THE INTERNET IS PEOPLE Ben Werdmuller December 1, 2008
Social network
Social  network adj.  Relating to human society and its members.
Social  network n.  An interconnected system of things or people.
Social network n.  An interconnected group of people.
Networks of people are complicated. <ul><li>Not discrete (may overlap)
Different, but not distinct, contexts (may communicate or meet in a variety of ways) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More formal, or...
Some ways to communicate within networks <ul><li>Face to face
The post
Phone
SMS, MMS
Fax, email
(Etc)
Web </li></ul>
Social networks don't live on the web. <ul><li>Flickr is a photo sharing site.
Delicious is a bookmarking tool.
Last.fm lets you discover new music based on your preferences.
Facebook is a utility that lets you keep track of your existing friends. </li></ul>
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The Internet is People

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From the Elgg conference, December 2008. See http://benwerd.com/2008/12/the-internet-is-people/ for notes and description.

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The Internet is People

  1. 1. THE INTERNET IS PEOPLE Ben Werdmuller December 1, 2008
  2. 2. Social network
  3. 3. Social network adj. Relating to human society and its members.
  4. 4. Social network n. An interconnected system of things or people.
  5. 5. Social network n. An interconnected group of people.
  6. 6. Networks of people are complicated. <ul><li>Not discrete (may overlap)
  7. 7. Different, but not distinct, contexts (may communicate or meet in a variety of ways) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More formal, or specialised, networks have more restrictions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subject to personalities </li></ul>
  8. 8. Some ways to communicate within networks <ul><li>Face to face
  9. 9. The post
  10. 10. Phone
  11. 11. SMS, MMS
  12. 12. Fax, email
  13. 13. (Etc)
  14. 14. Web </li></ul>
  15. 15. Social networks don't live on the web. <ul><li>Flickr is a photo sharing site.
  16. 16. Delicious is a bookmarking tool.
  17. 17. Last.fm lets you discover new music based on your preferences.
  18. 18. Facebook is a utility that lets you keep track of your existing friends. </li></ul>
  19. 19. &quot;If you need scale in order to create value, it's hard to get scale, because there's little incentive for the first people to use the product. [...] The system should be useful for user number one.&quot; - Joshua Schachter, inventor of Delicious, Technology Review, 2006
  20. 20. Social networking tools <ul><li>Have features appropriate to the network </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One common feature: people </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Amplify the network effect
  21. 21. Don't try to create the network
  22. 22. (New network connections may arise through a purpose) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Long ago, at a university far, far away ... <ul><li>(500 miles away, give or take)
  24. 24. Educational community software inflexible, expensive, underused
  25. 25. Top-down organisation
  26. 26. Little community focus
  27. 27. Elsewhere, a revolution was taking place ... </li></ul>
  28. 28. &quot;If I went in there and said, Hey, you're using that tag wrong, people would just tell me [where to go]&quot; - Joshua again (Or to put it another way: people are individuals.)
  29. 29. Elgg 0.x: the 'personal information landscape' (2004) <ul><li>A niche social networking tool
  30. 30. User maintains full control over their data and persona
  31. 31. Granular, cross-site privacy settings
  32. 32. Cross-site tagging
  33. 33. Discovery through relevant connections
  34. 34. Freedom to customise an individual site </li></ul>
  35. 35. Elgg 1.x: the 'social application engine' (2008) <ul><li>Maintains principles
  36. 36. Much greater flexibility
  37. 37. No features as standard; why mandate blogs? Or profiles?
  38. 38. Easier to create a new function
  39. 39. Easier to support different platforms </li></ul>
  40. 40. Me My university (Elgg) My friends (Facebook) My place of work (Sharepoint) My obsessive Doctor Who fandom (Livejournal)
  41. 41. In summary <ul><li>Social networks are made of people
  42. 42. Elgg is one way to facilitate a social network
  43. 43. The best social apps have another main purpose
  44. 44. Platform(s) and feature(s) should be chosen based on the needs of the network
  45. 45. Social networking tools don't have any required features (except users) </li></ul>
  46. 46. <ul><li>What do you want to do? </li></ul>
  47. 47. Thanks for listening! Enjoy the day. Ben Werdmuller [email_address] http://elgg.org/ http://benwerd.com/ http://twitter.com/benwerd/

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