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A major in Facebook, with a minor in MySpace

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nIn response to a surge of grassroots interest surrounding Web 2.0, some universities have started to offer for-credit academic classes on subjects related to social networking. At the University of Michigan, there’s even a new graduate program in social computing:


“After years of worrying about how much time freshmennspend on Facebook, schools are incorporating the study of socialnnetworking, online communities and user-contributed content into newncurricula on social computing. The moves, like other academicnexpansions into fields like videogame design, are part of an effort tonkeep technology studies relevant to students’ lives – and to tapnsubjects with entrepreneurial momentum. Yahoo! and Microsoft are among the tech companies that have invested in schools’ social computing programs.”

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As the Wall Street Journal points out, it’s not just students who are demanding new courses covering topics such as Facebook, MySpace and Second Life — a growing number of young researchers are starting to base their academic careers on their knowledge of Web 2.0. A recent call for papers on Web 2.0 from a scholarly journal sponsored by Indiana University resulted in an outpouring of more than 100 submissions from social web researchers.

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[image: Daniel Terdiman interviews Danah Boyd at SXSW]

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