Human information behaviour and Human-Computer Interaction are areas of study, particularly in Library and Information Science. Drawing from supporting knowledge from disparate disciplines as computer graphics, operating systems, programming languages, communication theory, graphic and industrial design disciplines, linguistics, social sciences, and cognitive psychology, IB and HCI are powerful concepts which continue to shape the way LIS practioners .
However, the LIS cognitive schools of thought assume universal concepts, and are often devoid of ethnological methodology or cultural comparisons. Unfortunately, this resonates to the library and information professions as users are often painted with the same generalist brush. Multicultural librarianship is often limited to market segmentation and specialized reading lists. What about cultural user behaviours? Cultural information retrieval studies? LIS often does not cross into the realm of cultural studies, despite the fact that there is much to examine.
Larissa Hjorth's The Game of Being Mobile: One Media History of Gaming and Mobile Technologies in Asia-Pacific is an interesting microanalysis of social media behaviourial differences between Korea and Japan. It offers much food for thought for LIS professionals, particularly for those who overgeneralize their user groups and standardize one-size-fits-all attitudes in designing information systems. Hjorth highlights some interesting points:
(1) Asia-Pacific Region - Marked by diverse penetration rates of gaming, mobile and broadband technologies, which are subject to local cultural and socio-economic nuances. One of the dominant modes of socializing the consumption of new technologies is through the role of cute culture (also known as kawaii).
(2) Rise in mobile media - Marked by the rise in particular modes of gaming in these regions. South Korea and Japan represent two opposing directions for gaming - Korea emphasizes MMOGs played on stationary PCs in social spaces while Japan pioneers the mobile (privatized) convergent platforms and devices such as the handhelf PSP2 and Nintendo DS.
(3) Public and Private Spaces - Previous domestic technologies such as TV and radio reconfigures public and private spaces. 19th and 20th century technologies therefore have always been part of the way in which space is redefined.
(4) Imagined Communities - Through mobile media and media communities such as gaming, we are seeing emerging unofficial imaging communities that will impact on official imagined and transnational synergies.
(5) Remediating Technology - Customizing invites uers to conceive of technology as remediated. Through cute customization of mobile media and games in the region, new technologies are linked into earlier cultural histories and media archaeologies that are distinctive from European or American models.
(6) Cute Technology - Cute is fundamentally linked to the adaptation of new technologies, such as mobile media and SNS. This phenomenon distinctively differs from Western modes of user customization modes and demonstrates that technologies are much socio-cultural as they are industrial.
(7) SNS in Asia - Unlike Western or European social networking systems (SNS) that are consumed by children and teenagers, in Korea's Cyworld both young and old engage in the politics of cute representation online as a reflection of offline identity. Because of such localized features of not only the SNS, but its specific geographical and cultural audience, its success outside of Korea (and the Korean diaspora) is far from assured.