“In relation to mapping, digital registrations/behavior could be viewed as an additional layer. Taking your data and adding it to analog registrations of human behavior (either your own or the PSPL) would be an interesting way to illuminate the effects of social media on human behavior.” – Janne Bjørsted, Gehl Architects
Today we took on cracking a big theoretical nut - the engine for SoLoMo.
The 4 Elements of the Mirror World in Urban Informatics. My working theory is that the Mobility Turn feeds the Participatory Turn, which in exchange is received by Local Relevance and Social Relevance.
Thesis writing is still a pain, but I love it when worlds collide! (at Department of IT Management)
#solomo #social #local #mobile #mirrorworlds #urbaninformatics #relevance #socialmedia #facebook
These four elements serve as a catalyst to actions in the real world and sending them as signals to be received and reciprocated in the online world.
SoLoMo, or (social + location + mobile), is often defined as mobile phone apps that combine social networking and location data.
However SoLoMo is not only shiney new apps. SoLoMo also represents a combination of technologies such as social computing, mobile hardware and information retreival, just to name a few. This powerful convergence has recently become one of the most innovative sources for new business models for geolocated services, means of communication, serendipidous interaction. As this paper intends to demonstrate, it can also serve as a valuable means of interpreting the digital reflection of the physical world.
This concomitant convergence refers to the deployment of mobile applications in order to intertwine the online social world of the users with the local physical contexts and services of organizations. - Ravi Vatrapu (UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL BUSINESS Computational Social Science Laboratory (CSSL) Department of IT Management Copenhagen Business School)
The term was first coined by noted Silicon Valley investor John Doerr, according to Information Week (“Google Defines Social Strategy,” InformationWeek, May 6, 2011). It was first cited in 2004 by Tony Gentile who wrote about Social Local Mobile Search, before publishing an article for buzzhit! in 2005, entitled “Google buys Dodgeball; SoLoMo gets a parent” (“Google buys Dodgeball; SoLoMo gets a parent,” buzzhit!, May 12, 2005).
In 2011 Nielsen created an infographic to show the importance of SoLoMo and explain why it was driving such a large portion of the conversation about online opportunities. This segment of their statistics shows just how much social technologies have infiltrated usage of physical realms and the digital realms within the mobile phone. - http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2011/infographic-the-most-valuable-digital-consumers.html
SoLoMo become a buzzword by 2011 as startups such as Groupon and Foursquare emerged, and giants such as Google and Foursquare began seeing the future with mobile and local lenses. At which point, Ben Schott explained in the New York Times that the reason SoLoMo “matters” is that it is so ubiquitously a part of our lives from the mobile phone in our pocket and it doesn’t make sense on the desktop in “the same way steering columns didn’t fit 19th century horse-drawn carriages. It’s the platypus of the mobile app ecosystem.”
“…It’s taking form in local discovery. This shuns the search paradigm that ruled the desktop web in favor of pushing things to you. Deals, suggestions or events are pushed based on your check-ins or social activity as you wander across different tiles of the Earth.” - Ben Schott (The New York Times, Feb 22, 2011, 12:47 PM SoLoMo - Portmanteau term for the meeting of Social, Local and Mobile media).
The enablement that mobile phone applications bring to people in terms of local discovery, online social interaction, and as our data shows, providing feedback about public spaces on location.
The “Local layer” is by and large seen as the foundation, and everything physical that can be geolocated by mobile phones. However this research also views the local layer in how it can provide new sources of Open Data, Big Data and sensor dat from the Internet of Things. The Local layer thus serves a dual role as both an enabling part of the techonlogical mix, and as a representation of the physical world itself, which social and local technologies can reflect.
These three technologies are examined in this report as three layers of valuable information and technology. Our report will show that they are colliding in many different combinations (LoMo, SoLo, etc). Most importantly we see these as three combined layers on the digital map of a city, and three combined lenses for which to analyze how humans interact and appreciate the urban landscape.
The FB 15 seeks to answer which world cities are better than NYC?
Mercer Consulting have used New York City as the benchmark (100) in their index of world cities Quality of Living Ranking.
Our analysis leverages Facebook activity to refine the Mercer Quality of Living Index by first filtering social data to find the cities where people have checked in the most, and then cross referenced these with Mercer’s Top 50 ranking.
The global affinity (measured in Facebook likes) is then used to rank the cities that surpass the benchmark of 100 from Mercer’s number crunching of economic and social statistics in the real world.
The resulting list is our own FB 15 index of cities by the number of Likes they have received. Nine of them hail from Europe, five from North America, along with one from Australia. The group of 15 are then displayed on a bubble chart with the size of physical check-ins to those cities displayed as the size of each bubble.
Suck it up, NYC. You may have been way more popular on Facebook with 11,219,361 likes, but these cities are better than your benchmark of 100 according to Mercer consulting, while Paris and London both have more check-ins on Facebook.
