O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference - March 3-6, 2006 - San Diego, CA
Conference Coverage


G/localization: When Global Information and Local Interaction Collide

danah boyd, Doctoral Candidate, School of Information, University of California-Berkeley

Date: Wednesday, March 08
Time: 2:35pm - 3:20pm
Location: Elizabeth Ballroom A

When the potential of the Internet was conceptualized, we envisioned a global village where people would connect with others across vast distances. Early developments in networked technology focused on information access and distribution. Yet, while people theoretically want access to all the world's knowledge and information, in practice, they only consume a mere fraction of it and focus heavily on that which is connected with pre-existing cultural values. Most people share and consume digital information with friends and family, not complete strangers. Their access may be global, but their focus is dominantly local.

What does this have to do with emerging technologies? From social networking services to tagging, podcasting to social bookmarks, previous conversations at ETech have circled around what it means to connect global information access with local social contexts. Personalization, open APIs, remix culture, and recommendation systems all have to do with a peculiar relationship between the global and local. Yet, how do we design for this? How do emergent technologies connect with social practices?

Boyd's talk focuses on the design implications resulting from the relationship between global information access and local social interaction. How can attention networks be incorporated into systems to bridge the global/local contexts? Why do bottom-up organization systems support global/local information needs? Why is personalization dependent on social clusters? How do open APIs, hacking, and remix help diverse cultures contextualize technology? How do game play and repurposing teach us about variable technological needs?


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