Affordances in Online Communication, part 2: New media

Interaction as action

I’ve used hammers and knobs and chairs as examples, so far, because they’re easy to understand for nearly everyone.

Burg Hohenzollern lion door handle (Rebecca Kennison). This lion affords knocking!

A sample conversation

People talking, probably telling stories. (David Nichols)

New media, new ways to interact

You wouldn’t expect to be able to privately speak to a thousand people at once; but a podcast can.

Flash Mob Classical Concert at Place des Nations Geneva, by the U.S. Mission Geneva / Eric Bridiers.

But what about online communication?

Online tools afford certain kinds of interaction, and it’s hard to realize what those are without investigating carefully. And each new medium is new, with new affordances and capabilities, and therefore new challenges; and newbies show up to each medium constantly.

References (partial)

Brennan, S. (1998) The Grounding Problem in Conversations With and Through Computers. In S. R. Fussell & R. J. Kreuz (Eds.), Social And Cognitive Psychological Approaches To Interpersonal Communication, pp. 201–225.

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Alex Feinman

Alex Feinman

Obligate infovore. All posts made with 100% recycled electrons, sustainably crafted by artisanal artisans. He/him/his.