Reach out and touch someone

Last week Randy Moss circulated the link to a paper based on a speech by Dana Boyd to the AAAS about why kids are so nuts about MySpace. Communications technologies have created a whole new sensibility about what it means to have a social network, and young people are flocking to MySpace despite the fact that parents across the land are freaking-out about it. (That’s okay; it’s an adults’ obligation to find danger and moral turpitude in the uninhibited things the younger generation comes up with.) Moreover, it may be that kids are just the early adopters of social spaces that older people will eventually adopt. Organizations interested in social processes should pay some attention.

Now here’s stroke two: an article in the latest Wired Magazine about entrepreneurs like Sky Dayton of Earthlink who are building "mobile virtual network operations" that will bring much more versatile 3G Korean mobiles to the US market and give them a richer selection of media to receive–and send–on them. They understand that among the young there are niches willing to spend what it takes to go well beyond the bland offerings of mainstream mobile carriers.

But here’s the thing that I got from it all: the new mobiles are social networking tools that fit with the new sensibility about social space engendered by online and cell phone culture. They are the perfect tools for MySpace and Dayton’s network will indeed have a tie-in with MySpace. The phones will take MySpace mobile. Dayton says:

Music and video should be communications fodder…It’s not about downloading Desperate Housewives and watching it at the doctor’s office. We’re your connection to you community of friends…All your friends in the palm of your hand.