Difference between revisions of "Chan, Adrian"

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'''Adrian Chan is a researcher specializing in social software and 'relations'.'''
 
'''Adrian Chan is a researcher specializing in social software and 'relations'.'''
  
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--'''Proximities.''' I believe tech of communication fundamentally changes our
+
--'''Proximities.''' The matter of technology is far more interesting than the
proximity to one another, meaning we now need a sociology of proximity based
+
features, functions, and operations technologies are made of. Technologies
not on spatial copresence but on presence negotiation (access to people,
+
of communication are, for me, the most interesting frontier of technical
issues of "absence"), and built on temporality not space (routines, an
+
progress. Communication is the most profoundly human achievement, and
understanding of "open states of talk", durations (the persistence of
+
culture, what sets us apart. And yet we know so little of how technologies
relations, norms, events, and communication over time). TIME is the least
+
might transform human relationships, social relations, cultural practices
understood dimension of any connective technology.
+
and so on.
  
 +
If you want to know what a communication technology does for your life, turn
 +
it off. It's not the technical that's interesting; its the individual and
 +
social practices into which the technical becomes embedded. Communication
 +
technologies can only be understood in terms of practices: messaging,
 +
talking, trading, dating, buying, selling, and so on.
  
--'''Interaction dynamics.''' What happens when 2 or more people interact through
+
I believe technologies of communication fundamentally change our proximity
a technology. Issues of communication (information capture, archiving,
+
to one another, meaning we now need a sociology of proximity based not on
access, search, persistence, privacy, public/private). Issues of interaction
+
spatial co-presence but on presence negotiation (access to people, obtaining
(gestural and paralinguistic handling, ambiguity, intimacies, timing, and of
+
their attention, whether a person is there, and there for us)
course self-presentation). I am starting a project I would like to be an A-Z
 
of pschological experiences and transformations. Using the DSM (psychiatric
 
diagnostic manual) and my own take on psych, which is biased towards British
 
School of Object Relations, Transactional Analysis, Group dynamics, I'm
 
interested in how SSNs, IM, chat, vidchat, discussions, blogs, email, bec
 
they are asynch or near-synch, screen identities, defer confirmations and
 
acknowledgments, permit "unratified participants" (eg lurkers), disrupt
 
episodic talk, screw w/ turn taking, authority and position, etc. I have
 
ideas like "borderline or narcissists love SSN's!" You get the picture.
 
Presence is co-produced by its technology....
 
  
 +
Mediated proximity, proximity that is co-produced by these
 +
technologies of presence, produces a continuity in spite of our physical
 +
separation from on another. This continuity is a temporality. Proximity in the age of its
 +
technical production is not spatial, but temporal. Communication
 +
technologies connect us, spanning time and weaving a social fabric whose
 +
consistency obtains from us "being there" for each other in time, not space.
  
--'''Social systems.''' Culture, online community, groups, networks, p2p. All of
+
The organization of time is well known to sociologists as routines,
these involve: action coordination; in/formal communication; transactions;
+
"open states of talk", and durations (the persistence of relations, norms,
trust; boundaries; rhythms; speech as text. For this I use anthro and
+
events, and communication over time). 
sociology, mostly french/german/british. Some ethnomethodology (eg. XOX
+
PARC). I'm big on applying Niklas Luhmann's systems theory here. Goffman,
+
As individuals, we maintain our presence and proximity when we are
Giddens, and Habermas. A bit of Foucault, Bourdieu, and Habermas. A bit of
+
not in the same place through  communication. Not through images, or
Kevin Kelly/Negroponte/Linked/Six Degrees stuff. Some SNA (social network
+
appearance, but by maintaining communication. TIME is the least understood
analysis, tho it's too topological and never describes th nature of a
+
dimension of any connective technology
relation, only its traffic).
+
 
 +
What does all this mean? What can we know and understand? Are there
 +
implications for society? Do our relationships change? Are we losing trust?
 +
The questions driving an examination of communication technologies are
 +
serious. But it is not our purpose to answer them here. Rather, we want to
 +
find out what happens when we use these technologies. When we turn to our
 +
phones, when we log on, text and email. We can identify some principal
 +
themes:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
--'''Interaction dynamics.''' What happens when 2 or more people use a technology
 +
together? We get more than user-computer interaction; we get
 +
user-computer-user interaction.
 +
 
 +
Issues of communication (information capture, archiving, access,
 +
search, persistence, privacy, public/private).
 +
 
 +
Issues of interaction (gestural and paralinguistic handling,
 +
ambiguity, intimacies, timing, and of course self-presentation
 +
 
 +
 
 +
--'''Social systems.''' Social software sites, and now Web 2.0, can be categorized
 +
loosely as social systems. Culture, online community, groups, social
 +
networks, P2P phenomena--these and more are attributes of social systems. To
 +
understand them we have to think beyond the individual user experience and
 +
along lines of social practices instead. All of these involve: action
 +
coordination; in/formal communication; transactions; trust; boundaries;
 +
rhythms; speech as text. For this I use anthropology and sociology, mostly
 +
French, German, and British. Some ethno-methodology (as made famous by Xerox
 +
PARC). I'm big on applying Niklas Luhmann's systems theory here. Also Erving
 +
Goffman, Anthony Giddens, and Jurgen Habermas. A bit of Foucault and
 +
Bourdieu. Local thinkers like Kevin Kelly and Nicholas Negroponte. Some SNA
 +
(social network analysis) of course, though I find that its topological
 +
orientation describes portrays traces of relations, not their nature, and
 +
certainly not the experience of those having them.
  
