New Assumptions for Designing for the Social Web

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  • 1. NEW ASSUMPTIONS FOR DESIGNERS OF THE SOCIAL WEB Chris Messina • WebVisions • May 22, 2009 • Portland, Oregon
  • 2. What is the social web?
  • 3. Let’s begin with Web 2.0
  • 4. “Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an “architecture of participation,” and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences.” — Tim O’Reilly, Web 2.0: Compact Definition? Photo credit: Adam Tinworth “Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an “architecture of participation,” and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences.”
  • 5. “Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them. (This is what I’ve elsewhere called ‘harnessing collective intelligence.’)” — Tim O’Reilly Photo credit: Adam Tinworth Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them. (This is what I’ve elsewhere called “harnessing collective intelligence.”)
  • 6. WWW and so fundamentally, we’re moving from a web of documents... (CLICK)
  • 7. WWW to a web of people. And so when we talk about the “social” web,
  • 8. “Social” is the state of living as a “society” we’re really talking about society — the collection of norms, habits and behaviors that define what a fairly large collection of people are all about.
  • 9. the basic atomic unity of society is the individual. which is critical when it comes to the designing for the social web
  • 10. the basic atomic unity of society is the individual. which is critical when it comes to the designing for the social web
  • 11. social is also probably the most overused word of 2009. so let’s get back to some basics. (CLICK)
  • 12. A few old assumptions before we talk about what’s new, let’s talk about some things that haven’t changed they apply throughout the historical development of technology.
  • 13. People are busy First, People are busy
  • 14. People have limited attention Second, People have limited attention
  • 15. People want to know what’s in it for them Third, people want to know what’s in it for them “why should I care?”
  • 16. People want it to “just work” Fourth, People want it to be easy and “just work”
  • 17. People don’t care about technology Fifth, people don’t care about technology. Not really. natural skepticism: “don’t complicate my life” technology creates aprehension: “i don’t want to learn something new”
  • 18. People shouldn’t need to care about technology Sixth, they shouldn’t need to care about it to benefit from it.
  • 19. Good technology is largely invisible — it blends in and enhances without encumbering. Think of the iPod and all the technology that makes it possible.
  • 20. Then contrast it with the Zune.
  • 21. 12:00 Or better yet, the VCR.
  • 22. 12:00 Or better yet, the VCR.
  • 23. 10 new assumptions
  • 24. 1. Most people already signed up elsewhere in other words, people don’t need an account on every site.
  • 25. Take FriendFeed for example. They let me sign up with ONE click. (CLICK) So say I want to sign in with Facebook. (CLICK)
  • 26. ☛ Take FriendFeed for example. They let me sign up with ONE click. (CLICK) So say I want to sign in with Facebook. (CLICK)
  • 27. Here I am at Facebook — and I can sign up without creating another account. Let’s go back.
  • 28. Here I am at Facebook — and I can sign up without creating another account. Let’s go back.
  • 29. Now, if I click on the Google logo (CLICK)...
  • 30. ☛ Now, if I click on the Google logo (CLICK)...
  • 31. I’m taken to Google where — same thing — I can sign up without creating another FriendFeed username and password.
  • 32. I’m taken to Google where — same thing — I can sign up without creating another FriendFeed username and password.
  • 33. Now as a sidenote, this is made possible using protocols like OpenID and OAuth.
  • 34. Just for geeks? But isn’t just for geeks? Not really.
  • 35. How about this guy?
  • 36. How about Eminem?
  • 37. How about Eminem?
  • 38. check it out. Eminem’s doing this too.
  • 39. Lessons • Remove all barriers to getting in to your service • Let people sign up and login to your site using an existing account that they already have • Realize that this shift is the beginning of internet identity • It’s not about “owning your customer” * Remove barriers * Let people sign up using an existing account * this is the beginning of internet identity * It’s not about “owning your customer” -- it’s about SERVING your customer
  • 40. 2. Their friends are online Now, of course if you make it really easy for people to sign up, you’ll find that people WILL sign up. Which means more and more people are actually online — and those people have friends who are also online. So, I’ve been doing a lot of travel recently and I was in London briefly on my way back to San Francisco from Europe. (CLICK)
  • 41. In the terminal was this funny little computer that advertised a very interesting service... CHECK YOUR BEBO FACEBOOK MYSPACE HERE! ...all social networks that we know and love, right? (CLICK)
  • 42. Well, the killer was that they had a WHOLE SCREEN devoted just to Twitter. I mean, this is in Heathrow, whose typical clientele (CLICK)
  • 43. Photo by Erin Siffing I wouldn’t imagine would be all that into Twitter.... But then again, I could be wrong. But I think underlying this is the fact that people and their friends are online.
