Social Software can be loosely defined as software which supports, extends, or derives added value from, human social behaviour - message-boards, musical taste-sharing, photo-sharing, instant messaging, mailing lists, social networking.
Gene Smith’s Model Based on Matt Webb and Stewart Butterfield ’s writings
1.) If you were going to build a piece of social software to support large and long-lived groups, what would you design for? The first thing you would design for is handles the user can invest in. Clay Shirky, A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy http://shirky.com/writings/group_enemy.html
2.) Second, you have to design a way for there to be members in good standing . Have to design some way in which good works get recognized. The minimal way is, posts appear with identity. You can do more sophisticated things like having formal karma or "member since."
3.) Three, you need barriers to participation. This is one of the things that killed Usenet. You have to have some cost to either join or participate , if not at the lowest level, then at higher levels. … anyone can read Slashdot, anonymous cowards can post, non-anonymous cowards can post with a higher rating. But to moderate, you really have to have been around for a while. Missing block?
4.) And, finally, you have to find a way to spare the group from scale. Scale alone kills conversations, because conversations require dense two-way conversations. [Dunbar] found that the MAXIMUM number of people that a person could keep up with socially at any given time, gossip maintenance, was 150. This doesn't mean that people don't have 150 people in their social network, but that they only keep tabs on 150 people max at any given point.