Special Issue "Social Transformations from the Mobile Internet"

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A special issue of Future Internet (ISSN 1999-5903).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Jason Farman

University of Maryland, College Park, Department of American Studies and the Program in Digital Cultures and Creativity, 1102 Holzapfel Hall, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: embodied space in digital environments; mobile technologies; pervasive computing; mapping and representations of space; performance studies; game studies; social media

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the first lines of Howard Rheingold’s seminal book on pervasive computing, Smart Mobs, he notes an observation he had in Japan that changed the way he thought about mobile technologies: “The first signs of the next shift began to reveal themselves to me on a spring afternoon. That was when I began to notice people on the streets of Tokyo staring at their mobile phones instead of talking to them” (2002, p. xi). This shift from using a mobile device as a voice communication medium toward usages that focus on data (specifically the “mobile Internet”) heralds the era of physical and pervasive computing culture. This culture is characterized by the ubiquity of the Internet, as it is woven into the fabric of daily life, typically so commonplace that we are often rarely aware of the extent of this integration. The effects of moving from a fixed-location Internet to a mobile Internet are far reaching. This special issue of Future Internet seeks to elaborate on the various cultural transformations brought about by the mobile Internet.

Possible topics of interest include:
  • the transformation of online spatiality
  • uses of the mobile Internet in the arts
  • confronting the digital divide with the mobile internet
  • site-specificity of information (and information visualization)
  • location-based social media
  • mobile mapping and representations of space
  • modes of embodiment across the mobile Internet
  • consequences of the move from voice to data on mobile phones
  • social research of the “Always-on/Always-on-you” internet
  • effects of the mobile internet on temporal experiences (work, leisure, the “in-between”)
  • the commodification of site-specificity with the mobile internet
  • the evolution of content in the age of mobile media

Kind regards,
Dr. Jason Farman
Guest Editor

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Introduction to the Social Transformations from the Mobile Internet Special Issue
Future Internet 2012, 4(2), 545-550; doi:10.3390/fi4020545
Received: 18 May 2012 / Accepted: 21 May 2012 / Published: 23 May 2012
PDF Full-text (113 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The social transformations brought about by the mobile internet are extensive. In discussing the broad range of these transformations—positioned as a shift from personal computing to pervasive computing—this editorial elaborates on the key contributions addressed by the articles in this special issue of
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The social transformations brought about by the mobile internet are extensive. In discussing the broad range of these transformations—positioned as a shift from personal computing to pervasive computing—this editorial elaborates on the key contributions addressed by the articles in this special issue of Future Internet. These articles touch on topics such as the digital divide, the role of the mobile internet in revolutions like the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movement, the development of site-specific and context-aware news, the incorporation of the internet into existing technologies like the automobile, and the utilization of the mobile internet to transform everyday spaces into game spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Transformations from the Mobile Internet)

