A League Of Its Own<br />Towards a new ontology for social software<br />Wim Bouman & Tim Hoogenboom<br />University of Amsterdam Business School<br />
ArdHuizing & Mary Cavanagh<br />(now presenting at another room)<br />KnorrCetina, Schatzski, Checkland, <br />Buchanan, Latour, Giddens, Fiske<br />Social objects<br />epistemic practice<br />Sociality, not functionality<br />soft systems thinking<br />realist evaluation<br />research community<br />Designing for Sociality<br />Social Sciences and Philosophy<br />Boulevard Café <br />newFoundationsfor IM in theory and research<br />De Maatschap<br />Research Themes<br />
best paper award<br />The question remains: What exactly is social software?<br />When is it relevant, useful or appropriate to denominate a certain IT-based system as ‘social software’?<br />And what are the consequences, if any, of (re-) applying IS logic to the design, development and deployment of social software systems?<br />Problem situation expressed<br />Downloads <here><br />
Mejias (2005), for instance, considers multiplayer gaming environments, discourse facilitation systems (a wide array from mail, chat to messaging and so on), moderated commenting systems, content management systems (blogs, wikis, document management), web annotation utilities, product development systems, peer-to-peer file sharing systems, selling or purchasing management systems, learning management systems, relationship management systems, syndication systems and distributed classification systems as social software.<br />And then what?<br />A better ontology would allow us to<br />Describe what we see in the real world<br />Understand the interplay between social objects, social software, social practices and sociable actors<br />Beschrijven wat we zien in de echte wereld<br />Begrijpen wat zich ‘interplay’ van social objects, social software, social practices en sociable actors<br />Voorspellen wat de effecten zijn van IS implementation and use<br />Designing better systems<br />We asked ourselves<br />does this make any sense or help for either science or practice?<br />We don’t need more definitions, we don’t need broader definitions – we need a fundamental approach<br />an ontology<br />
Ontology is an often neglected subject<br /> Definitions are author and context specific<br />Common definitions of social software too broad<br /> Focus on information related problems<br />Neglect indeterminateness of social software<br />Obervations<br />
Basics<br />IT-based systems do exist, but social software do not exist as such; they appear and unfold themselves in use in their formative context only<br />Soft Systems Thinking<br />An IT-based system (e.g. a wiki) that serves for a certain social group as a collaborative editing tool, might be the nexus of social activity or object-centered sociality for another group. <br />The code, structure and functionality of the software may even be exactly the same<br />
Key Findings<br />IT-based systems can not be meaningfully qualified as social software by their design per se, nor by their functions. <br /> It is the actual manifestation in practice only that ultimately defines <br /> the qualification of a particular IT-based system<br />Archetypical Manifestations; <br />Information Systems, Knowledge Management Systems, Social Software Systems.<br />Social software are IT-based systems, engaged by their users as an unfolding object for constructing and reproducing their social relations<br />Reapplying traditional IS logic to the design, development and deployment of social software might turn out to be devastating<br />IT-based systems become a thing to live with, and designers are liable for finding solutions that improve the way people interact with these IT-based artifacts<br />
Implications and <br />directions for future research<br />IT-based systems are socially embedded; sociable actors decide what is it for whom and whether to make them ‘work’ <br />technologyas objects; with unfolding relations<br />technology as constructed in an epistemic practice of informing, learning and belonging<br />Design as inherently wicked process of designing without a product<br />
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