Who Am I ?<br />Product
Manager and Lead Spokesperson for Vertabase Project Management Software.<br />Former Wall Street Analyst.<br />Economist by training <br />(London School of Economics and University of Michigan).<br />http://www.vertabase.com/blog/16/<br />
And Blogs Abound –and are
beating Newspapers. </li></li></ul><li>AND<br />Cell phone use has exploded.<br />A gazillion texts are sent everyday<br />You can vote for an Idol with your phone<br />And the American Red Cross raised over $10 million for Haiti from text messages in a week.<br />
There are many companies that
will sell your organization social media in a box. And a lot of organizations are buying. But then it falls flat on its face and nothing happens with it. Never gets touched.</li></li></ul><li>Even Giants Can Have Trouble Getting User Transaction<br />Google apps, totally free, totally social and totally collaborative is still fighting with Open Office and every other player you could think of for the roughly 2% of the market share in the office productivity space that Microsoft doesn’t own <br />(apart from the approximately 5% Adobe has with Creative Suite).<br />
Don't focus on the advertiser.
<br />Almost all of the research and studies have been from the perspective of the advertiser or the ad platform.<br />Is it any wonder it has been framed as “how can we understand the consumer so we can better connect with them.”<br />
Specifically<br />This talk explores the
factors that influence user adoption of social media in a system.<br />It talks about the current research on social media and proposes a framework for helping make choices on what social media aspects to include in your system.<br />
Knowing that most people have
150 weak ties doesn’t help you pick features. It doesn’t determine whether you’ll be Facebook or MySpace.</li></li></ul><li>What Does Help<br />is knowing the type of social transaction.<br />If you know what type of social “business” the person wants to do,<br />or <br />the type of social “business” you want them to do,<br />You can build a feature and design a system that is the cheapest, easiest and fastest way for them to do it.<br />In terms of building tools and making decisions, now we’re talking. <br />
As You All Well Know<br
/><ul><li>In terms of adoption, one good tool that makes an incremental difference (one key feature) is worth more than a whole huge toolbox that never gets touched.
btw, you can't force people
to use a tool just because it makes sense to you or management. People will make their own adoption decisions.</li></li></ul><li>Like adoption, in general, <br />it is dependent <br />on the cost / benefit <br />of using the technology.<br />
In the case of social
media this translates into<br /> “is it easier for the user to conduct the key parts of their relationship with another person or group of people using the tool.”<br />In other words:<br />Is it easier or harder for them to make the social transaction.<br />
We are only now learning
about the implications of connecting ourselves and information to others and to other information online.
This was one of the
first problems formal economics tackled “how do we define or measure cost” so we are starting from the right point.</li></li></ul><li>Introducing…Permission Boundaries<br /><ul><li>Permission Boundaries is a bucket I’ve created for capturing these costs.
Note: The social transaction, will
identify the “goal” or desired outcome of the transaction i.e. the benefit side of the equation.</li></li></ul><li>Permission Boundaries<br /><ul><li>A concept to capture the “cost” to a user of using or not using a social networking system.
It incorporates the type of
relationship, specifics about that relationship, privacy, boundaries and the cost of managing those aspects online.</li></li></ul><li>Why Online Is Different Than RL<br /><ul><li>Why its so hard to define online.
This is something we develop
over time and can continue to refine (part of human development).</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>What you'd share or ask recommendation on or from on person or situation vs. another.
All of these aspects are
managed in physical world, we know how to so this. But online just starting and the cost of managing can be high and inconvenient and consequences big.
The environment itself is just
being built and so is our understanding of it.</li></li></ul><li>(things to keep in mind)<br />Online, the systems themselves are owned privately and are commercial endeavors with point to make money, to capitalize on the info in the system ad your use of it. There is always an underlining transaction, an economic transaction, in the system. <br />Companies are not in it for the love.Email and the web are still the least commercial of VL systems. <br />Also email is a good parallel to a social system you'd build internally since the email itself is owned by the company or organization. <br />(Just like the social media features would be in your proprietary system.)<br />Also, on email you decide who it goes to. You add the address or reply to the email (which gives it instant context).<br />
These are all encompassed in
Permission Boundaries<br /><ul><li>Each person has their own permission boundaries around their social transactions.