  • 44. so clearly you want to make it easy for people to connect with people that they know. however, what you DON’T want to do, is ask for people’s passwords (CLICK)
  • 45. so clearly you want to make it easy for people to connect with people that they know. however, what you DON’T want to do, is ask for people’s passwords (CLICK)
  • 46. in fact, there are even better ways of making use of PUBLIC data to import friends. (CLICK) For example, by searching over someone’s Twitter friends.
  • 47. in fact, there are even better ways of making use of PUBLIC data to import friends. (CLICK) For example, by searching over someone’s Twitter friends.
  • 48. Lessons • People want to be where their friends are • Make it easy to bring friends in from elsewhere • Don’t ask people for their passwords! * People want to be where their friends are * Make it easy to bring friends in from elsewhere * Don’t ask people for their passwords!
  • 49. 3. Email is the new fax machine Not long ago, the fax machine was the darling of industry. All kinds of business was conducted over telephone lines, sending data at whopping speeds up to 33.6 kbit/s. (CLICK)
  • 50. Photo by Fenchurch! but those days are over. and that might be the case for email too as well. (CLICK)
  • 51. a story published just LAST WEEK provides insight into this trend.
  • 52. in its place, we’re seeing people use social network-based messaging and instant messaging services like MSN and AIM, even Twitter.
  • 53. Wikipedia Monthly SMS messages sent in USA (in millions) Just take a look at the meteoric rise in SMS volume in the past couple years...
  • 54. One useful anecdote... my girlfriend Brynn has a friend named Celea who she used to babysit for and is now 15. They hung out last weekend and Brynn talked to her about how she keeps in touch with her friends. She has unlimited SMS plan... but can't make phone calls. She says quot;twitter doesn't exist for herquot;. It’s a whole new world which demands thinking beyond email.
  • 55. Crusher is an evite-killer that gives you quite a few options for controlling how they notify you.
  • 56. FriendFeed similarly gives you a good deal of control, including email, but also offering IM and desktop notification.
  • 57. again, brightkite provides a nice way to control all your notifications with a simple switch.
  • 58. Lessons • Don’t rely on just email to communicate with your customers • Let your customers specify how they want to be contacted
  • 59. 4. Discovery will save us all one of the problems that we have once we make assumptions like people have accounts and friends elsewhere is how we go about asking people for this information. (CLICK)
  • 60. we end up overwhelming the user with choices — so what does someone do here when they have a google, yahoo and AOL account?
  • 61. what if people really just want this?
  • 62. what if people really just want this?
  • 63. Photo by Timothy Vogel this is what we call the NASCAR problem, something that I think we’re going to hear a lot more about.
  • 64. And this problem isn’t just related to OpenID. In general it’s increasingly challenging to provide all the possible choices. now things will get better here, but we have a long way to go.
  • 65. Lessons • Keep an eye out for XRD/LRDD (new discovery protocols) • Keep in mind that the shotgun approach is painful all that i can really offer you now is to: Keep an eye out for XRD/LRDD (new discovery protocols) Keep in mind that the shotgun approach is painful
  • 66. 5. Cloud computing is upon us on the heels of discovery, or maybe because of discovery, I think
  • 67. c: icon by Seedling Design we’re going from owning our own hard drives with our data... (CLICK)
  • 68. http:// icon by Seedling Design to moving our data to the cloud.
  • 69. icons by Seedling Design and Fast Icon you’ve got your youtube, facebook, flickr... no one will need to do backups anymore, but this will have a profound impact on how you design services.
  • 70. icons by Seedling Design, etc hybrid applications like this essentially require a connection to function.
  • 71. and we’re even seeing this creep into desktop applications like Keynote where there is now a Share menu... that I imagine will slowly replace the File menu (like the fax machine).
  • 72. icon by Seedling Design which brings me back to openid. combined with discovery, I believe that you will use your OpenID as a universal pointer to all of your services, so when a great new web applications launches, you simply sign in, provide authorization and BOOM, you can get to work. this is how cloud computing will be put to work for us.
  • 73. 6. People want to share
  • 74. facebook has made it their mantra that they want to make it easy for people to share.
  • 75. turns out that if you give people a good amount of control over how they share their data (CLICK)
  • 76. they’re more likely to share more of it.
