3 February 2006

Swisscom ethnologist observes ecology of communication channels

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Are people “specialising” their use of different communication channels? Are there different usages for mobile, fix, e-mail, etc in terms of content, partners in the communication or habits? And are new channels affecting how other channels are used?

Bruno Giussani has a nice report on the LIFT06 presentation by Stefana Broadbent, an ethnologist working for Swisscom Innovations who has been studying the economical and social aspects of telecommunication.

With her team, she has observed and studied 200 people in Switzerland in their interaction with technology, interviewed them, collected maps and other information about the position of tech in their homes, timelines and usage schedules, communication logs. And, she says, what comes out of this is that people “are very good at choosing the best media for each situation”.

What would that be? “SMS is to tell you I miss you, Email is to organise our dinner, Voice is to say I’m late, and IM is to continue our conversation”, says Broadbent.

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Read similar story in French by Daniel Kaplan

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