I started noticing this a few months back when I started receiving notifications from friends / cousins about Orkut scrapbook messages. At first I ignored them (I joined all these sites when they first came out, but don’t visit except to accept invitations sometimes). When I was finally enticed to check, I was amazed to find a buzzing Indian community. I recognized people I had not talked to for years from visits to my profile, I saw that my old school has more than 2000 members (I think I had checked this a few years back and there were 4-5 members). Now that trickle of Orkut mailings has become a deluge, and I find myself visiting the site at least once a day (those who know me are aware of my skpeticism regarding earlier social networking sites such as Orkut and LinkedIn, so this is my surprise to day the least).
I am one of the people who thinks she should stick to the term “Mental Models”. I think the term is a good description of what she is writing about. When I mentioned this to her, she was concerned about the reaction from cognitive psychologists. I say: “To heck with cognitive psychologists”. I am one of them (yes, I am a cognitive psychologist by training) and I think this is the right term to describe what she is doing, even if is not entirely be in keeping with how congiitve psyhologists like Johnson & Laird might use the term. In fact, two years ago, when I submitted a paper to CHI with the word “Mental Models” in the title I got the same type of feedback in the reviews.