The Psychology of Location-Based Networking
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The Psychology of Location-Based Networking



Slide deck used to introduce university students to elements of psychology lurking inside selected location-based social networks.

Slide deck used to introduce university students to elements of psychology lurking inside selected location-based social networks.



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  • Ref: 10m members
  • Ref: 800m active members
  • Ref: 10m users, 3m active
  • Very limited geographical roll-out. Ref:
  • Ref: Wikipedia. More than 50m monthly UV, 20m members and over 50m reviews.
  • ASA investigation launched. TripAdvisor replaced its tagline.
  • Most popular photo-sharing service on iOS.
  • Ref: 150m images from 20m users
  • Ref: 51 million registered members and 80 million unique visitors.
  • App isn’t preferred by hipsters.
  • 250,000 downloads for an estimated 8m users
  • Ref: G+ has 62 million members, according to Bloomberg, and it's growing by 625,000 every single day.
  • Vibrant G+ photo community plus easy access to G+ photo albums.
  • Refs:
  • influence
  • National Academy of Science. Lewis, Gonzales, Kaufman, 2012.
  • Portes, A. (1998).  Social Capital: its origins and applications in modern sociology  Annual Review of Sociology, 24, 1-24. Putnam, Robert. (2000), "Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community" (Simon and Schuster).

The Psychology of Location-Based Networking The Psychology of Location-Based Networking Presentation Transcript

  • The psychology of location-based services By Bernie @topgold Goldbach
  • Play Spaces
    • Foursquare
    • Facebook
    • Google
    • TripAdvisor
    • Instagram/PicPlz/Flickr
  • Psychology
    • Operant conditioning
    • Influence
    • Public profile
    • Social capital
  • Foursquare
  • Foursquare Badges
  • Facebook
  • FB Checkin
  • Google Latitude
  • Google Offers
  • TripAdvisor
  • TripAdvisor Cred
  • Instagram
  • Instagram Community
  • Flickr
  • Flickr App
  • PicPlz
  • Picplz Android App
  • Google Plus
  • G+ Photos
  • Psychology of Operant Conditioning
    • Conditioning in which an operant response is brought under stimulus control by virtue of presenting reinforcement contingent upon the occurrence of the operant response”
  • Learned Behaviour
    • a form of  learning  during which an individual modifies the occurrence and form of its own  behavior  due to the  association  of the behavior with a  stimulus ”
  • Unconscious Behaviour
    • An unconscious form of learning in which a behavior is linked to a specific stimulus through a process of reinforcement.”
  • Thorndike’s Law
    • Psychologist Edward Thorndike said in 1911 that responses become more frequent if followed by satisfying consequences but less frequent if followed by aversive consequences.”
  • Peer Influence
    • Social  influence  takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization,  peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales, and marketing” and in-app behaviour.
  • Making Social Spaces
    • … <insert socnet> is a great tool for meeting people. I can check the stream of people I followed, but hadn’t met, to see if anyone was nearby.”
    • When I check into a place, I can see if anyone else is there, even if I don’t know them, and say hello!”
  • Influence
    • Students who share certain tastes in music and in movies, but not in books, are significantly likely to befriend one another. “
    • … little evidence for the diffusion of tastes among Facebook friends.”
    • … to shed light on the mechanisms responsible for observed network homogeneity and to provide a statistically rigorous assessment of the coevolution of cultural tastes and social relationships.”
  • Profile
    •   Our friendships and professional connections have moved  online , making influence measurable for the first time in history.”
  • Enhancing Profile
    • Raw numbers
    • Ripples, retweets, favs
    • Influence score
    • List membership
    • Upvotes and likes
    • Probably not badges
  • Social Capital
    •   Connections within and between social networks.”
  • Real Social Capital
    • Cooperation.
    • Collective results.
    • The fruit of social relations, consisting of the expectative benefits derived from the preferential treatment and cooperation between individuals and groups.”
  • Your Pocket Media Culture
    • You are where you check in.
    • You are where you lurk.
    • You become what you watch.
    • Use these socnets and you’re assimilated.
  • Follow? And comment?
    • Find me @topgold in many familiar places.
    • Read my blog for more:
    • Listen:
    • View:
  • #LITgd
    • Part of the Games Development curriculum at