1. Some good points here – a deeper issue raised by Herman, Chomsky, and other critics of privatized media (McChesney etc.) is that the media structures our ideas, knowledge of the world, and culture – and increasingly with Facebook, our relationships and social worlds. And these are structured not in ways to serve the community (though some elements of that might occur as a byproduct), but so as to maximize their profits/share price – hence the tie-ins with Farmville, advertisers, etc., and privacy policies. We have little input as communities of users into the new form of town commons.

    I’d suggest the market value of Facebook is not so much in its brand as in the network economies of its user base. Even well known brands like Myspace and AoL can wither quickly in the online economy. We are loyal to Facebook because that’s where the users are, a huge lock-in effect.

    • Thanks for your comments on the panel, David. I think your extension out of the neo-Marxist realm is well taken. My struggle is that the old media that Chomsky and others have written about appears to have some different dynamics than the new social media platforms. I think these differences warrant closer inspection, and I think your second point really gets to the heart of this. I think that brand loyalty in the Facebook era is far different than in previous eras. I’m don’t think that this invalidates wholly the relevance of Herman and Chomsky, only that we need to keep pushing this discussion forward within sociology and other disciplines.

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