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April 13, 2005
Love Me, Love My iPod Playlist
Interesting report out of Beki Grinter's lab at Georgia Tech showing that co-workers sharing digital music in the workplace form impressions based on others' musical libraries. What's interesting is not just that this happens, but there's an awareness of this process. People are consciously shaping what they share in an effort to build a favorable portrait of themselves, even with coworkers they don't know and don't interact with that much. As part of a conscious process, music-sharing is acting as part of the community-building practice in the workplace.
Once again, this is an example of user repurposing devices. Apple built in the sharing features so that people in a home setting - a family - could share music off an iPod. I doubt they intended people to set up image-building jukeboxes in the workplace.
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