4.2 Social mechanisms in communication and collaboration
4.3 Technology-mediated social phenomena
Imagine going to school or work each day and sitting in a room alone with no distractions. At first, it might seem blissful. You'd be able to get on with your work. But what if you discovered you had no access to email, phones, the Internet, and other people? On top of that there is nowhere to get coffee. How long would you last? Probably not very long. Humans are inherently social: they live together, work together, learn together, play together, interact and talk with each other, and socialize. It seems only natural, therefore, to develop interactive systems that support and extend these different kinds of sociality.
There are many kinds of sociality and many ways of studying it. In this chapter our focus is on how people communicate and collaborate in their working and everyday lives. We examine how collaborative technologies (also called groupware) have been designed to support and extend communication and collaboration. We also look at the social factors that influence the success or failure of user adoption of such technologies. Finally, we describe the social phenomena that have emerged as a result of the use and appropriation of a diversity of web services, devices, and technologies, including the sharing of photos, the development of virtual friends, and the creation of different forms of social ...