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New media & society (1999)
This paper is based on an empirical study of users of an internet café in South east England. It picks out some of the key distinctions between internet use within domestic spaces and as a technology accessed in a public economy of consumption. The research findings are contextualized and tested against existing work on public internet access. The material derived from interviews with customers is used to explore the ways in which the internet is differently perceived, used and gendered in the public spaces of an internet café. The paper argues that public use of the internet is not just a transitional phenomenon which precedes home internet adoption. The research revealed that the internet café provided a distinct and dedicated use space which was intimately bound up in the domestic and work routines of its users.
New media & society (2010)
The current deployment of large screens in city centre public spaces requires a substantial rethinking of our understanding of the relationship of media to urban space. Drawing on a case study of the Public Space Broadcasting project launched in the UK in 2003, this article argues that large screens have the potential to play a significant role in promoting public interaction. However, the realization of this potential requires a far-reaching investigation of the role of media in the construction of complex public spaces and diverse public cultures.
New media & society (2010)
Baron, N. S., & Segerstad, Y. H. af.
Contemporary mobile-phone technology is becoming increasingly similar around the world. However, cultural differences between countries may also shape mobile-phone practices. This study examines a group of variables connected to mobile-phone use among university students in Sweden, the USA and Japan. Key cultural issues addressed are attitudes towards quiet in public space, personal use of public space and tolerance of self-expression. Measures include the appropriateness of using mobiles in various social contexts and judgments of what respondents like most and like least about having a mobile phone. Analysis revealed a number of culturally associated differences, as well as a shared conflicting attitude towards the advantages and disadvantages of reachability by mobile phone.
New media & society (2017)
Foursquare is a location-based social network (LBSN) that allows people to share their location with friends by ‘checking-in’ at a given place using their smartphone. The application can also access the location-based recommendations left by other users. Drawing on original qualitative research with a range of Foursquare users, the article sets out to examine this LBSN and its impact on identity in three ways. Using Schwartz and Halegoua’s ‘spatial self’ as ‘a theoretical framework encapsulating the process of online self-presentation based on the display of offline physical activities’, the article first examines the extent to which users understand check-ins as mediating identity. Second, the article explores whether the act of using Foursquare beyond the sharing of location can similarly be seen as contributing to identity. Last, the article examines what effect location-based recommendations might be having on how users subsequently experience themselves.
New media & society (2015)
Liao, T., & Humphreys, L.
As augmented reality (AR) is becoming technologically possible and publicly available through mobile smartphone and tablet devices, there has been relatively little empirical research studying how people are utilizing mobile AR technologies and forming social practices around mobile AR. This study looks at how mobile AR can potentially mediate the everyday practices of urban life. Through qualitative interviews with users of Layar, a mobile AR browser, we found several emerging uses. First, users are creating content on Layar in ways that communicate about and through place, which shapes their relationship and interpretations of places around them. Second, we found a growing segment of users creating augmented content that historicizes and challenges the meanings of place, while inserting their own narratives of place. Studying emerging uses of AR deepens our understanding of how emerging media may complicate practices, experiences, and relationships in the spatial landscape.
new media & society (2017)
Wyatt, D., Mcquire, S., & Butt, D.
Australia is currently rolling out one of the most expensive and ambitious infrastructure projects in the nation’s history. The National Broadband Network is promoted as a catalyst for far-reaching changes in Australia’s economy, governmental service provision, society and culture. However, it is evident that desired dividends, such as greater social engagement, enhanced cultural awareness and increased civic and political participation, do not flow automatically from mere technical connection to the network. This article argues that public institutions play a vital role in redistributing technological capacity to enable emerging forms of social and cultural participation. In particular, we examine public libraries as significant but often overlooked sites in the evolving dynamic between digital technology, new cultural practices and social relations. Drawing on interviews and fieldwork across the public library network of the state of Queensland, we attend to the strategies and approaches libraries are adopting in response to a digital culture.
