Let’s do…

scenario: swim together small

Of what use is a well structured address book, as it will result from my master thesis research? We engage in a lot of our activities jointly with our friends; different cliques that form anew each time we start out for a new band to discover or quite stable teams for sports. Today, we have to collect all necessary addresses by hand or rely on static groups that we configured in advance before we can send a group email or SMS. A socially aware digital assistant (e.g. on our mobile phone) could keep track of our communication and would be able to make some good guesses about these groups and theire dynamic developments. For our activity planning we could use our address book group-oriented compared to individual-oriented.

scenario: emotional support small

It’s not only about actvity: Often in our daily lives, we face some unpleasing jobs to deliver or other problems. Support by our peers is very welcome in such situations. We don’t want to tell our problems to the whole world, however, or to the same group that we meet for, say, playing soccer like it is possible with twitter.
Henri ter Hofte and Ingrid Mulder from Telematica Instituut, Enschede, describe this kind of application in Dynamic Personal Social Networks as “they-centric dynamics”:

Dynamic context information about people in my personal social network can be displayed on my “social radar”.

Clive Thompson makes a very good statement in Wired with pointing out that a service like twitter can (will?) raise a lot more attention for the everyday life of (geographically) distant friends. He calls it

social proprioception

a kind of constant flow of information that aggregates over time to a bigger and more complex reflection of your social network’s state of mind. As with our “conventional”, not-so-distant social environment, however, we probably would like to define what to tell to whom within our groups. This way of dealing (sic!) with social and personal information has been an elaborated process to start or stop rumors since our days in school.

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