Friday, 27 January 2012

Social Media

Today we had  Dr Avram Gabriela and were discussing social media, the concepts, application and impact. A good web site to explore these ideas is at the website. There is a good video that interviews Tom Erickson who is an Interaction designer for IBM. Tom talks about the ways in which as a society we interact with one another and the many different levels in which we do this and how this needs be taken into consideration when designing.

The primary goal for social computing is to create online applications or places  that will have some elements of the real world included in them.  The general term is about a group of people, collectively computing something like the price, auction or adding to Wikipedia, collectively bidding etc. Social media is more about people having a rich communication between one another whereas social computing like ebay has not a rich communication like in bidding or other sites. 

This brings us to the notion of the web 2.0 which is about the development of web based communities and hosted services such as social networks and wiki’s which allow communication and coloration between many users. The term refers to the way users are changing the use of the world wide web. On this last note I came across an interesting video were Clay Shirky speaks out against social networking, in particular FaceBook. He talks about were to draw the line between personal and public on line and how our privacy in many ways is being invaded.

Finally today I was trying to clarify what Interactive media is to me so that I can better understand my design approach to my research area. I feel that interaction to me is the ability for a person to engage and express themselves with another person or an object however interactive media involves the same engagment but with the support of existing technology to enhace the interaction process in an easier and more enjoyabe experience.

An example of ways in which an interactive approach using computers is used whithin  therapy  is the use of Google SketchUp with children who may have autism. Advancment in technology/software has enabled interaction to become easier to facilate those who might find self expression and interaction difficult.

From Cathy Malchiodi’s research I found that Sketch-Up has been more successful in aiding children with autism than using the traditional approach. She stated that,

 “The results of Sketch-Up impress me because they not only underscore that people with autism tend to respond through visual and/or spatial intelligence, but also that using a computer drawing program is actually much more gratifying than a pencil on paper for most participants.”

This I feel underpins my original idea about interactive media that it is taking our interactions and ways of expressing to newer levels of interactivity using technology to enhance the interaction process and make it become a more enjoyable experience.

Finally I have just updated my video diary which can be followed on my student video diary blog page. I will also link the video to this page as part of my daily posting however for the extensive archive of videos please view my video blog page.