What's in a Name Tag?
The Business Value of Integrity, Openness, Vulnerability and Compassion

Object-centered Sociality: Digital Affordances in Physical Spaces

Jyri Engeström claims that the problem with some social networking services is that they focus solely on people and links, ignoring the objects of affinity that those linked people share.  He invokes the concept of "object-centered sociality" (borrowing from Karin Knorr Cetina) to explain how the inclusion of shared [digital] objects, such as photos, URLs, and events, can enhance online social networking.  Jyri's post was sparked by Russell Beattie's report of why he stopped using LinkedIn, which was largely due to Russell's assessment that it was not useful [to him].  It's worth noting that Russell suggests that if he were to rejoin LinkedIn, he would only link to friends he has met in the physical world.  If we combine this emphasis on the physical world with object-centered sociality, it highlights the value of presenting objects (or "affordances") that can catalyze social networking in physical spaces, e.g., using ordinary name tags or perhaps photos or other digital content shown on a large, peripheral display, or worn on a small, personal display ... topics discussed in my last post.

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