Digital Innovation at Goldsmiths, University of London

Out Loud and Cloud: The social life of the cloud generation

Out Loud and Cloud is a CAST research project that asks about social life in the cloud: how cloud computing practices will shape and shift our social lives.

We are looking for participants to take part in the research between July 11th and 17th 2011. If you are interested in being part of the study please email cast@gold.ac.uk or tweet us @myGoldsmiths.

Physical media is disappearing. Take a look around your living room. See books, DVDs, posters, and momentos? This physical media is being replaced rapidly by quicker, more intelligent and flexible media. Want to change your posters every day? Access the latest music playlists for your favourite genres? We all live at least part of our online social lives in the cloud. From social networks like Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube to music or film services like Spotify and Netflix, we increasingly just RENT what we need instead of BUYING it. This is a fundamental transformation in commerce but it also impacts every aspect of our social lives. Our conversations are conducted in the cloud. We seek to investigate the intersections of social and economic life with the emerging technologies of cloud computing through qualitative research.

Using digital ethnographic methods, the project explores how cloud computing is changing our lives, our environments, and our imaginations as we move

  • from the physical to the virtual and back again
  • from closed systems to open interoperable worlds
  • from physical memory to eternal memory

The use of cloud services to stream music, movies and television shows, to store photographs and to share files are on the rise. While these might be obvious to most, it is our contention that people do not realise the myriad of ways that we engage with the cloud everyday.

Cloud Generation seeks to understand how people use the cloud, user concerns about the cloud and future predictions about how we store, share and value our artefacts as we increasingly live our lives in the cloud.

The project is supported by 3Monkeys Communications and Rackspace and in cooperation with Goldsmiths Communications department and filmed in part at Silkroad Studios.