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Social Media and technology Challenges


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This is the presentation I will be delivering this morning at the African Media & Broadcasting Congress at the Sandton Convention Centre, South Africa

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Social Media and technology Challenges

  1. 1. social media and technology challenges some lessons and approaches from personal experience
  2. 9. a good enough definition : Any communications format where the users publish the content - wikipedia
  3. 10. social media is one of the defining characteristics of web 2.0 behaviour
  4. 11. component parts original content, meta-content distribution, reading context
  5. 12. original content blogs, comments, video, photos wordpress | zoopy | flickr | youtube
  6. 13. meta-content aggregators, social news, analytics amatomu | afrigator | muti | digg |
  7. 14. technology generally built on open-source software Web Server - Apache Application - PHP / Python / Ruby on Rails Database - MySQL / PostgreSQL
  8. 15. data challenges large volumes of loosely structured data, folksonomies, very transactional and real-time
  9. 16. application challenges complex logic, useability, privacy
  10. 17. other challenges editorial and legal, quality, abuse, spam
  11. 18. some ways to approach all of these challenges things I learnt while paying my dues
  12. 19. be multi-disciplinary you cannot approach these problems successfully from the extreme perspectives of either corporate IT or marketing - this is a social space and is necessarily complex and fluid 1
  13. 20. pay heed to Merton unintended consequences are caused by ignorance, error, immediate interest, prohibitive values and self-fulfilling prophecies 2
  14. 21. get proper information there is a lot of hype about Web 2 and its potential for businesses - there is also a lot of hype. If you have any doubts, do proper research first. 3
  15. 22. harmony with culture the successful social media services are those that get incorporated into people’s daily lives, so your product must resonate within their culture 4
  16. 23. lived environment harsh or one-dimensional environments do not sustain life. A careful proportion of the world must be hackable and support personal appropriation - without obscuring the common sense uses 5
  17. 24. avoid streisand the streisand effect is when, trying to hide something, you draw more attention to it. Honesty is the best policy when communicating with users 6
  18. 25. work iteratively everything is going to have to change when the users move in, so start basic and learn while you grow 7
  19. 26. be aware of power all social applications are effused with power. Heirarchies and elites form spontaneously and they can damage your product. Understand that power is fluid and can be displaced and redistributed lightly and subtly. 8
  20. 27. we already have the wheel use open-source software or buy products if your requirements allow it, spend your time making them unique rather than getting to the starting line. 9
  21. 28. let go of ownership make content re-use easy, build APIs where possible/logical and remember that people get claustrophobic when you lock them in 10
  22. 29. that’s right - people suddenly, and sometimes unpleasantly, you have to accept that your users will have a personal interest in what you do
  23. 30. support is no longer the gulag, you will need to be able to understand your users and communicate with them as decision-makers dependent on their good-will
  24. 31. staffing is important a few good people who put their heart and soul into it. If they don’t have hearts or souls, put them in you billing dept
  25. 32. thank you and questions