Exploring the spatial distribution of people in the same group in the city
We know that with homophily, ‘birds of feather flock together’ in cafes, shops and public places. But are you in a majority in the neighborhood in which you live, or a minority? French data visualisation specialists Dataveyes have created an interactive map of the city (Rennes) to see similar people live and in which part of town. The city’s demographic breakdown is mapped for you as a resident and your personal manipulation by first selecting sex and age before playing with layers based on employment status, profession or marital status. Since many people move to cities to interact with people, this kind of exploration is liberating.
One can also slice data on the map for the city’s composition at household-level and type of accommodation.
Human Proximity & Positivity - Community managers can grasp several parallels to online relationships that people have over social media.
In his seminal work on the physical public space, “Life Between Buildings”, Jan Gehl seizes several concrete metrics that may serve as clues from the physical social space back into the online social space.
One of Gehl’s original metrics measured the city square, noting 100 meters as the limit to which the world’s best squares have been designed (in Rome, Siena etc) to facilitate human interaction. This is because after 100 meters, one can no longer see a person clearly with the human eye since figures that can be seen at a greater distance become recognizable as “human individuals”. Designs of larger squares ignore the “Human Scale” that underlines Gehl’s philosophies. Likewise, community manager’s of company Facebook pages often struggle when they fail to clearly define their space (and company role within the relationship) for interaction with fans who frequent and inhabit their online page. This is again why community manager must help the company understand who their customers are and who they themselves are in the eyes of their online fans. They must furthermore clarify the nature of their fanpage as a public space online, by delineating whether the page is designed to be My Space, Your Space or Our Space. Like with physical spaces, the latter is often preferred when trying to facilitate a blossoming relationship with people. Community managers who lock down their page to only allow admin posts are not inherently promoting usership of space.
Happy Closeness - Gehl maintains that from 70-100 meters away on a deserted beach, one can determine what people are doing, their sex, approximate age. This corresponds to the periphery of a soccer stadium to the center of a field for enjoyment of the ‘beautiful game’. Yet in the theatre you need the 30-35 meter distance to appreciate facial expressions, and to enjoy exaggerations movements and makeup. (Photo: Chris Zimmerman, Siena 2007)
Returning to the city square, social proximity has the opportunity to be tightened when two people are encouraged to be closer to one another by design. As previously mentioned, Gehl’s observations of physical publics describe the benefits of shortening distances to facilitate positive interaction by appreciating human features that are enhanced in the 70+, 30+, and 20+ meter range, all the way down to when humans are 3 meters apart, where you can have a normal conversation while appreciating the details of a person’s appearance.
Likewise the richness of the message from community managers could strive to become more visual, encouraging greater interaction. Social media analysis has shown that indeed visual media posts provide more sensory experience and thus enjoy greater engagement in the form of likes, comments and shares from fans and the extended public (friends of fans).
Thus a clearly defined space, combined with closer visual interaction facilitates positive behavior, and by extension quality of life. Gehl would argue that a well-designed physical space, facilitates interactions and maximizes the provision of opportunities to interact with others. The Facebook environment is no different and the Facebook design team have engineered an environment that is highly, visual, facilitates sharing of experiences, and attempts to maximize the connectivity between people you know or “people you may know”. These are all in the interest of the company, as Facebook’s value only increases with more users, and more content that users are willing to share over their social medium as a business. However the design environment of the Facebook experience also facilitates positive human interaction, rather than negative behavior.
It may be important when promoting advocacy to disentangle the way in which positivity relates to the online community. The English word “community” is a powerful term that generally has positive connotations. Research from offline social networks has shown that people who are surrounded by happy people are more likely to become happy too (Christakis, 2008). It is possible that infectious positivity could exist in online communities as well. Facebook have in fact rigged the sentiment architecture so to speak, by only allowing a “like” button to easily voice agreement. Likewise, the case company examined here has taken a strategic decision to introduce comments to their web shop, but only at the clothing brand’s landing page, and not within individual products. Nonetheless, infectious positivity may not spread as readily through social media, due to a greater proportion of weak ties, and a lack of physical proximity.
Negativity and rudeness on the other hand may be more suited when subjects are distanced by computer terminals. A lesser known finding from Stanley Milgram’s behavioral studies of obedience was that his subjects who administered shocks did so with varying degrees of proximity to the victim, who was either: in a separate room, in an adjoining room, though a pane of glass, or sitting at the same table. Milgram found that punishment decreased as distance and anonymity diminished (Milgram, 1963). This may also be the case online and could perhaps explain some users tendencies for negative endorsements, rudeness, or even cyber bullying. Take for example one negative and distant proximity situation from the community manager of a Danish online clothing retailer, Småhjerter. When his company’s Facebook page itself has had similar experiences, some disgruntled customers were re-directed to telephone conversations, and their angry moods became far more convivial, according to the Småhjerter community manager.
Be they facilitating positive or negative behavior, these social media and physical publics have well and truly converged as The Economist maintains in it’s report: objects in online games cost real money and “cyberbullying” is just bullying and “what happens online does not stay online”. Yet crafting a space that promotes close proximity for human interaction may help in both public worlds. (“A Sense of Place”, The Economist - October 27th, 2012).