Media Practice and Everyday Agency in Europe

Title chapter: In a Community, or Becoming a Commodity? Critical Reflections on the “Social” in Social Media
Author: Tobias Olsson
Keywords: Communities,, Social Media, Commodities
Abstract: It is a truism to say that social networking media or - more vernacularly - "social media" have become ubiquitous today. All over at least the western world, it is ever present via electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, and tablets (of various fabrics) during most parts of our everyday lives (and nights). Its presence is, however, not only physcial and material, but also an important part of our everyday imaginary. This chapter will illustrate and discuss this tension with the help of a small but significant case - a Swedish community for everyday runners called It was established as a social networking site in 2006, by two dedicated, non-professional runners. Their ambition was -at first- to keep track of one another's training in order to stimulate and encourage exercise. Early on, the network grew as it attracted additional runners. What does the case have to tell us about the field of tension between community and commodity?
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