebook has to do with the ways in which people can navigate status and power, follow people who don't follow them, at-reply strangers and begin conversations that are fundamentally about two individuals owning their outreach as part of who they are. It's not about entering another's more private sphere (e.g., their Facebook profile). It's about speaking in public with a targeted audience explicitly stated.
We use both services but in a very different manner. As the researcher discuss, Twitter is for us too, a broadcasting model of communication. And that is why many people sits long hours in front of their computer screens, thinking they have an audience to share thoughts and information.
If you accept that a teacher is a broadcaster in some way then, I bet you cannot use Twitter as a teacher replacement, do you?
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