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Social Interaction Design Research: Reading Notes

Reading Notes: Self Presentation

Summary: Communication research on the impact of the internet and communication technology on interpersonal communication and society. These sociological perspectives use human factors and communication theory to suggest design approaches to communication technology beyond computer mediated interaction and HCI design.

These reading notes were taken while researching source material and conceptual frameworks of potential use to social interaction design, an approach I'm developing for use in the development and design of social software, interaction tools, communication technologies and their applications.

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The concept of self-presentation goes a long way in covering the profiling and participation aspects of social software (sites like MySpace, Friendster, Facebook). It needs more precision: self-presentation during face to face social encounters doesn't map directly to self-presentation online. The asynchronicity of activities carried out without face to face involvements, and without the emotional handling of co-presence, substantially shifts and displaces the burdens, obligations, and joys of interaction negotiations from performance (interaction) to communication. Self presentation online is the production of an artifact, mask, or poster that stands in for us when we're not there as well as when we are there, and to which we relate as if to some kind of self promotion and advertisement intended to solicit interest from others.

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