  • 77. on the flip side, if software doesn’t have sharing built in, i think it’s broken. this is from google spreadsheets... this is why Microsoft Office is going to ultimately fail unless they really move towards a web-friendly, open sharing model.
  • 78. Lessons • Sharing is a core feature of social applications • Giving people good privacy controls and sane defaults is critical to getting people to share • Software that doesn’t have sharing built-in is broken • Don’t rely on proprietary/platform-specific sharing mechanisms; embrace the web * Sharing is a core feature of social applications * Giving people good privacy controls and sane defaults is critical to getting people to share * Software that doesn’t have sharing built-in is broken * Don’t rely on proprietary/platform-specific sharing mechanisms; embrace the web
  • 79. 7. Real identity online is becoming the norm
  • 80. Facebook recommendations No where is this more obvious than on Facebook. Here is a list of three people that Facebook has recommended to me. The second one was suggested because we went to the same high school. Kind of a stretch, right? I mean, what is that in the photo? A pillow? I have no idea WHO SHE IS
  • 81. So let’s say I actually dive in and ask Facebook to list ALL the people it thinks I might know... this is where it gets interesting. (click) Now, here I see someone I know. I’ve met Eric in person; I could probably add him as a friend... but is it really him? It’s not like I have some shared secret with him to verify that this is actually an online representation of his...
  • 82. So let’s say I actually dive in and ask Facebook to list ALL the people it thinks I might know... this is where it gets interesting. (click) Now, here I see someone I know. I’ve met Eric in person; I could probably add him as a friend... but is it really him? It’s not like I have some shared secret with him to verify that this is actually an online representation of his...
  • 83. so I decide to do a search — and lo, out of 444 results, he comes up first. Sure, but this is the same guy from the previous page. (click) If we have 63 mutual friends, well, that’s starting make this more plausible...
  • 84. so I decide to do a search — and lo, out of 444 results, he comes up first. Sure, but this is the same guy from the previous page. (click) If we have 63 mutual friends, well, that’s starting make this more plausible...
  • 85. Ok, now I’m feeling pretty confident. In lieu of a shared secret between us, a familiar social graph is a reasonable substitute. Get that: by revealing one’s social connections I get closer to someone’s real identity.
  • 86. your social graph is essentially a kind of identity fingerprint for people who know you and know who you know. but this is really only possible because my mutual friends shared their identities first.
  • 87. @factoryjoe so some of you might know that I use “factoryjoe” as my username on the web. But, no one in the real world has any frigging clue who “factoryjoe” is, especially without context. And so people have come up to me and called me “Joe” without even thinking about it. This online identity was becoming better known than me!
  • 88. @factoryjoe @chrismessina So I killed it. At least on Twitter. And now I’m just @chrismessina. Like I was before, and always have been. But I’ve seen other people do the same thing since I made this change. And it looks like it’s only becoming more common.
  • 89. Let’s take a look at another example. Compare the chat list on the left with the one on the right. With AIM, you’ve got all these foreign-looking usernames... whereas on the right you have real names. CLICK - focus on pirillo [talk about Facebook’s early decision to swear off usernames]
  • 90. Let’s take a look at another example. Compare the chat list on the left with the one on the right. With AIM, you’ve got all these foreign-looking usernames... whereas on the right you have real names. CLICK - focus on pirillo [talk about Facebook’s early decision to swear off usernames]
  • 91. “l0ckergn0me” vs. Chris Pirillo understand that this DESIGN decision was as important as Flickr’s public-by-default decision. Heck, I don’t even know what a “locker gnome” is. But here’s the change.
  • 92. Eventbox and you can see this in software like eventbox
  • 93. Eventbox why does this option even exist? This to me proves that we are in a transitional period, from assumed aliases to one of real, public, transparent identities.
  • 94. Eventbox why does this option even exist? This to me proves that we are in a transitional period, from assumed aliases to one of real, public, transparent identities.
  • 95. morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, Self-actualization acceptance of facts self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, Esteem respect by others friendship, family, sexual intimacy Love/belonging security of: body, employment, resources, Safety morality, the family, health, property breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion Physiological Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs now, I think this what this means is that we’re seeing a shift to using real identity because the social web is becoming a increasingly important piece of many people “self-actualization”. self-actualization is from mazlow’s hierarchy of needs and is at the top of the pyramid here.
  • 96. even places like MySpace, where pseudonymity reigns is moving in this direction...
  • 97. even places like MySpace, where pseudonymity reigns is moving in this direction...
  • 98. even to the point where sites are allowing you to VERIFY your identity. this is huge.
