Lo-Fi Matchmaking: A Study of Social Pairing for Backpackers

Axup, Jeff and Viller, Stephen (2006) Lo-Fi Matchmaking: A Study of Social Pairing for Backpackers. Technical Report No. 463, School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, The University of Queensland.

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Author Axup, Jeff
Viller, Stephen
Title Lo-Fi Matchmaking: A Study of Social Pairing for Backpackers
School, Department or Centre School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering
Institution The University of Queensland
Open Access Status Other
Report Number No. 463
Series Technical Report
Publication date 2006-05-01
Subject 280104 Computer-Human Interaction
Abstract/Summary There is a new world emerging around mobile social networks and the technologies used to facilitate and mediate them. It is technically feasible for mobile social software such as pairing or matchmaking systems to introduce people to others and assist information exchange. However, little is known about the social structure of many mobile communities or why they would want pairing systems. When these systems are built, it is not clear what the social response by those communities will be or what the systems will be like to use in practice. While engaged in other work determining requirements for a mobile travel assistant we saw a potentially useful application for a pairing system to facilitate the exchange of travel information between backpackers. To explore this area, we designed two studies involving usage of a low-fidelity role prototype of a social pairing system for backpackers. Graphs of the resulting social pairings showed backpackers who were hubs in the network of travel information. It also demonstrated the effect of travel direction on information utility. Backpackers rated the utility of different pairing types, and provided feedback on the social implications of being paired based on travel histories. Practical usage of the social network pairing activity and the implications of broader societal usage are discussed.
Keyword low-fidelity
pairing systems
social software
social networks

Document type: Department Technical Report
Collection: School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering Publications
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Created: Fri, 26 May 2006, 10:00:00 EST by Jeff Axup