The Wireless Web – Do Not Call!

Another meme that is on my do not call list is wireless web. The October 2005 issue of Communications of the ACM, the house organ for the Association for Computing Machinery, as an article titled Wireless Web Adoption Patterns In The U.S.. The substance of the article itself seems interesting insofar as I would be interested in adoption patterns of something that seems tied to the research I conduct, although I have to say that I am not sure what these people might be adopting. Without looking at the article — it’s in the stack of about 12 magazines and journals in the to-be-read pile that accumulates and is then tucked into a canvas bag for reading during long flights — I’m guessing it’s people using WiFi 802.11 in their homes, and maybe in public spaces like parks or McDonald’s or Starbucks.

Why do I blog this? Because I’m drawn to the ways that expressions, metaphors, and proper nouns are formed around social practices that engage technical instruments, like computers and portable devices. In this case, the use of wireless instruments to engage in the practice of digital communication (browsing, emailing, chatting, etc.) is described as adoption of wireless web practices. This particular meme is especially annoying because the web is anything but wireless (it’s chock full of many wires — visit any NOC to see) but the idea that the last link between all those wires and a user’s terminal device (their phone or laptop or whatever) makes the use of the term valuable for conveying the sort of freedom and motility (independence of movement) that helps sell this new practice through to consumers.


ipod guy


Here’s an article titled "It’s all in your head" from the October 9, 2005 Toronto Star on the topic of communities, public space and personal portable mobile devices. It’s interesting in the way it deliberately swerves the conversation away from the 911 and ID Theft memes of security and privacy toward the social implications of such devices within the idioms of community, the construction (or “appropriation”) of public space.

The article is also cool for the way it turns to researchers and scholars in the academy for some insights, and not just the marketing folks at the regional carrier.

The article mentions a book by Michael Bull called Sound Moves: iPod Culture and Urban Experience in which Bull “..interviewed more than 1,000 iPod users, mostly in North America and
Europe, and discovered that a good 25 per cent of them actually hated cellphones.”

Why do I blog this? Because i’m drawn to discussions as to the possibility of new kinds of social formations that obtain through the use of personal portable mobile devices, either through purposeful design of device usage scenarios, or by the way iPeople make use of the device through their own form of DIY usage hacking.

It’s All In Your Head

Thoughts On Web 2.0

Thoughts On Web 2.0

What are the consequences of Web 2.0 for Networked Publics—not this academic group but rather our object of study? Web 2.0 is based around the model of consumers becoming active producers, not only creating their own content but actively remixing content themselves. In that, Web 2.0 splendidly embodies Roland Barthes’s concept of the writerly text replacing the readerly text. Depending on your epistemological paradigm, the web has moved from the classical era to the modern era, or from the modern to the postmodern. But the jury is still out on Web 2.0’s consequence to social structures. In a response to an essay by danah boyd, I suggest that if Web 2.0 will lead to greater bonds between dispersed localities based on interest and lifestyle communities, it may well also lead to a greater disconnect between individuals in close physical proximity.


An account of location-based games multiple play

An account of location-based games multiple playA good read: Barkhuus, L., Chalmers, M., Tennent, P., Hall, M., Bell, M. and Brown, B. Picking Pockets on the Lawn: The Development of Tactics and Strategies in a Mobile Game. Proceedings of UbiComp 2005, Tokyo, Japan.
The paper tackles the issue of how the experience of multiple games changed they way users played with a […]
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