Sunday, May 30, 2004

Social software in global cultures

Interesting post at Many to Many:

An interesting interview with Intel anthropologist Genevieve Bell challenges assumptions of technology in disparate cultures. “My hypothesis was that there was no variation, that there was a global middle class engaged in the same kinds of relationships with technology. It was a hypothesis that was rapidly disproved.” We have highlighted the use of social software to support third places, between work and home, by early adopters in the West, however:

One of the things that became clear in Asia, and is becoming true in the West, but we’re not really good at seeing it, is that people are using these technologies for those third activities. In Asia, it’s visible in the way people use mobile devices to support religious activities. The nicest example is people using their mobile phones to find Mecca. LGE, a Korean handset company, has produced a Mecca-finding handset with GPS technology in it. So it’s a tool of religious devotion. They anticipated selling 300 million units in the first couple years.

The world is turning into a Bruce Sterling novel.

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