Will you be my friend? An analysis of friendster.com

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Hendra, Amelia
Dooley, Patricia L.

Friendster.com was launched in California in 2002 with 20 users. Today, it has more than 27 million members and it is especially popular among Southeast Asian women. It differs from other online dating sites in that users must be approved before they can become part of a user’s personal network. This study explores what may have made the site so attractive, as well as how its users represent themselves in their personal profiles. Drawing on social constructionist and feminist theories, this thesis employed qualitative content analysis and survey methodologies to address the following questions: (1) How does Friendster.com portray its role in terms of getting people together? As a dating site or otherwise? (2) How do Southeast Asian women in these two age groups (18-21 and 27- 30) construct themselves on Friendster.com? (3) Do Southeast Asian women join Friendster.com to connect with the one? If not, what are their reasons for joining the site? (4) What are Southeast Asian women’s on- and off-line blind-date standards and practices? The research examines the choice of words and pictures from 60 Friendster users’ profiles by using qualitative content analysis as the methodology. Preliminary findings suggest that the site serves as a new safer form of an online dating service, and that its users aggressively sell themselves as a result. Moreover, the definition of blind-date is socially constructed.

Table of Content
Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Elliott School of Communication
"May 2006."
Includes bibliographic references (leaves 74-80).