Elizabeth Churchill- Beyond the hype of FlickTwitFaceSpace: The social Internet in everyday life

The Internet World Usage Statistics for August 2009 suggest that in the last 9 years, the number of people on the Internet has grown by 362%. Of the 6,767,805,208 people in the world, 1,668,870,408 are on the Internet; that is, 25% of the world's population is now online. For some, the world without the Internet is a fading reollection; for others, the world without the Internet is simply inconceivable. Between the wealth of use statistics and our own personal experiences, there is much we do not understand about how the Internet fits into everyday lives. In this talk, I will discuss several projects that combine analysis of usage statistics, analysis of popular and niche Internet sites and services, and qualitative investigations into how people weave online and offline experiences. I will address mundane uses, exciting discoveries and perennial frustrations, considering for a number of domains how people's 'asks' are and are not served by existing applications and services. More specifically, I will talk about the research issues and challenges we face in moving from awareness of others online (saying hi, 'friending', sending 'pings' and issuing 'pokes') to deep collaboration, co-planning and the co-production of shared experiences online. Finally, I will discuss how a scientifically grounded, mixed methods approach to human-centered evaluation, grounded ideation and socio-technical innovation both brings value to business and contributes to fundamental research.