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CoCollage Digital Cities 6


Ambient Informatics in Urban Cafes, a CoCollage presentation at the Digital Cities 6 workshop - "Concepts, Methods and Systems of Urban Informatics" - at the 4th International Conference on …

Ambient Informatics in Urban Cafes, a CoCollage presentation at the Digital Cities 6 workshop - "Concepts, Methods and Systems of Urban Informatics" - at the 4th International Conference on Communities & Technologies (C&T 2009). Notes from the workshop can be found here: http://gumption.typepad.com/blog/2009/06/digital-cities-6.html

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  • Cafés often already have technology in them: many, if not most, cafés offer wireless Internet access. Unfortunately, many people use this WiFi access to “tunnel out” to their online communities while ignoring the physical community around them. James Katz, Professor of Communications at Rutgers University, had a great way of expressing this phenomenon in a recent article appearing in The Economist: “physically inhabited but psychologically evacuated”. Our goal is to counteract that tendency by designing social technology that reflects the richness of people’s online lives within the coffeehouse, offering a new proactive display application that enables people to share some of that richness with their neighbors in physical space.
  • http://gumption.typepad.com/blog/2008/08/the-community-collage-at-trabant-a-proactive-display-in-a-cafe.html http://www.google.com/search?q=community+collage http://www.trabantcoffee.com/ http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=7204859 http://flickr.com/photos/mikegregory/ http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=32308 http://thedaily.washington.edu/2006/4/21/eclectic-space/
  • http://interrelativity.com/joe http://gumption.typepad.com http://www.slideshare.net/gumption


  • 1. Ambient Informatics in Urban Cafés Joe McCarthy Principal Instigator Strands Labs Seattle
  • 2. Follow me on SlideShare http://www.slideshare.net/ gumption Pet peeve: No HTML in Slideshare descriptions (!) We can all follow each other! tag: cct2009 (and/or c&t2009) Use tag on other social media:
  • 3. Digital Cities, Inc. ?
    • Centralization, extraction, exploitation
    • Disconnection, division, distance
    • Individualism vs. collectivism
    • Spectators (spectacles) vs. participants
    • Top-down vs. bottom-up
    • Subjects  citizens  consumers
    • Place  property  mortgage  derivative investments
    We have met the corporation, and they is us. lifeincorporated.net
  • 4. Urban Cafés as Great, Good Places
    • The Great, Good Place: Cafés, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community
    • Ray Oldenburg, 1989
    • ‘ homes away from home’, where unrelated people relate
    • the full spectrum of local humanity
    • inclusive sociability
    • ease of association
  • 5. Promise of Third Places
    • Personal
      • Novelty
      • Perspective
      • Spiritual tonic
      • Friends by the set
    • Community
      • Political role
      • Habit of association
      • Agency of control and a force for good
      • Outposts on the public domain
  • 6. Perils of [technology in] Third Places Cyber-nomads are “ hollowing out ” cafés that offer WiFi, rendering them “ physically inhabited but psychologically evacuated” leaving people “ more isolated than they would be if the café were merely empty.” -- James E. Katz, Professor of Communications, Rutgers University
  • 7. Challenge: [how] can technology enhance community within cafés? Three observations … and a solution
  • 8. Maintaining Friendships through Online Social Media
    • ambient intimacy
      • “ being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to”
      • Leisa Reichert
      • http://www.disambiguity.com/ambient-intimacy/
      • http://www.slideshare.net/leisa/ambient-intimacy
    • continuous partial friendship
      • David Weinberger
      • http://www.hyperorg.com/backissues/joho-may04-07.html
  • 9. Situated Software
    • Clay Shirky, March 2004
      • Software designed in and for a particular social situation or context
      • NOT Web School: scalability, generality, and completeness
      • the application must be useful to the community; the community must be useful to the application
      • http://www.shirky.com/writings/situated_software.html
    • See also: “Communities, Audiences & Scale”
      • http://shirky.com/writings/community_scale.html
  • 10. Existing “technologies” for enhancing community in cafés
  • 11. What if we could …
    • Leverage the attributes of offline community “technologies”
      • Photos, art, sketches, quotes, flyers
    • Apply situated software design principles
      • Design for the context of a café
    • Bring the richness of online social networking into the physical spaces we share with others
      • Spark conversation & connection in the real world
      • Ambient intimacy in physical spaces
  • 12. The Strands Community Collage (CoCollage) A large computer display showing a collage of photos and quotes uploaded to a special web site by patrons and staff in a café or other community-oriented place.
  • 13. CoCollage features People Stuff (photos & quotes) Commenting, voting Uploading Messaging The big screen
  • 14. Sharing your stuff Facebook photos Quotes Flickr photos Photos from your computer Photos via email
  • 15. Conversations & Connections Comment, vote, flag Public & private messages Online Offline
  • 16. Initial deployment: Trabant Coffee
  • 17. A favorite photo
  • 18. Study 1
    • Good pace of adoption in first month
      • 82 out of an estimated 400 regulars joined CoCollage
    • Questionnaire results shows that people who
        • a) are looking to connect with others
        • b) already have a psychological sense of community at the café
        • c) already feel place attachment to the café,
      • are more likely to join CoCollage and start conversations
    • Psychological sense of community for place and place attachment are meaningful constructs in predicting adoption of a place-based community technology
    Measuring the Impact of Third Place Attachment on the Adoption of a Place-Based Community Technology Shelly D. Farnham, Joseph F. McCarthy, Yagnesh Patel, Sameer Ahuja, Daniel Norman, William R. Hazlewood, Josh Lind Proc. of the 27th Int'l. Conf on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2009) , 2153 - 2156.
  • 19. Study 2 Survey: To what extent did CoCollage increase … * Interactions in café Sense of community in café
      • * on scale of 1 to 7, where 1 = “not at all” and 7 = “extremely so”
    (81% > 1) (95% > 1) Supporting Community in Third Places with Situated Social Software Joseph F. McCarthy, Shelly D. Farnham, Yogi Patel, Sameer Ahuja, Daniel Norman, William R. Hazlewood & Josh Lind To appear in International Conference on Communities & Technologies (C&T 2009)
  • 20. CoCollage partners, Q1 2009
  • 21. Potential Discussion Topics
    • Interaction / engagement
      • With vs. through technology
      • [at|dis]traction
    • Mobile vs. Situated
      • Personal Space
      • Shared Place
    • Contributors vs. Lurkers
      • Who is a “user”?
      • Post, comment, vote, view
  • 22. Thanks!
    • For more information:
      • mccarthy AT strands DOT com
      • http://cocollage.com
      • http://gumption.typepad.com
      • http://www.slideshare.net/gumption
    Yogi Patel Tech Lead Shelly Farnham Research Consultant Joe McCarthy Principal Instigator Josh Lind Designer / Developer Dan Norman Design Lead Sameer Ahuja (former intern) Richie Hazlewood (former intern) Tyler Phillipi Bus Dev Manager