  
 
--'''Talk systems.''' I profoundly believe that much of mediated communication and
 
--'''Talk systems.''' I profoundly believe that much of mediated communication and
interaction must be understood as Talk. It's linguistically-mediated
+
interaction must be understood as "talk." It's linguistically-mediated
exchange. As such, I believe it has to address habermas' three truth claims:
+
exchange. As such, I believe it is useful to consider Habermas' three truth
facticity, sincerity, and normative rightfulness. We need to understand the
+
claims: facticity, sincerity, and normative rightfulness. How are each of
stretch of talk, span of activity, sequencing and seriality of activity, in
+
these tested when face to face interaction is displaced by a technical
a mediated talk. I separate communication tools and interaction tools, the
+
medium? We need to understand the stretch of talk, span of activity, and
former being about capturing/archiving/searching/presenting contributions;
+
sequencing and seriality of activity in a mediated talk. Here I separate
the latter being about handling meanings, implications, emotional
+
communication tools and interaction tools, the former being about
expression, timing, context, theme, and interaction dynamics of
+
capturing/archiving/searching/presenting contributions; the latter being
interactions. Communication tool is a tribe discussion. Private message is
+
about handling meanings, implications, emotional expression, timing,
an interaction tool.
+
context, theme, and interaction dynamics of interactions. Communication tool
 
+
is a tribe discussion. Private message is an interaction tool.
 +
--Socially structured content. This is a new project, inspired by Marc
 +
Canter's structured blogging structured data formats. If Web 2.0 is going to
 +
be useful in the social sense, we need a framework of content types, their
 +
presentation modules, their sort by, filter by, link to organization. What
 +
happens when a site displays "Who's online now?" In contrast with other
 +
people content, such as "featured members," "most connected members"
 +
"friends of friends," and so on. It's important to distinguish contributors
 +
and contributions. Some Web 2.0 developments provide access to and flesh out
 +
the contributor, or person. Others, their contributions. We take an interest
 +
in people as well as in information, and each can provide a gateway to the
 +
tother. So if Web 2.0 is going to be more social, how can it best engage
 +
users in people and what they say. Designers should anticipate the phenomena
 +
they help to build. Architects understand light, space, mass, and volume. We
 +
need to do the same. All of this is based on idea that the designer can only
 +
influence participation, using first order design to steer second order
 +
effects. But any information onscreen informs what happens as populations
 +
grow, over time. In a word, we all know what would happen if LinkedIn were
 +
to allow member pictures.s
  
--'''Socially structured content.''' This is a new project, inspired by canter's
+
--We use our communication technologies alone. Our experience surfing the
structured blogging (which is baked into the GoingOn platform). So I have a
+
web is still an immediate experience of a device. It only makes sense, then,
framework of content types, their presentation modules, their sort by,
+
that we project the "other" (person) into this "world." So I have started a
filter by, link to organization. All based on idea that the designer can
+
project that I would like to be an A-Z of psychological experiences and
only influence participation. But that any info onscreen informs what
+
transformations. Using the DSM (psychiatric diagnostic and statistical
happens as populations grow, over time. In a word, if LinkedIn were to add
+
manual) and my own take on psychology, which is biased towards the British
pictures, shit would change...
+
School of Object Relations, Transactional Analysis, and group dynamics, I'm
 +
interested in how SSNs, IM, chat, video chat, discussions, blogs, email,
 +
because they are asynchronous or near-synchronous, screen back our
 +
identities, defer confirmations and acknowledgments, permit the presence of
 +
"unratified participants" (e.g. lurkers), disrupt episodic talk, disturb
 +
turn-taking rules of conversation, undermine or inflate authority and
 +
position, etc. Do narcissists love SSN's for a reason?"
  
  

Revision as of 04:09, 6 April 2006

Adrian Chan is a researcher specializing in social software and 'relations'.

Information provided by the author.


Resources

Social software blog at http://www.gravity7.com/blog/media/

Index to writings in pdf format, at http://www.gravity7.com/articles_investigations.html

Index to social software postings, at http://www.gravity7.com/articles_observations.html


Projects

"My project Venn is:


--Proximities. The matter of technology is far more interesting than the features, functions, and operations technologies are made of. Technologies of communication are, for me, the most interesting frontier of technical progress. Communication is the most profoundly human achievement, and culture, what sets us apart. And yet we know so little of how technologies might transform human relationships, social relations, cultural practices and so on.

