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It may not be what you are looking for, but we discuss ambient awareness in the conclusion of the Pew report on "Social Isolation and New Technology"
In the report, we argue that the finding of higher levels of network diversity found with users of certain social media is at least partially the result of ambient awareness. That is, social media may make your network more diverse, but the extra information pushed by members of your social network through social media (photo sharing, status updates, etc) also increases awareness of diversity that was likely always there. This is developed a little further in a paper we have under review that is based on the same Pew report.


 Keith N. Hampton 
 Assistant Professor 
 Annenberg School for Communication 
 University of Pennsylvania 
 3620 Walnut Street 
 Philadelphia, PA 19104 
 F: 215.898.2024 


Date:    Fri, 19 Feb 2010 08:30:00 +0100
From:    "Haenlein, Michael" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Ambient awareness

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Dear all,

I am looking for theories about "ambient awareness".

In his NYT article "Brave New World of Digital Intimacy" about social media=
, Clive Thompson wrote:

"In essence, Facebook users didn=92t think they wanted constant, up-to-the-=
minute updates on what other people are doing. Yet when they experienced th=
is sort of omnipresent knowledge, they found it intriguing and addictive. W=
hy? Social scientists have a name for this sort of incessant online contact=
. They call it =93ambient awareness.=94 It is, they say, very much like bei=
ng physically near someone and picking up on his mood through the little th=
ings he does =97 body language, sighs, stray comments =97 out of the corner=
 of your eye."

I have been looking for sociology theories explaining  "ambient awareness" =
but have trouble of identifying main sources to this subject. Are there any=
 seminal papers to this subject ? Are there any connected theories, any pap=
ers relevant for this subject?

Thanks very much in advance,


Michael Haenlein
Associate Professor of Marketing
ESCP Europe
Paris, France

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