Monday, February 1, 2010

Social Constellation: online community application

Jamie Thompson

Just found this whilst researching for my competition brief. The theme and what Jamie Thompson has to say about online communities is very similar to my observations and the visualization of the subject similar to what i was proposing earlier in the brief.

Here's what he says:

"I am looking at how the feeling of loneliness or the disconnection between social groups in a city could be relieved if only slightly by an online community visualisation that presents no information about any of its users.

When something universally humorous happens in a public space, it momentarily changes your relationship to strangers around you, relieving the feeling of disconnection if only for a moment. However, your anonymity remains intact.

I am focussing on the romance tied up within the idea of particular cities and how this visualisation could utilise that romantic value in order to relieve disconnection. London is an ideal example of a city with a high romantic value to utilise.

Despite being surrounded by isolated examples of a busy city as we walk down the street or travel in a bus, we are never able to visualise it in its entirety. We certainly experience the feeling less when sitting in an office all day.

You log on when you wake up and keep it open on your desktop throughout the day. The idea is that you do not have to contribute anything other than logging on. However, there will be the option to contribute, but this will perhaps be limited to drawing within tight parameters to avoid any offensive misuse. The theme for the llustration could change periodically like google illustrations. For example it could be an ecosystem representation or an organic lifeform constructed of many particles represented by each user just as much as it could be the initial constellation metaphor used in this example.

The image above left is a still moment from a hacked version of an ecosystem application by Annie Spinster. I have been looking at how physical inputs can be incorporated into such an application using for example the light sensors in the user's Mac Book Pro which may isolate a particular type of user within the community.

The image above right is an early IP address mapping ecosystem that I was concepting with W Blutt. Here, the ecosystem substrate is the IP address activity, the mapped location of each dot is based upon the four sets of numbers present in an IP address. The growth of the ecosystem is dependent on the quantity of IP addresses which would act as substrate at the bottom level of growth. Therefore, parameters control the extent, but the ecosystem itself is organic which creates the interest, in a similar way to looking into a fish tank".

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