iPhones, coffee shops and peak earnings - update from CSMTC

Date: 28 August 2008

IAS Fellow, Professor Michael Hulme, gives this update on the recent work of the Centre for the Study of Media, Technology and Culture:

Major Research Studies

Mobile Access: A large UK based empirical study of the use and behavior with mobile devices. It explored the arrival of the iPhone, wifi networks, mobile broadband and the mobility of the laptop, location based services and accessing of social networks from mobile devices.

Social Networks: A large UK based empirical study exploring the growth in the use of social networks, inter generational uses and user generated content.

Current projects

Social Spaces: an examination of how people co-ordinate themselves and others in to 'mundane' social spaces, coffee bars, shopping etc, using new technologies, how they experience the space and how they record and share their experiences. This piece is both commercially funded and the subject of a funding council proposal.

User Generated Content: Editorship- Explores authority, power and trust from the perspective of the authority and editorship of user generated contents in both the personal and public domains. Funding council bid in preparation.

Papers written

Mo-Bonding: Beyond Communication- exploring the role of mobile phones in identity formation and the building and sustaining of weak and strong relationship bonds. Examines how rich 'tapestries' of contact are built combining differing communication forms, text, voice, photographs with sharing opportunities such as social networks, music and more informational contents.

The Hidden Importance of Peak Earnings: The paper examines data relating to when individuals achieve their peak earnings. It contrasts ONS recorded data with individuals perception of their own likely age of achieving peak earnings. It contributes to the pensions and savings debate by suggesting that by substantially ignoring peak earnings data and the inconsistency between actual data and public perception, an opportunity to make long term savings more 'meaningful' is being lost.

News website: http://www.socialfuturesobservatory.co.uk/index.htm


Further information

Associated departments and research centres: Institute for Advanced Studies