Difference between revisions of "Chan, Adrian"

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'''Adrian Chan is a researcher specializing in social software and 'relations'.'''
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See [[Adrian Chan]]
 
 
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?"
 
 
 
 
 
[[Category:Individuals]]
 
 
 
[[Category:Research]]
 

Latest revision as of 07:51, 23 July 2011