Friday, October 24, 2008

The Race of my Face(book)

I attended a lecture last night on promotion and publicity tactics for authors and heard a curious fact. Apparently Facebook is considered to be an "overwhelmingly White" social networking site, whereas Myspace caters to a more "ethnic audience." I've just begun to dip my toe into social networking (reluctantly, I might add) and can't believe we've already been divided.

Anybody out there want to confirm the PR expert's analysis?

Peace...

9 comments:

riffraff814 said...

I've heard it more often described as a class division rather than a racial one. Facebook is for college and college-bound types, Myspace is for high school and non-college-bound types. I'm actually a bit surprised that someone thought the audience differences fall along race lines.

Christina said...

I avoid both like the plague. Give me good ol' blogging any day.

FirstPersonArts said...

As someone who works extensively in both networks, I wouldn't say that either caters to a particular ethnic group, but there are a number of factors (riffraff18's point) that conspire to reduce the ethnic diversity of Facebook. To reach a diverse audience--by class, race, age, and gender--as we try to at First Person Arts, you should be in both places. (And on Twitter, I might add)

Andrew

glamah16 said...

I heard that. Although some of my black friends are on there. And a lot of Nigerian cousins always reach out( but they are in Europe, etc.)My Space is more ethnic and music geared kind of what rffraff said above.Its amazing how people find you there.I couldnt even keep up with Twitter with everything else.

Ananda said...

As an author, I use both Facebook and Myspace. I started with Myspace and felt like I wasn't really reaching a part of my audience ... Black women in college and twentysomethings. My mom who is 68 suggested that I join Facebook. That's some serious wisdom from a techie diva with a Facebook page. I followed her advice and have found that I am able to build brand awareness and communicate with sistaloves in college and recent graduates. I think the Internet and social media tools often attract a certain type of person with easy access to the web. Some of it could be class related with Facebook since it really is a social media tool that college students appear to live for. Who knows? I am just happy that we have all of the social media tools available for free (most of them) because they help reduce the cost of marketing for authors and entrepreneurs. Peace, Ananda

PS: I just finished reading Kinky Gazpacho this week. Fabulous. I loved the last part of the book the most. I was so happy that you were able to learn about the African presence in Spain. I will write a review for Amazon.com and my blogs soon. Best wishes. Keep writing. You inspire us all.

Martine Joelle said...

Echoing comments above, because FB started as strictly catered to university students, it had an edge there and is we connect that to people of color in college this makes sense at first. You can't exactly bling out your FB and so I notice certain family and friends I know are strictly Myspace.

Now that I consider it, I will be honest and say that the art/media oriented networking style of FB is more suited to my personality now and cleaner so I feel more comfortable talking with certain people there. I don't want to be valued for my flashy background or song like Myspace but for the content of my words. Just like life. The little applications annoy me so I don't use that much.

Aliteracy and the digital divide is still an issue though and having access to computers at all changes this up. Maybe I've been over thinking this...I'm in an isolated town and have developed an addiction to Facebook for alternative communication (there's a group called Quirky Black Girls that's fun.) So maybe it's use and engagement of population is different depending on where you live.

LT said...

Wow,

Thanks people for all of your perspectives. I'm still learning about all of these social media outlets and I feel a little smarter now thanks to you!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I really do not like MySpace. Facebook is more user friendly and has a much better layout. MySpace has too many bells and whistles and seems cluttered to me.

The majority of my Facebook friends are black so I don't know the lecturer was talking about. I agree with the other posters maybe it's more about class than race. Facebook was started by two Harvard students and then took off at other colleges.

M and M said...

Not an expert, but I can tell you as a High School teacher and as a cultural anthropologist, I hear from my "tribe" of teens that facebook and myspace are "divided" - kids recognize that each application attracts a certain grip of kids - and to some degree I think you've characterized it accurately (kids are careful to call it a "racial separation" but yep, that's what it sounds like! Mix in a little division by class and you're right on!)