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Seguineau: The Three Legs of Presence

Jean-Louis Seguineau has written a useful taxonomy of presence and awareness this morning.  He breaks awareness up into four categories:

  • availability awareness, which relates to the availability of people and objects.
  • contextual awareness, which includes physical, social and mental context.
  • group awareness, which promotes the feeling of belonging to a group.
  • workplace awareness, which is knowledge of tasks within the virtual environment.

And then provides two definitions of presence:

the degree of perception of the other person in a mediated communication and the consequent perception of their interpersonal interaction.


a temporary judgment of the nature of interaction with the other, as limited or augmented by the medium.

Today’s presence systems are about little more than availability awareness, and perhaps that’s the biggest problem with them. Far from being useful mediators in communications, they are in fact more intrusive than valuable. 

That is, in fact, the problem we set out to solve with iotum. 

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Jean-Louis Seguineau October 25, 2006, 1:19 pm


    I believe you misred the post when saying that "I" gave a definition of presence as the two excerpts you cite 😉

    In fact the first definition comes from Short et al. (1976) "The Social Psychology of Telecommunications", and the second from Biocca et al. (2001) "Criteria and Scope conditions for a Theory
    and Measure of Social Presence". I will add these references to the post to avoid any further confusion.

    These papers are studying the psychological side effects of computer mediated communications and Short came up with the name "social presence" which is kind of misleading when compared to today's common notion of presence… My point being that "social presence" is only one of its components.

  • Alec October 25, 2006, 3:56 pm

    Thanks for the clarification Jean-Louis. My view was that as you were synthesizing other works, it was proper to attribute the post to you, but I agree it could have been a little more clearly expressed.

    Great post, by the way.

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