Social media already influence social relationships thus changing social structure enabled by technological advances. These advances transform the environment(s) we are surrounded by, as they introduce new kinds of interactions between humans and objects. It is therefore natural for users within this emerging social cyberspace to demand the kind of experiences they are accustomed to in their daily lives with community communications being at centre stage.
In the STEER (Social Telemedia Environment for Experimental Research) project we are addressing this community-centric digitally-based ecosystem, which we refer to as 'Social Telemedia', a cross-breeding of social networks and networked media. Social Telemedia will further intensify current societal practices and habits and they will flourish on a new network middleware framework that will combine Social Informatics and Content Delivery. Social Informatics loosely refer to any digitized information that is generated or exchanged in the context of social networking whereas content delivery represents the communication medium through which social informatics are exchanged, only this time content could be delivered through a bundle of synchronised and heterogeneous flows to a community of users.
The overall objective of the project is to make significant advances in Social Telemedia research and practices, and engineer an operational Social Telemedia environment customized to support various innovative experiments. These experiments are oriented toward investigating the intrinsic nature of the Future Social Telemedia Lifecycle that revolves around communities, revealing new properties and patterns, creating new insights, and, exploring the synergy between Social Informatics and Networked Media delivery and its impact on user experience. To achieve this objective, STEER will contribute new experimental facilities such as smart houses and mobile devices, it will develop a Social-Aware Media Enabled Cloud architecture, and integrate with the OpenLab and EXPERIMEDIA project facilities.
STEER has received EC research funding.