On March 11, I will defend my PhD thesis ‘Mobility is the Message: Experiments with Mobile Media Sharing’! The official announcement is here, and you can already find the thesis here.
The thesis is comprised of 6 papers and 100 pages of new material that brings the 6 papers together. Find the abstract for the thesis below.
This thesis explores new mobile media sharing applications by building, deploying, and studying their use. While we share media in many different ways both on the web and on mobile phones, there are few ways of sharing media with people physically near us. Studied were three designed and built systems: Push!Music,Columbus, and Portrait Catalog, as well as a fourth commercially available system – Foursquare. This thesis offers four contributions: First, it explores the design space of co-present media sharing of four test systems. Second, through user studies of these systems it reports on how these come to be used. Third, it explores new ways of conducting trials as the technical mobile landscape has changed. Last, we look at how the technical solutions demonstrate different lines of thinking from how similar solutions might look today.
Through a Human-Computer Interaction methodology of design, build, and study, we look at systems through the eyes of embodied interaction and examine how the systems come to be in use. Using Goffman’s understanding of social order, we see how these mobile media sharing systems allow people to actively present themselves through these media. In turn, using McLuhan’s way of understanding media, we reflect on how these new systems enable a new type of medium distinct from the web centric media, and how this relates directly to mobility.
While media sharing is something that takes place everywhere in western society, it is still tied to the way media is shared through computers. Although often mobile, they do not consider the mobile settings. The systems in this thesis treat mobility as an opportunity for design. It is still left to see how this mobile media sharing will come to present itself in people’s everyday life, and when it does, how we will come to understand it and how it will transform society as a medium distinct from those before. This thesis gives a glimpse of what this future may look like.
I wrote a simple database library for rapid prototyping some time back, and decided to put it on github for anyone to use. It mainly takes away the need to setup a database structure before being able to save data on a server when writing simple web apps or other client apps.
Feel free to use and feel free to comment or send pull requests. The repo is here.
Great news for people who develop web sites using new on the edge web standards. Apple, Adobe, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia, and Opera have joined the W3C to launch a new web site on which up to date up-to-date and relevant information about HTML5, CSS3, and other standards of the web are presented, together with the status of their implementations for cross-browser considerations.
All talk about Steve Jobs can sometimes be quite tiring. It is however hard to dismiss his insight into the domain in which he was working. Here is a speech from 1983, in which it is clear that he had a firm grasp on what was about to come. He gets many things wrong, such as the idea of the hand held iPad kind of device within the 1980s (it took 20 more years). But it is extremely interesting to listen to many of the things he got right.
I especially like how he wants computers to beautiful and that industrial designers must pay attention to the computer industry to start working towards more beautiful artifacts, and more beautiful experiences. He says that these things (the computers) will inevitable be all around us, in our home and in our offices, and so we now (1983) have the time to make sure they are beautiful. Unfortunately the IBM desktops kind of took over for a long time and we had those gray boring things for a long long time. But I think we can see how that is changing with companies putting more efforts into doing beautiful devices (computers, mobile phones, tablets). If only they would have started doing that already in 1983…
I used to be active myself in what is called the demoscene. This year there was a demoparty, which means a weekend of people getting together, and compete with different art productions. This particular demoparty, called Datastorm, focuses on oldschool machines, particularly the Commodore 64 and the Amiga. The recommended way to experience these productions is on real hardware. But to make it more easy to consume, you can sometimes find them on youtube.
Here is the winning contribution by Fairlight. Note that this is made running in realtime on a Commodore 64. To remind you, the C64 has a CPU of 1MHz (or 0.001GHz) and 64kb of memory (about 0.064Mb or 0.000064Gb).
Alex Gibson is a talented web and mobile developer who shares my views on HTML5, mobile web development, and responsive design. In this post on his blog he gives a thorough run through of how he re-designed his web site. He went mobile first, responsive and explains, among other things, how he setup his media queries. Furthermore, he explains how he re-orders content of the page depending on the device, using CSS. The web page is pretty simple, but serves as a nice case study of a mobile first, reponsively web designed, HTML5 site.
Facebook wants to be the App Discovery channel. There is a technology side and a business side of apps. The technology side is about choosing platforms for which to build your app and user experience. Facebook do not want to be the ones picking the platform but rather support an experience for all. The business side is about App Discovery, how a brand and app developer can get their app to their users. This is where Facebook can help, by offering a channel where app developers can get their users to spread their apps to their friends through e.g. the New Feed.
I think there is a lot of interesting things in his views on this and we have been knowing that App Discovery is gonna be huge since me and Lars Erik went to AppNation last year. When there are a million apps out there, how are you going to make sure users find yours, and how are users gonna find the one for them? I think Facebook might be a great platform for that. I too believe a lot in serendipity (as can be seen in several of the projects I’ve done over the last years like Push!Photo), and like Bret Taylor says: “Social means serendipity.”. When combining this with his technology statement that “Making a social app is making an app ubiquitously accessible.”, then I think it is easy to see that HTML5 will play an important role in getting all of that together.