“a complex construction that enables, first, a wide variety of experiences akin to (and possibly extending upon) our experiences of the natural world: things to see, touch, do, and otherwise sense; and second, a mechanism for interpreting and comprehending this experience, a syntax, putting it into a structure, a semantics, which assigns it meaning, and a pragmatics, that gives it a context and use”
Which makes my head hurt a little but which resonates well with Ulises’s comments in OSN05 (hence you have to login) that the wise thing to do is to steer away from social or technological deterministic ways and think instead of ‘affordances’:
“which Paul Dourish (based on Norman’s work) defines as a 3-way relationship between the environment, the actor, and the activity.” [he also points to this transcribed(!) discussion on the subject]
So, trying to conceptualise this myself I guess I’d contend that every ‘constructed’ online environment (in the sense of specific rather than generalised principles of design) I have participated in has been established with the following principles in mind:
-The ‘natural world’ Stephen refers to is able to be constructed within a bounded – in terms of space and ‘hackability’ – environment.
-The ‘mechanism’ he also brings up and which mediates the 3-way relationship described by Ulises is something that exists away from the individual, requiring remote / projected participation (as it is with person a, person b existing in quite a different, latticed relationship).
Again, I feel like blogs and RSS, or most certainly elements of these two practices and technologies in am enabled context, have a large role to play in approaching these environments and relationships anew (person b-esquely) but I want to read some more (especially Ulises Online Discourse and Distributed Textual Discourse and besides I’ve gotta get a podcasting blog up and running for tomorrow morning… eek.