We don’t have to worry
about these in real world since there is a perception that information is far easier to control, different groups don’t cross as easily, information is less fluid in RL and there are many visual, spatial and temporal cues we have to be able to define and control our permission boundaries.
However, even in RL this
can cross –the dis at the end of the movie 8 Mile.</li></li></ul><li>Who do you give permission to share what with and who do you want to share with you. <br />
61% of the group names
were unique.</li></li></ul><li>That is:<br />There is no meaningful taxonomy you can build into your software that will encapsulate the relationships and therefore permissions a person has with other people.<br />It can’t be done.<br />Human Relations Are Too Complex and Nuanced.<br />[Single solutions for online identity management will likely not work. Focus on role based interactions where the role is determined by their part in the social transaction]<br />
In another study, researchers analyzed
all the photographs posted on Facebook pages in one college. <br />When they looked at how many friends people had (based on who was in their photos), the average was 6.6<br />
The average number of friends
on Facebook is 130, and many users have many more. <br />Yet despite having hundreds of friends, most people on Facebook only interact regularly with 4 to 6 people.<br />
As We See<br />Many research
studies have shown that the vast majority of usage on social networks is with small numbers of strong ties. <br />So What?<br />Doesn’t Help With Tool Selection<br />Doesn’t have any predictive value.<br />
A study in the 1970s
showed that the majority of phone calls were to people who live within five miles of the caller's home. Social tools help use strengthen the ties we already have.</li></li></ul><li>And in the Social Media World?<br />80% of Skype calls are made to the same 2 people.<br />That’s cool to realize.<br />
Maybe Strong Ties, Does Tell
Us Something<br />Strong ties often wield the most influence over people's decisions. <br />For example, they are often the biggest factor in purchase decisions. <br />
Or Not<br />But not all
strong ties have same effect.<br />I wouldn’t ask my mother for a clothing recommendation <br />but she is a very strong tie (and she buys me clothes in December anyway : )<br />
So we are back in
the world of the nuance of social interactions. Not all strong ties are equal in all social transactions.<br />But at least we learned that technology enables us to transact socially with people we already know, if its cheaper and easier.<br />If it makes sense against our permission boundary<br />
Permission Boundary Break (with a
transaction snuck in)<br />That’s a detail of permission boundary. What kind of products or advice you would take from which people. <br />And what would you expect to give/be asked for, from whom.<br />That transaction alone, getting product advice, could be a huge matrix and Ph.D. study.<br />
Key Concept<br />When we talk
about cheapest and easiest, we’re talking about COST in terms of permission boundaries.<br />The cost includes managing one’s profile / identity as overhead. <br />Privacy impacts<br />RL impacts like finding a job or a spouse.<br />
Btw, information shared with weak
ties is often the source of much trouble and increased social cost.</li></li></ul><li>150 <br /><ul><li>Most of us can only stay up-to-date with up to 150 weak ties. This is a limitation of our brain.