New media & society (2010)
The development and proliferation of mobile social networks have the potential to transform ways that people come together and interact in public space.These services allow new kinds of information to flow into public spaces and, as such, can rearrange social and spatial practices. Dodgeball is used as a case study of mobile social networks. Based on a year-long qualitative field study, this article explores how Dodgeball was used to facilitate social congregation in public spaces and begins to expand our understanding of traditional notions of space and social interaction. Drawing on the concept of parochial space, this article examines how ideas of mobile communication and public space are negotiated in the everyday practice and use of mobile social networks.
New Media & Society (2009)
This article examines the ways in which individuals use MP3 players to shape their experiences of the London commute. To investigate MP3 listening practices, I conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with eight DJs and ‘listeners’ living in London. I argue that MP3 players enable individuals to use music to precisely shape their experiences of space, place, others and themselves while moving through the city. In doing so, individuals experience great control as they transform urban journeys into private and pleasurable spaces. While experienced effects of MP3 player listening were similar among respondents, pre-existing relationships to music appear to relate to motivations for use. This article draws on a variety of social theorists ranging from Simmel and Adorno to Lefebvre to interrogate the experience of control MP3 users describe, and to understand the implications for the autonomy of urban inhabitants.
New media & society (2016)
Wessel, G., Ziemkiewicz, C., & Sauda, E.
The rise of mobile food vending in US cities combines urban space and mobility with continuous online communication. Unlike traditional urban spaces that are predictable and known, contemporary vendors use information technology to generate impromptu social settings in unconventional and often underutilized spaces. This unique condition requires new methods that interpret online communication as a critical component in the production of new forms of public life. We suggest qualitative approaches combined with data-driven analyses are necessary when planning for emergent behavior. In Charlotte, NC, we investigate the daily operations, tweet content, and spatial and temporal sequencing of six vendors over an extended period of time. The study illustrates the interrelationship between data, urban space, and time and finds that a significant proportion of tweet content is used to announce vending locations in a time-based pattern and that the spatial construction of events is often independent of traditional urban form.
New media & society (2012)
Power, M. J., Neville, P., Devereux, E., Haynes, A., & Barnes, C.
We examine how an Irish stigmatised neighbourhood is represented by Google Street View. In spite of Google’s claims that Street View allows for ‘a virtual reflection of the real world to enable armchair exploration’ (McClendon, 2010). We show how it is directly implicated in the politics of representations. We focus on the manner in which Street View has contributed to the stigmatisation of a marginalised neighbourhood. Methodologically, we adopt a rhetorical/structuralist analysis of the images of Moyross present on Street View. While Google has said the omissions were ‘for operational reasons’, we argue that a wider social and ideological context may have influenced Google’s decision to exclude Moyross. We examine the opportunities available for contesting such representations, which have significance for the immediate and long-term future of the estate, given the necessity to attract businesses into Moyross as part of the ongoing economic aspect of the regeneration of this area.
New Media & Society (2011)
Eric Gordon & Edith Manosevitch
The goal of this article is two-fold: to introduce the concept of augmented deliberation and to demonstrate its implementation in a pilot project.We look specifically at a project called Hub2. This community engagement project employed the online virtual world Second Life to augment community deliberation in the planning of a neighborhood park in Boston, Massachusetts. The local community was invited to gather in a physical space and a virtual space simultaneously, and a physical moderator and virtual designer orchestrated deliberation.This project demonstrates the design values central to augmented deliberation: (1) it is a multimedia group communication process which balances the specific affordances of digital technologies with the established qualities of face-to-face group deliberation; (2) it emphasizes the power of experience; and (3) it promotes sustainability and reproducibility through digital tracking. Augmented deliberation, when properly designed, provides a powerful mechanism to enable productive and meaningful public deliberation. The article concludes with directions for further research.
New media & society (2008)
Hampton, K. N., & Gupta, N.
