The Awareness Network: To Whom Should I Display My Actions? And, Whose Actions Should I Monitor?
The concept of awareness has come to play a central role in CSCW research. The coordinative practices of displaying and monitoring have received attention and have led to different venues of research, from computational tool support, such as media spaces and event propagation mechanisms, to ethnographic studies of work. However, these studies have overlooked a different aspect of awareness practices: the identification of the social actors who should be monitored and the actors to whom their actions should be displayed. The focus of this paper is on how social actors answer the following questions: to whom should I display my actions? And, whose actions should I monitor? Ethnographic data from two software development teams are used to answer these questions. In addition, we illustrate how software developers’ work practices are influenced by three different factors: the organizational setting, the age of the project, and the software architecture.