A couple of reflections on the peer reviewed paper on weblogs, written by Edmonds, Blustein and Turnbull. The authors believe that, in the future, everyone will use tools derived from the blogs to structure, search and share personal information, but also to engage in shared discussion.
I'm not saying that they are too optimistic but some facts cross my mind when I read this. The informants in my study (20-29-year olds) are very keen on ICT:s as 85 % claim they wouldn't want to live without the Internet. However, they proved quite sceptical to sharing personal information on the net. Three out of four,and especially women, consider it dangerous to share personal information. Of course, this is not the same as sharing links and information on one's interest for example, but still.
"In our vision, people will be able to connect with huge, Web-scaled or small circle-of-friend groups who share a common interest." the authors write. I asked my informants whether they have discussed their interests in a fora or a chat and 74 % answered that they never have. And 72 % have never asked someone unknown on the Internet for advice. In this study, I was interested in what Castells and Wellman write about the common interest replacing the local as a base for friendship and social relations. It turned out that most of my informants didn't have friends that they've met on the Internet and where a shared interest, and not a common time or space, is the base.