A significant body of research has addressed whether fixed internet use increases, decreases or supplements the ways in which people engage in residential and workplace settings, but few studies have addressed how wireless internet use in public and semi-public spaces influences social life. Ubiquitous wi-fi adds a new dimension to the debate over how the internet may influence the structure of community.Will wireless internet use facilitate greater engagement with co-located others or encourage a form of 'public privatism'? This article reports the findings of an exploratory ethnographic study of how wi-fi was used and influenced social interactions in four different settings: paid and free wi-fi cafes in Boston, MA and Seattle,WA.This study found contrasting uses for wireless internet and competing implications for community.Two types of practices, typified in the behaviors of 'true mobiles' and 'placemakers', offer divergent futures for how wireless internet use may influence social relationships.
Urban Design and Planning (2016)
A recent approach to place development is to construct integrated systems for managing cultural and identity
resources so that they can be enjoyed through ‘experiential itineraries’. These itineraries are designed on the basis of
a survey of existing heritage, with a view to support creative industries or to help develop new ones. Visitor
experience of a place can be further enhanced and virtualised using smart technologies. The aim of this paper is to
illustrate the studies on experiential itineraries. The studies are rooted in the disciplines of psychology and economy,
and, more recently, in disciplines that study places. The author proposes an analysis and design software tool for
identification and enhancement of cultural and identity resources. The tool is a dynamic and interactive platform for
complex and sensitive management of qualitative data of a place. It is conceived as a single platform with different
entry points, both private and public, for local authorities, professionals and citizens. The paper concludes with a
brief presentation of case studies carried out in the historical centres of Palestrina and Gaeta in Italy, both
characterised by low-impact tourism. The main objective of these studies was to achieve smart experiential
knowledge of a place allowing sustainable enjoyment of its resources.
While aerial photography is associated with vertical objectivity and spatial abstractions, street-level imagery appears less political in its orientation to the particularities of place. I contest this assumption, showing how the aggregation of street-level imagery into “big datasets” allows for the algorithmic sorting of places by their street-level visual qualities. This occurs through an abstraction by “datafication,” inscribing new power geometries onto urban places through algorithmic linkages between visual environmental qualities, geographic information, and valuations of social worth and risk. Though largely missing from media studies of Google Street View, similar issues have been raised in critiques of criminological theories that use place as a proxy for risk. Comparing the Broken Windows theory of criminogenesis with big data applications of street-level imagery informs a critical media studies approach to Google Street View. The final section of this article suggests alternative theoretical orientations for algorithm design that avoid the pitfalls of essentialist equations of place with social character.
Information, Communication & Society (2006)
Ana Viseu, Jane Aspinall, Andrew Clement & Tracy L. M. Kennedy
The creation of public internet access facilities is one of the principal policy instruments adopted by governments in addressing ‘digital divide’ issues. The lack of plans for ongoing funding, in North America at least, suggests that this mode is regarded mainly as transitional, with private, home-based access being perceived as superior. The assumption apparently is that as domestic internet penetration rates rise, public access facilities will no longer be needed. Central to this issue are the varied characteristics of publicly provided and privately owned access sites and their implications for non-employment internet activities. What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of these two access modes? More fundamentally, how do people conceptualize public and private spaces and how does this perception influence their online activities? Finally, why do people choose one over the other, and how do they navigate between the two? This article attempts to answer these questions by drawing on data generated within the Everyday Internet Project, a ‘neighborhood ethnography’ of internet usage. It argues that the conventional view of private and public access facilities as immiscible, fixed alternatives is inadequate. Rather than ‘pure’ types, they are better understood as offering hybrid spaces whose identity and character are fluid, perceived differently by individuals in light of the activities being performed, life experiences, infrastructure and architecture. The picture emerging from our study is one where public and private access modes intertwine with each other in a variety of ways, their combination offering significant additional value for many users. From a public policy perspective, these findings suggest that if universal access is to be achieved, there is a continuing need for publicly supported broad-spectrum facilities with integrated technical support and learning opportunities, even if domestic penetration rates approach that of the telephone.