The Roman army was split
into groups of 150 so that everyone in the group knew each other. (That’s why the movie 300 was twice the fun of other sandal and sword movies.)</li></ul>Source: Paul Adams Preso <br />
Paul Adams Says:<br />Online social
networks make it easier to reconnect and catch up with weak ties<br />We can now look at what they've been up to via their online social network profile. This lets us easily communicate with them - it gives us a lightweight route to get back in touch. <br />This is a powerful route when we're sourcing new information.<br />
My POV:<br />This is a
great data point supporting the idea that the social network is so low cost, relative to the permission boundary with those weak ties, <br />FOR THE TYPE OF SOCIAL TRANSACTION <br />they are conducting, that they use it.<br /><ul><li>It is super easy
But since it is so
easy (and not something we think about carefully it is the source of potential trouble –as well as growth).</li></li></ul><li>Permission Boundary Break<br /><ul><li>That’s why Facebook beat MySpace
But –it added to the
terabytes of data out there and while it made it easier to add to them. It made it harder for individuals to filter those terabytes and see only what they wanted.</li></li></ul><li>Permission Boundary -Personalization<br /><ul><li>Google was about personalization of “info in” (search)
MySpace is about personalized publishing
(“info out”) like blogs. And like the web itself.</li></li></ul><li>Its not Definitive, Though<br />Because There is Still a Ton of Social Transaction going on “off network”<br />
- People update their status
to source information.</li></li></ul><li>How Other’s Perceive Them<br />That is the key to identity or profile management.<br />This is a huge factor in a permission boundary.<br />And it changes depending upon the person you are trying to appear in front of.<br />But you don’t need it in RL with your friend who really knows who you are.<br />RL is different.<br />
Start with the transaction then
build for adoption of the tool for that transaction.</li></li></ul><li>Cost of Managing IdentityA factor balanced against a permission boundary<br /><ul><li>Managing identity has high Overhead
This is a key to
how “elastic” a permission boundary is in social network system. The lower the overhead is to manage identity and privacy (i.e. the user assumes the system is doing it for them) the more elastic the permission boundary i.e. the more free the information will flow in and out. The boundary will bend to allow more to pass in and out.
Until something goes wrong –then
there’s a whiplash out of there.</li></li></ul><li>Interesting Fact<br />Half of the top 1000 reviewers on Amazon don't use their real name.<br />Its just a review. It adds credibility to use a real name. Yet people don’t. <br />Permission boundaries are that weird.<br />As Paul Adams says “sometimes people need to be anonymous”<br />
What Does That Tell Us?<br
/><ul><li>That doesn’t mean you need to rush and build in the capability for people to be anonymous in your social networking tool.
It means that you need
to understand the full import of the transaction you are asking or allowing users to conduct on your network.
And sometimes, anonymous is just
a way for a user to tell you that managing the online profile is too darn “costly” on your system.</li></li></ul><li>Privacy, Another “Cost” Factor in Permission Boundary<br />Research on Facebook usage showed that only 8% of users had left their profile open to anyone searching on the Facebook network, and that 64% of users had adjusted their profile to “only friends.”<br />
Source: Paul Adams Preso</li></li></ul><li>Cost of
Managing a Profile (and what happens if you don’t)<br />One research study found that only 18% of users updated their profile after 24 hours of creating it, and only 12% updated after one week. Without live content that updates regularly, profiles quickly become outdated representations.<br />
But if this gossip happens
on their Facebook walls, and it does, then it remains there for the guy to find at any point in time. Not only that, but it could be weeks old, or months, or even years.</li></ul>Source: Paul Adams Preso<br />
It stinks in the virtual
playground, but what about in the corporate social sandbox</li></li></ul><li>Sample Transactions, Tools to Do it, The Type of Relationship Its done with and what kind of Bond it Builds<br /><ul><li>Mutual interests, a community of common interest (message boards –low pressure, time convenient)
The cost is weighed against
their permission boundaries (which tries to capture the nuanced and complex nature of people’s relationships with each other)
Isolating which transaction your are
trying to encourage will help you build/select the right feature since it is a starting point for understanding the permission boundaries involved.</li></li></ul><li>VL is Not RL<br /><ul><li>VL is still coming into being
There is no true “nature”
in VL. Nothing bigger or stronger than us (despite movies about robot take-overs). We run the show.</li></li></ul><li>Thank you<br />www.vertabase.com/blog<br />@mpmobile <br />email@example.com<br />Most Recent Article: <br />“Context Trumps Content”<br />In ComputerWorld & Bloomberg BusinessWeek<br />Search “Context Trumps Content”<br />