Most people know that I study social network sites. Most people do not know that I’ve been tracking emergent mobile social practices. Or rather, waiting and watching. We all know about talking and texting, but to take the mobile to the next level, we need to develop applications that allow for social interaction at a mobile level. The problem is that there are huge barriers that make this darn near impossible. It’s not all about the carriers, but well, they do deserve a lot of the blame. More on that topic shortly…
As with my other research endeavors, I like to blog my observations and thoughts (otherwise known as blowing off steam). Luckily, as I was starting to put together some of my notes about what I wanted to say about mobile social youth practices, along came an opportunity. Blyk – a U.K.-based mobile network for the 16-24 market – has asked me and other researchers to blog about the intersection between mobile, youth, and consumer practices at a site called Shift6.net.
Shift6.net is an “open brand” lab project by the creators of Blyk. Just as “shift 6” equals “insert here” on your keyboard, Shift6.net is meant to pool ideas about what’s going on in a collaborative and productive way that is transparent and available to anyone who is interested in these issues. I am honored to get to blog alongside Alison Black (psychologist extrodinaire) and Inma Martinez (humanizer of technology), two researchers who are dedicated to understanding what it is that people actually do, as well as Marko Ahtisaari, one of the troublemakers behind Blyk who used to head design strategy at Nokia. I think that having this group blog will allow me to articulate what I’m observing in the mobile space in a collaborative and productive manner. And maybe make it useful to others.
I will cross-post many of my posts, but not all. So… if you are interested in mobile + youth + consumer practices, I recommend you add the Shift6.net feed to your reader. Besides, you wouldn’t want to miss any posts from the other esteemed bloggers. We’re just getting this project rolling, but expect to see a post per day or so on Shift6.net. In the meantime, if you want to know more about why I’m invested in this project, I recommend checking out my first Shift6.net post: Changing the Rules for Mobile.
(PS: This also means that I will not stop blogging during my dissertation; blogging about mobile-social-youth will be a nice break for me as I write about American teens and publics.)