If you want to know what a communication technology does for your life, turn it off. It's not the technical that's interesting; its the individual and social practices into which the technical becomes embedded. Communication technologies can only be understood in terms of practices: messaging, talking, trading, dating, buying, selling, and so on.

I believe technologies of communication fundamentally change our proximity to one another, meaning we now need a sociology of proximity based not on spatial co-presence but on presence negotiation (access to people, obtaining their attention, whether a person is there, and there for us)

Mediated proximity, proximity that is co-produced by these technologies of presence, produces a continuity in spite of our physical separation from on another. This continuity is a temporality. Proximity in the age of its technical production is not spatial, but temporal. Communication technologies connect us, spanning time and weaving a social fabric whose consistency obtains from us "being there" for each other in time, not space.

The organization of time is well known to sociologists as routines, "open states of talk", and durations (the persistence of relations, norms, events, and communication over time).

As individuals, we maintain our presence and proximity when we are not in the same place through communication. Not through images, or appearance, but by maintaining communication. TIME is the least understood dimension of any connective technology

What does all this mean? What can we know and understand? Are there implications for society? Do our relationships change? Are we losing trust? The questions driving an examination of communication technologies are serious. But it is not our purpose to answer them here. Rather, we want to find out what happens when we use these technologies. When we turn to our phones, when we log on, text and email. We can identify some principal themes:


--Interaction dynamics. What happens when 2 or more people use a technology together? We get more than user-computer interaction; we get user-computer-user interaction.

Issues of communication (information capture, archiving, access, search, persistence, privacy, public/private).

Issues of interaction (gestural and paralinguistic handling, ambiguity, intimacies, timing, and of course self-presentation


--Social systems. Social software sites, and now Web 2.0, can be categorized loosely as social systems. Culture, online community, groups, social networks, P2P phenomena--these and more are attributes of social systems. To understand them we have to think beyond the individual user experience and along lines of social practices instead. All of these involve: action coordination; in/formal communication; transactions; trust; boundaries; rhythms; speech as text. For this I use anthropology and sociology, mostly French, German, and British. Some ethno-methodology (as made famous by Xerox PARC). I'm big on applying Niklas Luhmann's systems theory here. Also Erving Goffman, Anthony Giddens, and Jurgen Habermas. A bit of Foucault and Bourdieu. Local thinkers like Kevin Kelly and Nicholas Negroponte. Some SNA (social network analysis) of course, though I find that its topological orientation describes portrays traces of relations, not their nature, and certainly not the experience of those having them.


--Talk systems. I profoundly believe that much of mediated communication and interaction must be understood as "talk." It's linguistically-mediated exchange. As such, I believe it is useful to consider Habermas' three truth claims: facticity, sincerity, and normative rightfulness. How are each of these tested when face to face interaction is displaced by a technical medium? We need to understand the stretch of talk, span of activity, and sequencing and seriality of activity in a mediated talk. Here I separate communication tools and interaction tools, the former being about capturing/archiving/searching/presenting contributions; the latter being about handling meanings, implications, emotional expression, timing, context, theme, and interaction dynamics of interactions. Communication tool is a tribe discussion. Private message is an interaction tool. --Socially structured content. This is a new project, inspired by Marc Canter's structured blogging structured data formats. If Web 2.0 is going to be useful in the social sense, we need a framework of content types, their presentation modules, their sort by, filter by, link to organization. What happens when a site displays "Who's online now?" In contrast with other people content, such as "featured members," "most connected members" "friends of friends," and so on. It's important to distinguish contributors and contributions. Some Web 2.0 developments provide access to and flesh out the contributor, or person. Others, their contributions. We take an interest in people as well as in information, and each can provide a gateway to the tother. So if Web 2.0 is going to be more social, how can it best engage users in people and what they say. Designers should anticipate the phenomena they help to build. Architects understand light, space, mass, and volume. We need to do the same. All of this is based on idea that the designer can only influence participation, using first order design to steer second order effects. But any information onscreen informs what happens as populations grow, over time. In a word, we all know what would happen if LinkedIn were to allow member pictures.s

--We use our communication technologies alone. Our experience surfing the web is still an immediate experience of a device. It only makes sense, then, that we project the "other" (person) into this "world." So I have started a project that I would like to be an A-Z of psychological experiences and transformations. Using the DSM (psychiatric diagnostic and statistical manual) and my own take on psychology, which is biased towards the British School of Object Relations, Transactional Analysis, and group dynamics, I'm interested in how SSNs, IM, chat, video chat, discussions, blogs, email, because they are asynchronous or near-synchronous, screen back our identities, defer confirmations and acknowledgments, permit the presence of "unratified participants" (e.g. lurkers), disrupt episodic talk, disturb turn-taking rules of conversation, undermine or inflate authority and position, etc. Do narcissists love SSN's for a reason?"