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From Hyperlinks to Hyperties: Extending Goffman to Mobile Social Software

Hyperlinked Society
Hyperlinked Society

In my paper From Hyperlinks to Hyperties in  The Hyperlinked Society: Questioning Connections in the Digital Age (Joseph Turow and Lokman Tsui, Editors; which came from the symposium of the same name at Annenberg School of Communication in Philadelphia).  I propose one of the ways mobile devices and social software will change the nature of the “interaction order” is to create “hyperties” – here is the abstract of the paper:

A new form of hyperlink is emerging, the “hypertie,” which bridges the gap between links created in computational media and those authored in the physical world when people interact with one another and the objects around them. The hypertie is an innovation in the interaction order, the result of the merger of existing social practices of association with the technical affordances of mobile networked information systems and the existing hyperlink infrastructure. A new era in social life is arriving when the ties that bind people can be inscribed with decreasing effort into forms similar to the ways hyperlinks create connections between resources on the Internet and World Wide Web. New mobile devices represent a novel innovation in an otherwise slow-to-change realm of social interaction—face-to-face encounters. The result is a shift from a social world in which much is ephemeral to one in which even the most trivial of passings is archival.

The paper describes the ways soon to be available devices could change the ways people interact with one another.  This is part of the great shift of the Internet away from the desk towards many other nooks and crannies of the social world.

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