I'll be presenting a paper at Ubicomp 2010 that I co-wrote with Morgan Ames. We conceived of our paper, Global Discourses of Information: Questioning the Free Information Regime, when we were talking the common themes that we were both seeing in our fieldwork.
When we found out that our great friend (and my China researcher sidekick), Silvia Lindtner, was putting on a workshop (along with Irina Shklovski, Janet Vertesi, Paul Dourish) about the issues specific to technology design and research for transnational users or use contexts, we thought that would be a good place to begin thinking through some of our ideas that we had first discussed. Another cool thing that came out of this writing process was the launch of a new research blog that Morgan and I will be updating together, Info Peripeteia.
Here's the abstract from our paper (download paper here):
In three transnational case studies of ICT use, we unpack common social constructions of free information in the West: the market commoditization of information, the socially viral nature of information, the ethical role of information, and the physical (dis)embodiment of information. We connect these constructions under the ideology of “neo-informationalism” and explore sites of tension that this paradigm creates in global technosocial contexts. Finally, we discuss implications of this stance for ubiquitous computing and call for a reorientation on the contextualized, local, and sometimes messy present instead of an idealized global future.