Liminal entities : identity, governance, and organizations in Twitter
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references. This study examines factors affecting individual perception of organizational accounts on Twitter, a social network site. First, I provide a brief history of the site and discuss the structural elements of Twitter in the context of social network sites in general. Second, I examine the concepts of online identity and presence, which deal with how individuals construct, perceive, and interpret identity in mediated environments--a prerequisite for interaction on Twitter and on social network sites in general. I also discuss the concept of liminal entities--accounts that do not fit neatly into commonly encountered social categories--and how individuals conceive of and interact with these accounts. Third, I look at how rules and social norms are continually negotiated between individuals, organizations and coding authorities by examining the history of this type of negotiation in online spaces. Finally, I discuss the results of a survey of 159 experienced Twitter users that asks questions about the following topics: account activity; uses of Twitter; making and breaking connections; attitudes towards organizational accounts; and reactions to transgressive events.
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