  • 99. even to the point where sites are allowing you to VERIFY your identity. this is huge.
  • 100. Lessons • Facebook is causing a shift in how peoople feel about identity online • Real identity can provide for more transparency and accountability; it can incentivize good behavior • Leverage real life attributes to improve your service
  • 101. 8. Connectivity is increasing
  • 102. people want to know what’s going on RIGHT now and services like Friendfeed, Facebook and of course Twitter are rising to meet that challenge.
  • 103. but when everyone is publishing, it’s hard to get to the good stuff. we have primitive tools to search over this corpus, but it’s the early days.
  • 104. i think this will have some unintended consequences though. the “techmemization” of content... where if you don’t respond to something AS IT’S HAPPENING, you’ll miss the boat. hemispheric effect -- when the other half of the world is sleeping...
  • 105. Lessons • Half-life of digital information is decreasing • Conversations are becoming more contemporaneous (Techmemization) • Beware of the “hemispheric effect” • We’re seeing the rise of the real-time web
  • 106. 9. The stream is the new hallmark of a social app
  • 107. Feed formats like ATOM and RSS were designed with blog posts in mind, but people are doing a lot more on the web today, beyond blogging.
  • 108. streams are great because they allow people to learn about and discover what other people are doing and then model the same behaviors
  • 109. consider the basic nytimes homepage. it doesn’t provide me with a whole lot of social hooks to get into this content... except if you look at the header here... (CLICK) you can see that they’re finding clever ways to highlight activity on the site.
  • 110. consider the basic nytimes homepage. it doesn’t provide me with a whole lot of social hooks to get into this content... except if you look at the header here... (CLICK) you can see that they’re finding clever ways to highlight activity on the site.
  • 111. another great site that’s all about the stream is called Enjoysthings. it;s like friendfeed but with it’s own flare.
  • 112. Lessons • People are doing more than just blogging. • Consider an activity-centric model for your site. • Show what people are doing on your site. • Streams are a great way to promote social discovery.
  • 113. 10. Assume that your data will flow
  • 114. now that we have connected people’s accounts, the next thing that we need to work on is getting the data to flow...
  • 115. and so because of this, you need to think about how your content is going to look when it goes offsite.
  • 116. Lessons • Design your content to move off-site • Think about the design of atomic content that is self- contained • Again, provide good privacy controls and settings: keep the user in control
  • 117. Review
  • 118. Review 1. Most people already signed up elsewhere
  • 119. Review 1. Most people already signed up elsewhere 2. Their friends are online
  • 120. Review 1. Most people already signed up elsewhere 2. Their friends are online 3. Email is the new fax machine
  • 121. Review 1. Most people already signed up elsewhere 2. Their friends are online 3. Email is the new fax machine 4. Discovery will save us all
  • 122. Review 1. Most people already signed up elsewhere 2. Their friends are online 3. Email is the new fax machine 4. Discovery will save us all 5. Cloud computing is upon us
  • 123. Review 1. Most people already signed up elsewhere 2. Their friends are online 3. Email is the new fax machine 4. Discovery will save us all 5. Cloud computing is upon us 6. People want to share
  • 124. Review 1. Most people already signed up elsewhere 2. Their friends are online 3. Email is the new fax machine 4. Discovery will save us all 5. Cloud computing is upon us 6. People want to share 7. Real identity online is becoming the norm
  • 125. Review 1. Most people already signed up elsewhere 2. Their friends are online 3. Email is the new fax machine 4. Discovery will save us all 5. Cloud computing is upon us 6. People want to share 7. Real identity online is becoming the norm 8. Connectivity is increasing
  • 126. Review 1. Most people already signed up elsewhere 2. Their friends are online 3. Email is the new fax machine 4. Discovery will save us all 5. Cloud computing is upon us 6. People want to share 7. Real identity online is becoming the norm 8. Connectivity is increasing 9. The stream is the new hallmark of a social app
  • 127. Review 1. Most people already signed up elsewhere 2. Their friends are online 3. Email is the new fax machine 4. Discovery will save us all 5. Cloud computing is upon us 6. People want to share 7. Real identity online is becoming the norm 8. Connectivity is increasing 9. The stream is the new hallmark of a social app 10. Assume that your data will flow
  • 128. so those are 10 new assumptions for designers of the social web. (CLICK) but i’ve got 5 more to give you.
  • 129. +5 so those are 10 new assumptions for designers of the social web. (CLICK) but i’ve got 5 more to give you.
