Posts Tagged ‘research’
Vol 18, no 3, August 2012
Special Issue on Locative Media
Guest editor: Rowan Wilken, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Please send all proposals and completed articles to Rowan Wilken
Deadlines for refereed research articles: 20 August 2011
All contributors must read the Convergence Instructions to authors before submission
Questions of location and location-awareness are becoming increasingly central to our contemporary engagements with the internet and mobile media. Information, as Malcolm McCullough has suggested, ‘is now coming to you … wherever you are’ and ‘is increasingly about where you are’. Indeed, locative media services are now well-established and booming commercially, with consumers accustomed to using sat nav devices in their cars, Google maps on desktop and laptop computers and mobile devices, geoweb and geotagging and other mapping applications, and various apps on iPhones and smartphones that use location technologies.
The growth and increased ubiquity of these technologies has been accompanied by an emerging critical scholarship. Much of this work to date, especially the early work, has been centred on various creative explorations around locative media, especially coming out of experimental art and cultural movements. This work has made important contributions to critical understanding of developments in and uses of location-based technologies. What is missing from much existing scholarship in this field is a coherent and systematic account of the various location-based services as media, and which details in depth their cultural-economic dimensions. Given the growing ubiquity of locative media, the questions regarding this field that have not thus been addressed in the media and communications literature are crucial and concern the constitution, function, and effects of locative media culture: how location-based services are culturally and economically shaped, how they have been regulated (or not), and what are the implications for broader understandings of media and technology.
This special ‘Locative Media’ issue of Convergence seeks contributions that will address this gap in scholarship on this increasingly persuasive suite of information and communications technologies. Contributions to this special issue may wish to explore:
- the usefulness (or otherwise) of established political economy of the media approaches for examinations of locative media
- to what extent do locative media complicate existing regulatory regimes?
- locative media and privacy considerations
- locative media and the ‘spatial turn’ in media studies
- location-based mobile social networking (Facebook Places, Google Latitude, Gowalla, Foursquare, Loopt, etc.)
- the performance of identity through consumer engagement with locative media services
- analysis of the ‘points’ systems of location-based mobile social networking services (eg. Foursquare)
- the socio-technical conditions under which locative media technologies emerge
- tracing the ‘crisis identities’ (Gitelman) associated with the development of specific locative media technologies (such as GPS, Bluetooth, QR codes, RFID tags, geotagging, etc)
- phenomenological engagements with locative media services: do these differ from our engagements with other forms of mobile media?
- If ‘pure geographical location is rarely of users’ interest’ (Ilkka Arminen), what, then, is driving the take-up and consumption of location-based media services?
Every year there is an intercultural festival called Crossing Cultures. It offered by two faculties, Economy & Society – our neighbors – and our ‘s, Communication and Journalism. Our research group was asked to conduct a workshop and I took the task upon me, along with my graduates Niniane Veldhoen and Matthijs Rotte. They are researching mentalities and are progressing significantly. Although we only had six participants – women only – the feedback was good and we have learned a lot. Our aim was to test our research tools that we will use when we go public and ask approximately 300 people (as a first batch) to participate in our research.
After having introduced the topic ‘Go Mental’, we went to work. First of all, the participants had to rank a list of 25 statements that touch mentalities. Niniane and Matthijs put the results in an Excel sheet. Quite an amazing outcome. The mental attitude of the female colleagues ranked high in the desire to be independent and low on wanting to be rich.
The second exercise focused on the participants’ individual mapping of their mentality(ies) by means of six contradictory statements on a gliding scale. Although the participants enjoyed the exercise, we understood that the contents of the tool needs refinement. No problem. I am happy we have tested it.
The third little exercise went as follows. We used the same gliding scale and statements but now showed three times three brands. The workshoppers now had to determine the ‘mentalities’ of those brands.
If As I said, the feedback right after the workshop was very well. People really liked the topic and were interested in our research. May 22, all students working with the research group will present their work to the regular members of the group. After this meeting, I will post extensively about our mentality project. Meanwhile, I’ll keep you posted with bits of info.
I would really like to thank Niniane and Matthijs for their good work and commitment.
Last Thursday, Dr. Harry van Vliet, lector with the Research Group Crossmedia Content of our faculty was inaugurated and gave his ‘public lesson’ (maiden speech) ‘Idola of the Crossmedia’. Finally, our research group is now official and, along with my colleague research fellows, I congratulate Harry with his appointment. Here is a brief excerpt of his speech.
The possibilities to consume information have expanded considerably over the last few years. The Internet and mobile phones are the best examples. More and more, different media are used next to each other. The same television show can be seen on television, via the Internet and on your cell phone. This phenomenon we call crossmedia. The Research Group’s assignment is to put into practice new insights in the field of crossmedia. It is a broad field mainly because digitization has a fundamental impact in many sectors. The research group – as part of the Lecturate (readership) of crossmedia – chooses four fields of coverage: media, cultural heritage, e-learning and marketing. Besides this, there are three more generic questions that are leading in our research: the question of the added value of crossmedia, the question of user experience in crossmedia and the question of crossmedia literacy. The research group conducts research on the tangent place of the application areas and the generic research questions with a direct line to education.
If you are interested in the research group, please visit http://www.crossmedialab.nl/. We’d appreciate your input (sit on-line since 10 January 2008. (picture by Jan Willem Groen)