Exploring the Virtual in the Physical and the Physical in the Virtual

From The Theme
ADVANCED HUMAN COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES

WHAT IF?
What if we could examine how individuals experience and socially interact in physical places that are augmented with layers of digital information and in virtual places that are augmented with layers of physical information?



WHAT WE SET OUT TO DO
We set out to explore the role that location plays in the information sharing behavior of individuals using online social forums. The project compared information broadcasting practices that were non-locative (did not include formal geographical elements) with those that were locative (included formal geographic elements such as geotagging). At the same time, the project compared microbroadcasting, which emphasizes the location of the content producer, with online photo sharing, which highlights the location of the shared object. Data was comprised of artifact collection (N=5000+) from social media sites such as Twitter, Flickr and Jaiku, and interviews with 50 randomly selected individuals from the US and Europe.

WHAT WE FOUND
This research introduces the construct of “socio-locative” practice to scholarship surrounding media, social science and technology. Our research identified three different means of referencing location in individual information sharing practices online. These three socio-locative genres – “citizen and proxy microbroadcasting,” “documentary broadcasting” and “self in place broadcasting” – represent an emerging conceptualization of the relationship between identity and physical and virtual space.

PEOPLE BEHIND THE PROJECT
Diane Bailey is an Associate Professor in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin, where she studies technology and work in information and technical occupations. Her current research interests include engineering product design, remote occupational socialization, big data in healthcare, and ICT4D.

Ingrid Erickson is Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information. Her research focus is on information technology and organizational behavior, locative technologies and social media, and innovation and collaborative work practices.

TAGS
HCI, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Technology, Presence, Social media, Storytelling, Identity, Content