I’m really excited to be co-editing a forthcoming themed issued of New Media & Society with my friend and colleague, Dr Siân Lincoln. The theme of the issue is ‘10 years of Facebook’, to coincide with Facebook having been up and running for a decade next year.
It’s a good opportunity to reflect on the impact the site has had on a whole range of things: the way we think about sociality on the web, how we conceptualise privacy, how we mediate stories of transition and loss, how relationships are made visible and managed online, and also how the internet is (or is not) regulated. It’s an appropriate time to critique Facebook itself, too, and consider the ideologies and imperatives that drive the site and the people who control it.
Facebook is embedded into how many people conduct their daily lives. I think we’ve moved beyond a discussion of whether that’s simply good or bad (although many people still cling to this binary) and for the past few years we’ve been able to see the results of some very fine-grained research that is fundamentally concerned with the social world of people who use Facebook. I’m hoping that in this themed issue of one of my favourite journals we can take stock of some of that research, add to it, and cast our gaze on what the next decade might hold by refining research agendas that continue to mature.
We’ve already received interest from a range of truly excellent scholars from around the world, many of whom have been writing about Facebook for years. The call for papers on academia.edu has been viewed over 1100 times over the past few weeks, and the email versions we’ve been sending to listservs have generated some great interest too. This says something about how many people are interested in and doing research related to Facebook all over the world, and I’m certain this interest will translate into an impressive set of abstracts from which Sian and I can piece together a journal issue. For the sake of my inbox, though, I’m glad Sian is the one compiling them!