Shared secret places: Social media and affordances

Ella Hafermalz, Dirk S. Hovorka, Kai Riemer

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


The Social Media application Strava is used by exercisers to track running and cycling activities. Strava is carried with the exerciser and displays trophies and leaderboards to reward competitive performance. We were prompted by an auto-ethnographic account of Strava use to examine the way in which a particular stretch of running track around a lake showed up differently to the runner once Strava was integrated into their running practice. We look to Gibson’s relational notions of “affordances” and “niches” to understand this change in direct perception. We propose that these concepts have potential in helping us to research and understand the ways in which groups of Social Media users share and construct a similar experience of place in a way that is largely invisible to nonusers. We consider some of the preliminary implications of this differentiated use of place and demonstrate the way in which a relational view of affordances helps us to make sense of this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACIS 2015 Proceedings - 26th Australasian Conference on Information Systems
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
ISBN (Print)9780646953373
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event26th Australasian Conference on Information Systems, ACIS 2015 - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 30 Nov 20154 Dec 2015


Conference26th Australasian Conference on Information Systems, ACIS 2015


  • Affordances
  • Direct Perception
  • Ecological Approach
  • Mobile Technology
  • Place
  • Social Media


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