One of the inspirations for my social media research is Jenny Ryan's The Virtual Campfire.
This site is the digital version of her thesis research:
Based on five years of participant-observation on the social networking sites MySpace, Facebook, and Tribe.net, The Virtual Campfire explores the increasingly blurred boundaries between human and machine, public and private, voyeurism and exhibitionism, the history of media and our digitized future. Woven throughout are the stories and experiences of those who engage with these sites regularly and ritualistically, the generation of "digital natives" whose tales attest to the often strange and uncomfortable ways online social networking sites have come to be embedded in the everyday lives of American youth.
Check it out: http://www.thevirtualcampfire.org/