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The Digital Lifescape Perspective

When I started posting on Blogspot -- more than a year ago -- I really didn't have a name for what began as my experiment in personal publishing, therefore I simply called this site the "David H. Deans Weblog."

The events that I've followed led me to post about the global development of broadband access services, the home networking phenomenon, and a growing array of network-ready consumer electronics devices. Then, I started to track the development of digital media, first within the digital home environment, then the content mobility phenomenon and the related wireless-enabled mobile gadget trends.

When the notion of a "digital lifestyle" perspective emerged, I immediately related to the broader context of this term -- because it places the consumer experience at the center of the storyline; not the technology, devices or associated network services.

IMHO, we should take the next logical step in the discovery process, which is to see these developments through the lens of a social anthropologist. Now that mainstream consumer users are utilizing these products and services, we have a new set of challenges that we must consider. Human factor issues will take center stage, and ethnographic research methodologies can be applied to better understand the requirement for segmented user interface innovations.

I call this broader perspective the notion of "digital lifescapes" -- where personalized digital lifestyles come together within the context of collective social interaction and engagement. It's the natural progression of moving beyond basic digital communications and entertainment applications, and into the uncharted territory of more meaningful consumer experiences.

In a prior commentary, I described the reason why I believe that an inanimate perspective is so limiting -- "Let's acknowledge that broadband networks are the means to an end objective; they're not the essential aim or the ambition that drives people who seek their inherent benefit. Somehow this perspective tends to get lost in the often myopic bigger-bandwidth dialogue."

I invite you to join me (by subscribing to my syndication feed, or e-mail list) while I continue to observe and report on the events that shape this global networked economy, as they unfold during the course of 2006.

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