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Psychology of Social Media -- Portfolio

Psychology of Social Media -- Portfolio



An introduction to my approach as a social psychologist in the technology industry, with highlightsof of past projects and the trajectory of my research.

An introduction to my approach as a social psychologist in the technology industry, with highlightsof of past projects and the trajectory of my research.



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    Psychology of Social Media -- Portfolio Psychology of Social Media -- Portfolio Presentation Transcript

    • Psychology of Social Media: Implication for Design
      Shelly D. Farnham, Ph.D.
      Dec 03 2009
    • Agenda
      My background and approach
      Psychology of social media
      Brief overview of past research trajectory
      Deeper discussion of two recent projects –> technology and building real world community
    • My Background: Industry R&D
      • Specialize in social media
      Social networks, community, identity, mobile
      Early stage innovation
      Extremely rapid R&D cycle
      Study, brainstorm, design, prototype, deploy, evaluate (repeat)
      Convergent evaluation methodologies: interviews, questionnaires, usage analysis
      PhD in Social Psych from UW
      7 years Microsoft Research
      4 years startup world
      Personal Map
    • Research and Development Process
      meeting social goals
    • Core Problem
      Human social behavior evolved in different context than what we have today
      We are still figuring out how to interact via tech
      How is it different?
      How do we make it even better?
    • Why Interact through Technology?
      At a distance, over time
      Access to greater number of people
      More frequent, continues access
      Interactions archived
      Integrate with digital content
      Identity and context manipulation
      Large scale collaboration, coordination
    • Social Psychological Approach
      Understanding users
      Social dynamics: pairs, groups, networks
      Social engineering
      Technologies as social environments
      Technologies as interventions
      Socially intelligent
      Use understanding of social processes to inform design
    • Example
      Design goal: a profile and matchmaking system to increase likelihood of two people finding each other and having a successful dating experience
    • Understanding Attraction
      Predictors of attraction
      frequency of exposure
      People I like like you
      (Balance theory)
      Predictors of matching
      Similarity of “level”
      (matching hypothesis)
      Reciprocal self-disclosure
    • Impact on Design
      Match on similarity in demographics, lifestyle
      Provide opportunities for frequent exposure, interaction
      Match based on equivalence in desirability
      Put in social context (see friends, friends of friends)
      Varying levels of communication: pseudonymous, identified, asynchronous, realtime
    • Design Principles
      Defining user’s goals
      Social goals
      To like myself
      That others like me
      Sense of belonging
      Mastery, self-efficacy
      Implicit vs. explicit
    • Design Principles
      Take perspective of user
      What is there, and what think is there, not always the same
      People respond to what they *think* is there
      Behavior is function of person and situation
      To predict and change behavior, must understand all the forces
      Some internal, some physical, MANY SOCIAL
    • Design Principles
      The best social technologies are “invisible” to the user
      need usability, to achieve sociability
      Social translucence
      Visibility, awareness, accountability
    • Influential Early Research (1999)
      • HutchWorld Study:
      #1 reason patients used Internet was to interact with family and friends, not to meet other cancer patients/caregivers
      • Mall Study:
      How do people naturally model their social relations?
      • Relationships and groups
      • In terms of importance to self
      • Dynamic and idiosyncratic
    • Early Studies of Social Technologies
      social support
      Profiles and matchmaking
    • Social Networking, Community, Identity, Mobile (2000-2005)
      User studies
      MSR Connections
      • Visualizing and interacting with personal and corporate social networks
      • Similarity based on interaction behavior, co-occurrence in communication groups
      • Enables dynamic network
      • Extract meaningful collections/groups via cluster analysis
      Personal Map
      Point to Point
    • Personal MapAutomatically organize contacts in a way that is meaningful/intuitive to user
      • Infers implicit social groups from communication behavior in email
      • Provide sense of who’s important
      • Dynamic, changes as levels of interaction change
      • Minimal maintenance required
      Similarity (A B) = (sum (AB * significance))/sqrt(A * B)
      Grouped using hierarchical cluster analysis
      Shelly Farnham::Will Portnoy
    • Point to Point User Studiesfacilitate knowledge exchange by exploiting corporate social network information
      At Microsoft:
      75,000 mailing lists,
      each person belongs to on average 11 mailing lists
      Social network info presented relative to self
      Shelly Farnham::Will Portnoy
    • Point to Point User Study I
      39 employees completed task
      Participants listed 15 closest co-workers, used to assess accuracy of point to point map
      People most similar to the user tended to also be on the user’s list of coworkers.
      People most similar to the user were not crossed off map as not belonging.
    • Point to Point User Study II
      17 employees completed 16 choices using Point to Point
      Study design: Participants decided between two randomly selected people whom they would like to meet for knowledge exchange
      network information affected decision-making
    • Mobile Social and Hyper-coordination:Supporting Life Cycle of Events
      Apart (Repeat)
      Groups, messaging, photo sharing for the smartphone
