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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bi-directional Para-social Relationships.

I wrote a post about social media and parasocial relationships that explored how social media is creating a new micro-celebrity class in which the 'friends' of people who are popular on various social media services get an intimate look into their lives.

I want to carry that concept just one step further and propose that those parasocial relationships are now being developed not only between the popular and the masses (Parasocial 1.0) but between any individuals who are engaged in the social media space (Parasocial 2.0).

What makes these different from the concept of 'weak tie' relationships? That is an excellent question. I would contend that the two concepts live side-by-side depending on individual usage. The differentiating factor is the ratio of human interaction to broadcasting. Have you engaged in a personal conversation, one on one (whether online or offline) with the person? Have you made an attempt to share something personally with them that didn't go to your network? Do you remember their name or their handle?


Tim Walker said...

This is interesting, and I'd love to see it fleshed out more. I'm not sure "parasocial relationships" will become a catch-phrase (nothing wrong with it, just that it's a mouthful to say), but we certainly need SOME nomenclature to describe these new types of relationships, which are real and growing.