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Locating yourself on the semantic Earth

Some surprises in the new Pew Internet report on the use of location-based services, although since I don’t really have many expectations about this, I can’t be all that surprised.

It’s not particularly surprising to me that “28% of cell owners use phones to get directions or recommendations based on their current location” or that only 5% of cell phone owners “use their phones to check in to locations using geosocial services such as Foursquare or Gowalla” (although 12% of smartphone users do). What’s most surprising is that only “9% of internet users set up social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn so that their location is automatically included in their posts on those services.” I wonder why not. I don’t, because of a vague sense that it’s a privacy invasion that brings no benefit that I care about. But that’s just me. And then there’s a huge ethnic disparity: “[A]lmost a third (31%) of Latino social media users [enable] automatic location-tagging,” compared to 10% of white, non-Hispanic social media users. [Note that the 9% represents Internet users, not social media users.]

I don’t know what to make of that. I do find it interesting…and yet further evidence that there is no single thing that is “the” Internet. As with everything else, what it is depends so much on who you are.

6 Responses to “Locating yourself on the semantic Earth”

  1. And where is there “semantic” earth?
    You seem to speak about land&water earth :-)

    True, Internet is 2B2P (two big to pigeonhole)

  2. My online existence does not vary with (or depend on) geographic location — geography is totally irrelevant to what I publish on the web (yet perhaps it *is* relevant to so-called “advertisers” ;)

    @Mirek the “semantic earth” is in the DNS.

    ;) nmw

  3. The Latino-Non-Hispanic geographic differential may have something to do with the social nature of many Latinos: stand on a downtown street corner in most Latin American cities, and only a few of the cars that pass will have just a single occupant. But no, I don’t understand the exact nature of the connection, either.

  4. @Norbert — I can’t really understand why do you think that DNS has this “semantic information” about the earth.
    Geolocalization of DNS hosts (i.e. IP addresses) comes from different sources than the DNS, and is often very unreliable.

    To me the term “semantic earth” could mean a system or tool that somehow “understands” or can extract “geographical meaning” from any information that, in reality, can be localized in space. We are quite far from having such system – mostly because we have no way to discover which information is geo-bound and which is not…

  5. It’s like a crafter’s circle. It’s loose and low-key, and it’s about peer mentorship.”

  6. Joho the Blog » Locating yourself on the semantic Earth…

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