Date of Award

Fall 2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Information Systems - (M.S.)

Department

Information Systems

First Advisor

Quentin Jones

Second Advisor

Michael Bieber

Third Advisor

George Robert Widmeyer

Abstract

Within mobile social coordination, there is a field of study known as outeraction, the communicative processes used by people to manage future interactions. It is an important area of research because it identifies how informal interactions support complex collaboration between individuals and groups. Outeraction is primarily conducted through the interpersonal communication channels of texting, instant messaging (IM), face-to-face, and mobile phone or Skype conversations. Currently this area of research in mobile outeraction support systems is weak. It lacks a firm foundation in system building, has very few if any conceptual frameworks, and little empirical knowledge of user requirements and attitudes is known. As smartphones are becoming more common these days allowing people to conduct their outeraction on the go, the need for mobile outeraction support systems will also be on the rise.

This thesis seeks to investigate how people use technology to help them coordinate social activities with friends as well as activities with strangers. From semi- structured interviews it was found that individuals use a primary and secondary means of communication when coordinating with friends. These means of communication will also shift as the agreed upon time of the activity approaches. Other findings describe how group decisions can frequently change, how individuals immerse themselves in activities with strangers, and how individuals decide on a place to do an activity. These and other findings are further described in this thesis.

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