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Discussion seeds by Patrick O’Sullivan


In his paper outlining the Masspersonal Model of Communication, Patrick O’Sullivan (2005) poses several questions for further discussion.  I find them fascinating, and I pose them for you to ponder, as well.  In thinking about Facebook as a place where we have personal conversations in a public arena, O’Sullivan asks:

  • Why would someone share personal conversations with small or even large numbers of strangers?
  • How does the public nature of the message or exchange shape the process, message interpretations, and consequences for both the interactants and those witnessing the interaction?
  • How do these interactions differ from private personal interactions in outcomes?
  • How does awareness (or lack of awareness) of the public nature of the one-to-one interaction (one one or the other or both communicators) shape the communication episode and the outcomes?
  • What is the role of intentionality in shaping the interaction, such as when an interaction assumed and intended to be private is instead unintentionally made public?

Food for thought … if you figure it out, let me know! =)

OSullivan, P. B. “Masspersonal Communication: Rethinking the Mass-Interpersonal Divide” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Sheraton New York, New York City, NY Online. 2009-05-25 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p14277_index.html

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