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The Internet is People

The Internet is People



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

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 The Internet is People Presentation Transcript

    • 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.
      • Not discrete (may overlap)
      • Different, but not distinct, contexts (may communicate or meet in a variety of ways)
        • More formal, or specialised, networks have more restrictions
      • Subject to personalities
    • Some ways to communicate within networks
      • Face to face
      • The post
      • Phone
      • SMS, MMS
      • Fax, email
      • (Etc)
      • Web
    • Social networks don't live on the web.
      • 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.
    • "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." - Joshua Schachter, inventor of Delicious, Technology Review, 2006
    • Social networking tools
      • Have features appropriate to the network
        • One common feature: people
      • Amplify the network effect
      • Don't try to create the network
      • (New network connections may arise through a purpose)
    • Long ago, at a university far, far away ...
      • (500 miles away, give or take)
      • Educational community software inflexible, expensive, underused
      • Top-down organisation
      • Little community focus
      • Elsewhere, a revolution was taking place ...
    • "If I went in there and said, Hey, you're using that tag wrong, people would just tell me [where to go]" - Joshua again (Or to put it another way: people are individuals.)
    • Elgg 0.x: the 'personal information landscape' (2004)
      • A niche social networking tool
      • User maintains full control over their data and persona
      • Granular, cross-site privacy settings
      • Cross-site tagging
      • Discovery through relevant connections
      • Freedom to customise an individual site
    • Elgg 1.x: the 'social application engine' (2008)
      • Maintains principles
      • Much greater flexibility
      • No features as standard; why mandate blogs? Or profiles?
      • Easier to create a new function
      • Easier to support different platforms
    • Me My university (Elgg) My friends (Facebook) My place of work (Sharepoint) My obsessive Doctor Who fandom (Livejournal)
    • In summary
      • Social networks are made of people
      • Elgg is one way to facilitate a social network
      • The best social apps have another main purpose
      • Platform(s) and feature(s) should be chosen based on the needs of the network
      • Social networking tools don't have any required features (except users)
      • What do you want to do?
    • Thanks for listening! Enjoy the day. Ben Werdmuller [email_address] http://elgg.org/ http://benwerd.com/ http://twitter.com/benwerd/