Untangling the Mess of Technological Artifacts: Investigating Community Artifact Ecologies
ACM Press, New York
Everyday communities seem to juggle their technology use largely through the contributions and knowledge brought by its members. This contrasts with work settings where there is a greater focus on strategic choices to acquire new technologies and competencies. We focus on how artifact ecologies are shaped in community settings by personal and community relationships, and on the methodological possibilities of understanding these communities for the purpose of design, and making informed technology choices in communities. We applied interview and visual mapping methods, before undertaking a 'remapping' process as part of our data analysis, thus contributing methodologically to the investigation of artifact ecologies at large and community artifact ecologies in particular. Theoretically, we extend the understanding of dynamics in artifact ecologies and highlight the ways these dynamics are shaped by the social interactions taking place, around technological artifacts, in everyday situations.