Going ‘digital’ means going social AND mobile

Too bad “digital initiatives” to some means “digitization”… in an era of social media and “the cloud , it has become much more than that.

Recent advances in social, mobile and cloud computing have created extraordinary opportunities for libraries, archives, and museums to share digital content. Mobile platforms such as the iPhone and iPad (as well as Google Android) offer on-the-go convenience (rather than location-bound desktop access) with high-speed network connectivity, cameras, maps, GPS and digital gadgets so that users can find their way back to the library via the cloud. The intersection of social media and library technologies enables new forms of digital interaction with content and librarians previously seen only in science fiction. (See WolfWalk project at NCSU)

“…developments in geo-technologies have precipitated the emergence of a new field of interactive media…entitled locative media [which] emphasizes the geographical context of media. [The question is how to] combine practices of locative media (experiential mapping and geo-spatial annotation) with aspects of online participatory culture (uploading, file-sharing and search categorization) to produce online applications that support geographically ‘located’ communities…” Hamilton, 2009

Locative media is a hot new trend in social media that allows you to tell people where you are (i.e. exact location in your city) and places you frequent by using a mobile or handheld phone. This location trend is linked to geo-tagging and Twitter (other “locative media”). The most popular location-based SNSs are Foursquare, Gowalla and Booyah “MyTown”.

At Foursquare, points are given to users for “checking in” and users can get their Twitter feeds and Facebook accounts updated as they check in to new venues. Foursquare recently enabled push-notification of updates — called “Pings.” Foursquare users earn badges by checking in at locations with certain tags in order to achieve high levels of check-in frequency. When a user checks-in to a venue more than anyone else on separate days and has a profile photo, they are crowned “Mayor” of that venue until someone else earns the title by checking in more times than anyone else. Gowalla and Booyah “MyTown” employ similar incentives for visiting a number of locations.

Popular location-based SNSs

Library-related applications

  • promotion and marketing
  • digital outreach
  • gaming


One thought on “Going ‘digital’ means going social AND mobile

  1. Thanks DG, for such an interesting post. Locative Media, augmented reality, smart objects, the 3D web . . . all of these things combine for Web 3.0. Interesting that augmented reality has become the hype of 2010, while smart objects was mentioned in Horizon Report 2010.

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