Research

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Open AccessArticle Driving the Internet: Mobile Internets, Cars, and the Social
Future Internet 2012, 4(1), 306-321; doi:10.3390/fi4010306
Received: 22 December 2011 / Revised: 7 March 2012 / Accepted: 14 March 2012 / Published: 20 March 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (207 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper looks at the tandem technologies of cars and the Internet, and the new ways that they are assembling the social with the mobile Internet. My argument is two-fold: firstly, the advent of mobile Internet in cars brings together new, widely divergent
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This paper looks at the tandem technologies of cars and the Internet, and the new ways that they are assembling the social with the mobile Internet. My argument is two-fold: firstly, the advent of mobile Internet in cars brings together new, widely divergent trajectories of Internet; secondly, such developments have social implications that vary widely depending on whether or not we recognize the broader technological systems and infrastructures, media practices, flows, and mobilities in which vehicular mobile Internets are being created. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Transformations from the Mobile Internet)
Open AccessArticle Sensing the News: User Experiences when Reading Locative News
Future Internet 2012, 4(1), 161-178; doi:10.3390/fi4010161
Received: 24 November 2011 / Revised: 16 January 2012 / Accepted: 13 February 2012 / Published: 21 February 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (415 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article focuses on user experiences on reading location-aware news on the mobile platform and aims to explore what experiences this kind of locative journalism generates and how such experiences change the users’ social interaction with news. We produced a specially designed mobile
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This article focuses on user experiences on reading location-aware news on the mobile platform and aims to explore what experiences this kind of locative journalism generates and how such experiences change the users’ social interaction with news. We produced a specially designed mobile application and tailored news stories specific to this project called LocaNews in order to explore participants’ relation to the content in this journalistic format. The result is generated through a field study and a questionnaire of 32 people to find out how they experience the news presented in this format. The user participants’ responses are analyzed based on their news experiences, contextualizing places and their social interaction with the news within this form of journalism. Results showed that the local, semi-local and non-local user approaches the locative news in a different manner, but that the average user found this kind of news more interesting and more informative than ordinary news. The participants also have a problem identifying this as journalism, rather than an information service. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Transformations from the Mobile Internet)
Open AccessArticle The Player as Author: Exploring the Effects of Mobile Gaming and the Location-Aware Interface on Storytelling
Future Internet 2012, 4(1), 142-160; doi:10.3390/fi4010142
Received: 17 November 2011 / Revised: 1 February 2012 / Accepted: 13 February 2012 / Published: 17 February 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The mobile internet expands the immersive potential of storytelling by introducing electronic games powered by portable, location-aware interfaces. Mobile gaming has become the latest iteration in a decades-long evolution of electronic games that seek to empower the player not just as an avatar
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The mobile internet expands the immersive potential of storytelling by introducing electronic games powered by portable, location-aware interfaces. Mobile gaming has become the latest iteration in a decades-long evolution of electronic games that seek to empower the player not just as an avatar in a gameworld but also as a co-author of that gameworld, alongside the game’s original designers. Location-aware interfaces allow players to implicate places in the physical world as part of their gameworld (and vice versa) for the first time. In addition to empowering the player as a co-author in the process of constructing a compelling gameworld, then, mobile games eschew linear narrative structures in favor of a cooperative storytelling process that is reliant in part on the player’s experience of place. While such an author-player “worldmaking” approach to storytelling is not new, mobile games evolve the process beyond what has yet been possible within the technical and physical constraints of the traditional video gaming format. Location-aware interfaces allow mobile games to extend the worldmaking process beyond the screen and into the physical world, co-opting the player’s sensory experiences of real-world places as potential storytelling tools. In our essay, we theorize the unique storytelling potential of mobile games while describing our experience attempting to harness that potential through the design and implementation of our hybrid-reality game University of Death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Transformations from the Mobile Internet)
Open AccessArticle Mobile Phones Bridging the Digital Divide for Teens in the US?
Future Internet 2011, 3(2), 144-158; doi:10.3390/fi3020144
Received: 11 February 2011 / Revised: 17 March 2011 / Accepted: 3 May 2011 / Published: 13 May 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (308 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In 2009, just 27% of American teens with mobile phones reported using their devices to access the internet. However, teens from lower income families and minority teens were significantly more likely to use their phones to go online. Together, these surprising trends suggest
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In 2009, just 27% of American teens with mobile phones reported using their devices to access the internet. However, teens from lower income families and minority teens were significantly more likely to use their phones to go online. Together, these surprising trends suggest a potential narrowing of the digital divide, offering internet access to those without other means of going online. This is an important move, as, in today’s society, internet access is central to active citizenship in general and teen citizenship in particular. Yet the cost of this move toward equal access is absorbed by those who can least afford it: Teenagers from low income households. Using survey and focus group data from a national study of “Teens and Mobile Phone Use” (released by Pew and the University of Michigan in 2010), this article helps identify and explain this and other emergent trends for teen use (as well as non-use) of the internet through mobile phones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Transformations from the Mobile Internet)

Other

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Open AccessEssay When Atoms Meet Bits: Social Media, the Mobile Web and Augmented Revolution
Future Internet 2012, 4(1), 83-91; doi:10.3390/fi4010083
Received: 29 November 2011 / Revised: 12 January 2012 / Accepted: 18 January 2012 / Published: 23 January 2012
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (201 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rise of mobile phones and social media may come to be historically coupled with a growing atmosphere of dissent that is enveloping much of the globe. The Arab Spring, UK Riots, Occupy and many other protests and so-called “flash-mobs” are all massive
[...] Read more.
The rise of mobile phones and social media may come to be historically coupled with a growing atmosphere of dissent that is enveloping much of the globe. The Arab Spring, UK Riots, Occupy and many other protests and so-called “flash-mobs” are all massive gatherings of digitally-connected individuals in physical space; and they have recently become the new normal. The primary role of technology in producing this atmosphere has, in part, been to effectively link the on and the offline. The trend to view these as separate spaces, what I call “digital dualism”, is faulty. Instead, I argue that the digital and physical enmesh to form an “augmented reality”. Linking the power of the digital–creating and disseminating networked information–with the power of the physical–occupying geographic space with flesh-and-blood bodies–is an important part of why we have this current flammable atmosphere of augmented revolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Transformations from the Mobile Internet)

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