Tuesday Jan 16, 2007

Rich Presence

Years ago, at OMA we were looking at presence services. Now, a series of crude and ad-hoc solutions are taking form to enable rich presence. Solutions that enable contextual information create pathways to scaffolded intelligence as some AI experts have coined the trend. In an interview with IHT, a social information scientist describes the other side of the coin:
 

"I worry that people attribute too deep a meaning to raw information," said Danah Boyd, who researches social media at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

"An increased flow of information should not be confused with a deeper bond."

Boyd stressed that this also applied to other social media that gather large amounts of personal information, like blogs or digital photo accounts.

"The situation these technologies create is similar to what happens with Angelina Jolie or another celebrity," Boyd said. "Just because I know a lot about a person does not mean they will help me on a tough day."

An added risk for the location-announcing services is that people might find themselves unable to break away from following friends or old lovers, Boyd added.

"The problem is that people really, really love stalking," Boyd said. "When you have just ended a relationship, it is not necessarily healthy to follow the exact location of your ex- lover minute-by-minute on your phone."

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