On Many-to-Many, i was surprised to find an article discussing Eric Paulos and Elizabeth Goodman’s Familiar Stranger work in relation to my own contemplations. Anyone who knows me knows that i adore Milgram’s work and have always had a deep appreciation for his four page piece on The Familiar Stranger. I think that the familiar stranger is such a strong concept that is rarely discussed, and yet so relevant.
That said, i should tease out my use of Milgram’s ideas from what Intel is doing. Intel is truly looking at the physical space, how we relate to familiar strangers offline. A large part of what i’m curious about is how we use the digital space as a secondary context for relating to strangers. Do we become more curious to know who they are when we see them online and recognize them as an offline familiar stranger? What role do these people play in our social network? How do we negotiate their physical presence once we have observed them online?
That said, if you’re a researcher, you must read Milgram’s work on The Familiar Stranger (it’s all of four pages, one of which is a large picture).