      Text messaging
      Shelly to coffee: caffeine?
    • Groove Field Deployment Study
      After Katrina hurricane, economy at a stand still, largely evacuated
      Microsoft effort, Groove deployment to relief workers
      Secure, peer to peer collaboration
      Enables sharing and synchronization across locations, while mobile, with intermittent Internet access
      Ideal for ad hoc, cross organizational collaboration
    • Waggle Labs (2006-2009) Social Media R&D Consulting and Incubation
      Swaggle (group text messaging)
      Zillow community
      CoCollage (Strands)
      Facebook analysis
      Social Web 2.0
      Reality AllStarz
      Teen Focus Group (MSR)
      City of Seattle
    • Distribution of Daily Activity in Top Applications, Measured in Share of Total Daily Active Usage (28.4 million total, averaged for week ending 11/18/07)
      User Goals for Facebook Apps
    • CoCollage
      The Strands Community Collage (CoCollage™) promotes awareness, interactions and communityin third places where people seek conversation and connection.
      Web site for sharing and conversation
      Large display showing “Community Collage”
    • Third Places
      Semi-public places away from home (first places) and work (second places)
      People gather to enjoy conversation with friends and strangers
      Facilitate community development
      frequent serendipitous interactions
      increased likelihood of developing web of interpersonal relationships
    • Existing “Technologies” for Community Development in Third Places
      Challenging to get to know who comes regularly over time, what they are like, and start conversations
    • CoCollage: Expanding Impact of Place
      web site
      large display
      awareness and conversation
      in cafe
      asynchronous awareness, sharing and conversation
      in café or at home
    • CoCollage Features
      People and profiles
      Commenting, voting
      Shared items (photos & quotes)
      The big screen
    • Early Deployment Study
      Deploy to local coffee shop: Trabant, working closely with owners
      Observations, interviews and questionnaire
      develop a better understanding of the psycho-social factors that would impact adoption and use
      get immediate feedback for iteratively improving design
      explore how best to measure place-based community development for future studies
    • Factors Expected to Influence Adoption and Use
      The size and activity of the existing community
      the extent to which the individual has a desire to meet others through the café
      the individual’s existing levels of psychological sense of communityandplace attachment to the café
    • Place Attachment
      Rosenbaum et al. in study of a suburban diner
      People who experienced social support through diner, developed place attachment – bond between person and place
      Used items that loaded highly on three factors:
      Functional dependency: “I get more satisfaction out of Trabant than other cafes”
      Commitment: “I really care about the fate of Trabant”
      Identification with self: “The success of Trabant is my success”
      Sense of Community
      Place Attachment
    • Questionnaire: Existing Community
      Size of their existing café network:
      58% had at least one acquaintance in café, of those averaging 4.2 each
      25% had at least one personal friend, of those averaging 2.8 each
      Psycho social factors:
      Satisfied with café (M = 5.6)*
      Lukewarm in sense of community (M = 3.5)*
      Place attachment on dependency (M = 5.4)* and commitment (M = 5.3)* factors, but less so on identity (M = 3.4)*
      Desire to connect with others
      56% had some or more interest in meeting others at the café
      suggests roughly half of regulars would want to join CoCollage
      *on scale of 1 to 7, where 1 = not at all and 7 = extremely so
    • Raw Correlations
      Bolded items are statistically significant at p < .05.
      Of 69 who completed questionnaire, 24 also joined CoCollage
      Sense of community, place attachment, and desire to connect correlated with whether joined CoCollage
    • Percentage of users who engaged in each type of activity, with means
      CoCollage Usage
      • 82 users in first month
      • Primary usage:
      • create a profile
      • browse other profiles
      • upload images
      • View others’ images
      • Significant correlation between desire to make friends and
      • number of comments (r = .43, p < .05)
      • number of unique days they have returned to the system (r = .43, p < .05)
    • A Month Later: Impact on Place Attachment
    • A Month Later: Impact on Neighboring
    • CoCollage Study Conclusions
      Within first month, decent adoption
      82 out of roughly 400 regulars joined CoCollage in the first month
      Questionnaire results shows that people who
      a) are looking to connect with others
      b) already have a psychological sense of community at the café
      c) already feel place attachment to the café,
      are more likely to join CoCollage and start conversations
      CoCollage did have impact on attachment and neighboring over time
      Psychological sense of community for place and place attachment are meaningful constructs in predicting adoption of a place-based community technology
    • Pathable: Leveraging Social Media for Professional Social Networking
      Whom do I most want to meet, in the limited time available to me?
      How do I meet them?
      EIBTM’s WorldWide Technology Watch Award for 2009
    • Social Networking at Events
      World wide over 1.2 million professional events each year, adding up to a hundred billion dollar industry
      Meeting people!
      Forming connections with clients and colleagues
      Face-to-face for developing trust
      face-to-face for informal idea and knowledge sharing via conversation
    • Building Community at Events
      In early interviews with conference organizers, they listed building community as a primary goal
      Why do event attendees and event hosts at professional events care about building community?
