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Network society

Castells (2000) argue information age is highly organized around networks. He states new technological paradigm forms core to entire social structure, where networks are 'new morphology of our societies' (Castells 2000:500). Castells notes , society is organized around social structures (networks) that process and mange information flow by technology (networks) (Castells, 2000: 495). For him, networks have become the governing cultural logic of our society. The very idea of 'network society' relates to the present society, but goes beyond the notion of information society, as it considers the growing size and importance of information flow in social structures (Webster, 2006) and to accentuate the structures of networked societies in terms of complex interlinked and co-dependent networks (Berkowitz and Wellman, 1988; Castells, 1996). Castells lists information, flexibility, convergence and pervasiveness are important features of technological paradigm in network society (2000a: 69ff).

"As a historical trend, dominant functions and process in the Information Age are increasingly organized around networks. Networks constitute the new social morphology of our societies, and the diffusion of networking logic substantially modifies the operation and outcomes in processes of production, experience, power, and culture" (as original Castells' 2000: 500).

Castells' argue, innovations and technology are not only means to define social societies, but social, political, cultural and economical factors are important as they shape society in different ways. The Space of Flows plays an important role in Castells' vision of network society, expanded by hubs where networks crisscross with connected nodes.

As Castells note, network should be seen as a part of 'bipolar opposition' between Net and self, where individuals try to establish their identities in a fast changing world (Castells, 2004:55). This identifies a set of arrangement of networks that are simultaneously physical and virtual, crowded with individuals that produce and consume information in the technological paradigm. But, as Giles (Giles 1990:177-182) states "today the self is not so much constituted by any notion of identity but rather is reduced to "dividuals." Instead of individuals, publics are constituted in multiple micro-publics that are simultaneously overlapping in many ways for example users on networking sites interact in communities on different social platforms such as v blogs, chat forums etc. Castells (2004) view of 'net and self' focuses on self (me); and centralizes on self -selection, direction and generation that does not fit into the periphery of social publics. Networked publics interact in communities where every one has access to everyone else building a hive of networks. Hence, I argue publics on social networking is not a mere representation of 'net and self' but 'dividuals' that forms the new dynamics of social publics.

To interpret networked publics and its structure, I tried to establish 'nodes' as connecting points between networks that connects social publics on social platforms. Nodes can be defined as connection points that works on simple logistic of 'connection' for instance a computer, processor, and switch can be categorized into nodes. Nodes connect with each other to form a series of network that intertwines each node with every other network building a colony of networks. A node is an element that allocates "architecture with multidirectional connections among all nodes in the networked information environment" (Benkler, 2006:36). According to network theory, a relationship shared by each node with every other network has its own individuality and originality. A network is consisted of nodes (objects) and mapping (description of relations) between nodes builds the structure to form beehive (Kadushin 2004:2). As Castells (1996: 470-71) states, networks are open structures that can expand to unlimited boundaries, incorporate new nodes, if previous nodes are able to interact in the network. Nodes form the basic elements of networks along with hubs (connected nodes) and links that connect social publics on different social networked platforms (Gummesson, 2000).

As Benkler (2006) note, networks are governed by few key nodes in a hub that set the conditions for other nodes to multiply and form a collection of networks. Gummesson (2002) affirms, 'nodes' as specific way of creating networks that applies structural properties and results in clusters of networks such as centralized network (one hub), the decentralized network (many hubs) and the distributed network (no hub). Clusters are dense groupings of nodes and links that connect series of network, interlinking networked publics on social platforms.

Other than technical properties, identity and relationship shared by node to every other node forms the significant basis to understand 'networking' in relation to connection shared by networked publics. Kadushin (2004:2) explain connections between nodes are not simple connection shared by people and organizations but information, that marks the identity of connections amidst people and organization. He describes 'individual node' an important constituent of social unit that can only be understood in relation to other units. Kadushin cites Descartes' view of self, that explains self cant' be formed without the reflection of others, "the world around us is simply perceived as a mirror of our subjectivities."( Kadushin, 2004. Fries and Reis, 2001: 37(2):297-327). Kadushin and Descartes view of society, relates to Marx (1857) who states society is not merely an aggregate of individuals but the sum of relationships one stands for each other. Gummesson (2004) explains 'networks' as social structures that determine and facilitate relation between multiple nodes interconnecting hub of networks. Structures are networks of cultural and cognitive text that makes relation meaningful (Brieger: 2004).

As space and adjoining nodes (networks) are woven together, the potential and properties of network technologies transforms nodes into networks and networks in to clusters of networks. Networked publics are connected through nodes and are regulated by its properties.

Gummesson (2004) primarily cites nodes, a connecting point for networks that connect social publics. Kadushin (2004) and Descartes (2001) view of self and society contributes to the dynamics and relation shared by social units on networking sites. But social publics are transformed with new technological innovations and activities practiced by social publics, thereafter introducing complexity in the relationship shared by social publics.

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