Like a Poke on Facebook Emergent Semantics in Location-Aware Social Network Services

Like a Poke on Facebook Emergent Semantics in Location-Aware Social Network Services

Anders Kofod-Petersen (Norwegian University of Science & Technology, Norway) and Rebekah Wegener (Macquarie University Sydney, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch315

Abstract

Location-aware social network services are set to be the next generation of social networking services. These services typically allow users to send and receive messages and icons. Iconic signs, which look like what they represent, may be said to have a commonly understood meaning attached to them. However, this is fluid, leaving them open to variation in meaning. More precise meanings are free to emerge within specific contexts and within particular social networks. Within this chapter the authors explore the semantics that emerge for three icons used within a location-aware social network service. Using Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), focus is given to the dominant speech function attached to each icon and the resultant meanings that emerge within social networks of the systems users. This study allows the authors to better understand how users interact with each other in smart spaces and utilise location information in social network services. By understanding how icons are used to engage others and how the meanings attached to these icons develop, the authors are better placed to create systems that fit naturally and beneficially into the users’ context.

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