Locative versus non locative social practices
In her short paper entitled Understanding Socio-locative Practices", Ingrid Erickson describes her research project, which aims at understanding the motivations behind and impacts of what she calls "new socio-locative practices: geotagging online photographs or microblogging using location-based presence cues. In particular, she focused on two recent social practices that have locative and non-locative components: photo sharing on Flickr (with and without geotags) and "broadcast microbloging" via Jaiku (locative) and Twitter (non-locative). Her objective is the following:
"to compare two sets of locative and non-locative practices to assess how, if at all, the introduction and use of locative information in social, digitally-mediated interactions is beginning to evoke new ways of relating among people and between individuals and place."
She then reports on a preliminary study she carried out, which aimed exploring the perceived difference between locative metadata attached to an object and to a person. To do so, she both interviewed industry representatives/researchers and users (experienced and non-experienced):
" Findings from the pilot study revealed that experienced subjects framed both practices as opportunities for broadcasting within a social context regardless of the prevailing rhetoric that normalized the use of social mapping applications primarily for finding others. "
She is now investigating the roles played by location in the broadcast practices of individuals within social interaction orders. She is contrasting the usage of Flickr between groups who use geotags and groups who don't, as well as comparing usages of Jaiku (locative) to Twitter (non-locative). Why do I blog this? Mauro and I approached that topic in our PhD research, although our research angle was more psychological than sociological. Look forward to read the results!