    • What is Community
      Cupcake Society
      "I define "community" as networks of interpersonal ties that provide sociability, support, information, a sense of belonging, and social identity.”
      • Barry Wellman (2001)
    • Why Do Event Attendees Care about Community?
      Hey, I’m a member of the Cupcake Society too!
      Can I borrow some sugar?
      Take my recipe, too!
      • Community groups enable transitive relationships
      • Powerfully increase social capital through simple act of joining community
      • Communities of practice: group of people interested in content domain, shared practices increase effectiveness of members
    • Why Host Cares about Community
      We expect that sense of community at events increases attendee loyalty.
    • Designing Pathable: Leveraging Social Media for Face to Face Professional Social Networking
      Whom do I most want to meet, in the limited time available to me?
      How do I meet them?
      How do we become a “social tie”?
      How do we become a community?
    • Who is here? Who do I want to meet?
    • Social Networks
      Social Scientist
      Media Startup
      social technology
    • Exploration at Seattle Mind Camp 3
      75 people provided tags for self, organization, related people, related events
    • Pathable
      Community and social networking tools for conferences
      Community Dashboard 
      Attendee directory
      Integration (blog, twitter, LinkedIn)
      Wiki (Wetpaint)
    • Design Themes
      The event host is a connector and community moderator
      Rich information with minimal effort
      Social tags are used as pivots of awareness, connection, and communication
      Professional match matching for improved people finding
      Incorporate communication back channels
    • Profile
      Per event
    • Profile
      • User can prepopulate from past event
      • Host can prepopulate, e.g. for speakers
    • Attendee Directory
      Most used feature
    • Conversation
      To all, or tags
      Subscribe to mailing list
    • Contacts
      Added through bookmarking
    • Tweet Stream
      Live updates
    • Host Manager
    • Face to Face Integration
      Using existing technologies:
      Printable calendar
    • Personalized Badge
    • Match-making
      Best matches possible, with minimal effort in profiles
      Based on predictors of successful matches:
      Common interests
      Same roles
      Job title
      Host provided categories
      By geography
      By events
      Existing shared groups and communities
      Weighted sum to produce ordered list
    • Pathable BarCamp Seattle Study
      how important is social networking at events
      can Pathable help?
      BarCamp Seattle is a free, two-day conference held for Web 2.0
      280 people registered for the event using Pathable
      78 people total (76% male and 24% female) completed the questionnaire, 18 at the event and 60 afterwards online
    • Primary Goal in Coming to Event
    • Correlations between Event Features and Intention to Return
      Sense of community and event attachment highly correlation r = .81
      Bolded items are statistically significant at p < .05.
    • Pathable Usage
      Everyone registered through Pathable, about half actively used the system
      60% actively browsed directory
      47% actively browsed messages
      19% actively sent messages
      43% intended to use directory after event
      55% intended to use communication features after event
      If they said they came to event only to learn, less likely to use Pathable (t = 2.6, p < .02)
      The higher the usage, the more they said it helped them meet people (r = .65, p < .001)
      No correlation between usage and raw count of people met
      Usage correlated with count of professional friends at event (r = .36, p < .01)
      **percentages for those who indicated at least somewhat or quite a bit
    • Impact on Professional Network
    • Impact on Attachment and Sense of Community
    • Impact of Usage by Feature
      Pathable helped attendees meet others
      the more they browsed the attendee directory
      (r = .37, p < .005)
      the more they browsed attendee messages
      (r = .43, p < .005)
      the more they sent messages
      (r =.54, p < .005)
      the more they used the match-making feature
      (r = .66, p < .005)
    • Figure 9. Life cycle of Pathable activity before, during and after event
      Life Cycle of a Pathable-enabled Event
      • Gnomedex
      • Can create an active community with minimal effort
      • Two emails
      • Seeded initial profiles
      • Seeded conversations
    • Seeding the Community
      Ensure the community feels full from the start
      Model the desired behavior
      Invite the organizers, speakers, volunteers to complete a profile first
      Author the speaker/high status profiles
      Seed representative tags
      Seed type of conversation hoped for
      Send personal invitations
    • Leveraging Match-making Features
      Nurturing tags
      Use badges
      Use color coded categories
      Provides overview
      Easy point of conversation
      Job types: developer, designer, marketer
      Interests: blogging, podcasting, and mobile
      Person types: creative vs. geek
      Personality: introvert, extrovert
      Integrate with face to face
      Birds of a feather meetings
    • People Loved Badges
      and blogged about them!
    • Themes and Conclusions
      Help people meet goals through social technologies
      Incorporate psychology of social media
      Clearly define user goals
      Examine psycho-social context of technology to influence design
      Prototyping and *early* deployment to assess technology’s ability to meet goals
      Broad conclusions
      Important to map natural social processes into social technologies
      People are *always* seeking to develop social relationships, even in professional environments
      people, networks, and groups as primary content
      Networking and community technologies can and SHOULD meaningfully impact face-to-face interactions