Apropos of my post yesterday, I just came across an edition of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication from October 2007 focused on social networking.
This is the academic approach. While some of the subjects are typically arcane -- what else to make of an article called Social Network Profiles as Taste Performances: "A social network profile's lists of interests can function as an expressive arena for taste performance. Based on a semiotic approach, different types of taste statements are identified and further investigated through a statistical analysis of 127,477 profiles collected from MySpace." -- certainly danah boyd's (Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship) deserves a closer read.