What's Your Social Doing In My Mobile? Design Patterns for Mobile Social Software
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Making "mobile software" into Mobile Social Software suggests that social beings assume an explicit role in the untethered, software-based experience. If we borrow from the idiom of Social Software, we can say that Mobile Social Software are techniques for articulating social practices that create, maintain and manage networks of relationships amongst people and encourage the circulation of culture in untethered, networked-based usage contexts. The design challenge for such techniques is to avoid prioritizing instrumental aspects of mobile terminal devices over the actual social practice that software attempts to facilitate. I suggest herein that this challenge can be addressed by moving to the foreground specific practice idioms as frameworks for design prototypes, avenues for research and development, and contexts for study and theory objects. This design approach is described as a point of view on Mobile Social Software, along with an explication of this perspective through a taxonomy of Mobile Social Software design idioms — Spatial Annotation, Proximity Interaction, and Presence Awareness.