Danah Boyd Notes from eTech: “G/localization: When Global Information and Local Interaction Collide”

"G/localization: When Global Information and Local Interaction Collide"

From the notes:

To get at this issue, i am going to begin by discussing the
significance of culture. I will move from there to talking about how
culture emerges in online communities and the various challenges that
exist. I will offer a framework for designing with culture in mind –
embedded observation. I will then back and and discuss some of the
issues that are currently at play in glocalized communities and why
technology solutions fail to solve the problems. Finally, i will
conclude with some broader design considerations.

I talked to Danah briefly after the presentation with a question.  My questions?

– "What if you aren’t trying to form or understand one community, but develop an application for multiple existing community with existing (not emerging) cultures?" 

Her response was that it is still fundamental to seek understanding of each community individually (ethnography).  I already knew that but was really hoping she had a magic bullet.  So Danah may be popular, but she apparently is mortal or at least unable to alter the time-space-continuum for organizations.  Damn.  Tell me it isn’t true!

Anyway, we can’t hire 175 ethnographers to study all of our clients organizations.  So transparency and visualization to help organizations understand themselves remains our focus from an ethnography perspective.