  • 130. location: think about designing your service to take advantage of location. tara talked about this, but expectations are rising for customer service.
  • 131. 11. Location, location, location location: think about designing your service to take advantage of location. tara talked about this, but expectations are rising for customer service.
  • 132. location is coming to the browser as well.
  • 133. customer service: alaska air trustworthy relationships improve over time (pandora, last.fm) people aren’t obsolete: mturk, aardvark browsers are getting more powerful... so the web apps we use will become more compelling.
  • 134. 11. Location, location, location customer service: alaska air trustworthy relationships improve over time (pandora, last.fm) people aren’t obsolete: mturk, aardvark browsers are getting more powerful... so the web apps we use will become more compelling.
  • 135. 11. Location, location, location 12. Expectations for customer service are rising customer service: alaska air trustworthy relationships improve over time (pandora, last.fm) people aren’t obsolete: mturk, aardvark browsers are getting more powerful... so the web apps we use will become more compelling.
  • 136. 11. Location, location, location 12. Expectations for customer service are rising 13. People will reward trustworthy relationships with service providers that improve over time customer service: alaska air trustworthy relationships improve over time (pandora, last.fm) people aren’t obsolete: mturk, aardvark browsers are getting more powerful... so the web apps we use will become more compelling.
  • 137. 11. Location, location, location 12. Expectations for customer service are rising 13. People will reward trustworthy relationships with service providers that improve over time 14. Just because we have more technology doesn’t mean that people are becoming obsolete! customer service: alaska air trustworthy relationships improve over time (pandora, last.fm) people aren’t obsolete: mturk, aardvark browsers are getting more powerful... so the web apps we use will become more compelling.
  • 138. 11. Location, location, location 12. Expectations for customer service are rising 13. People will reward trustworthy relationships with service providers that improve over time 14. Just because we have more technology doesn’t mean that people are becoming obsolete! 15. Browsers are about to get a lot more powerful customer service: alaska air trustworthy relationships improve over time (pandora, last.fm) people aren’t obsolete: mturk, aardvark browsers are getting more powerful... so the web apps we use will become more compelling.
  • 139. The role of standards before i close out, i want to take a moment to highlight the role and importance of standards here for designing for the social web.
  • 140. A standard in practice is worth more than a standard in theory but adoption of these technologies is key.
  • 141. Ubiquity of a standard allows an industry to move the level of competition to a new layer Photo by grendelkhan the reality is, you don’t want to compete on the level of social apps that exist today. we want to move up to a higher level of competition by commoditizing aspects of the social web that are hard today, but are also basic or fundamental.
  • 142. creating new opportunities for innovation on user experience Photo by Chris Metcalf in so doing, we create new opportunities to compete on the basis of offering better service and experience without relying on user lock-in.
  • 143. vCalendar and indeed, one of the best examples of the power of standards to change an industry is the iphone. it is the benefactor of years of open standards development.
  • 144. IEEE 802.11 (WiFi) vCalendar International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) Bluetooth Short Message Service (SMS) JPEG MPEG-4 Part 14, ISO/IEC 14496-14:2003 (MP4) MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (MP3) SQLite, TXT vCard, etc HTTP, CSS, JS, etc SMTP, IMAP, POP3 and indeed, one of the best examples of the power of standards to change an industry is the iphone. it is the benefactor of years of open standards development.
  • 145. Building the social web
  • 146. this is really the premise behind the Diso Project: to make it make it easier to build social experiences on the web by deriving standards and formats from popular trends.
  • 147. Diso Components* *subject to change (DON’T CLICK) identity & profile discovery & access control contacts & friends activity streams messaging groupings & shared spaces
  • 148. Diso Components* 1. identity & profile 2. discovery & access control 3. contacts & friends 4. activity streams 5. messaging 6. groupings & shared spaces *subject to change (DON’T CLICK) identity & profile discovery & access control contacts & friends activity streams messaging groupings & shared spaces
  • 149. Our challenge is to build technologies that enhance the network and serve people so that they in turn can build better and richer societies. BECAUSE Our fundamental challenge is to build technologies that enhance the network and serve people so that they in turn can build better and richer societies.
  • 150. fin. chris@citizenagency.com • @chrismessina • factoryjoe.com Color palette: oddend by martin Typeface: FTF Flama™ by Mario Feliciano so that’s it. questions?
  • 151. fin. chris@citizenagency.com • @chrismessina • factoryjoe.com Color palette: oddend by martin Typeface: FTF Flama™ by Mario Feliciano so that’s it. questions?