Psychology of Social Media -- Portfolio


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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

  1. 1. Psychology of Social Media: Implication for Design<br />Shelly D. Farnham, Ph.D.<br />Dec 03 2009<br />Yahoo<br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br />My background and approach<br />Psychology of social media<br />Brief overview of past research trajectory<br />Deeper discussion of two recent projects –> technology and building real world community<br />CoCollage<br />Pathable<br />
  3. 3. My Background: Industry R&D<br /><ul><li>Specialize in social media</li></ul>Social networks, community, identity, mobile<br />Early stage innovation<br />Extremely rapid R&D cycle<br />Study, brainstorm, design, prototype, deploy, evaluate (repeat)<br />Convergent evaluation methodologies: interviews, questionnaires, usage analysis<br />Career<br />PhD in Social Psych from UW<br />7 years Microsoft Research<br />4 years startup world<br />Personal Map<br />
  4. 4. Research and Development Process<br />meeting social goals<br />
  5. 5. Core Problem<br />Human social behavior evolved in different context than what we have today<br />We are still figuring out how to interact via tech<br />How is it different?<br />How do we make it even better?<br />
  6. 6. Why Interact through Technology?<br />At a distance, over time<br />Access to greater number of people<br />More frequent, continues access<br />Interactions archived<br />Integrate with digital content<br />Identity and context manipulation<br />Large scale collaboration, coordination<br />
  7. 7. Social Psychological Approach<br />Understanding users<br />Individuals<br />Social dynamics: pairs, groups, networks<br />Social engineering<br />Technologies as social environments <br />Technologies as interventions<br />Socially intelligent<br />Use understanding of social processes to inform design<br />
  8. 8. Example<br />Design goal: a profile and matchmaking system to increase likelihood of two people finding each other and having a successful dating experience<br />
  9. 9. Understanding Attraction<br />Predictors of attraction<br />similarity<br />frequency of exposure<br />People I like like you <br />(Balance theory)<br />Predictors of matching<br />Similarity of “level”<br /> (matching hypothesis)<br />Process<br />Reciprocal self-disclosure<br />
  10. 10. Impact on Design<br />Match on similarity in demographics, lifestyle<br />Provide opportunities for frequent exposure, interaction<br />Match based on equivalence in desirability<br />Put in social context (see friends, friends of friends)<br />Varying levels of communication: pseudonymous, identified, asynchronous, realtime<br />
  11. 11. Design Principles<br />Defining user’s goals<br />Social goals<br />To like myself<br />That others like me<br />Sense of belonging<br />Mastery, self-efficacy<br />Implicit vs. explicit<br />
  12. 12. Design Principles<br />Take perspective of user<br />What is there, and what think is there, not always the same<br />People respond to what they *think* is there<br />Behavior is function of person and situation<br />To predict and change behavior, must understand all the forces<br />Some internal, some physical, MANY SOCIAL<br /><br />
  13. 13. Design Principles<br />The best social technologies are “invisible” to the user<br />need usability, to achieve sociability<br />Social translucence<br />Visibility, awareness, accountability<br />
  14. 14. Influential Early Research (1999)<br /><ul><li>HutchWorld Study: </li></ul> #1 reason patients used Internet was to interact with family and friends, not to meet other cancer patients/caregivers<br /><ul><li>Mall Study: </li></ul> How do people naturally model their social relations?<br /><ul><li>Relationships and groups
  15. 15. In terms of importance to self
  16. 16. Dynamic and idiosyncratic</li></li></ul><li>Early Studies of Social Technologies<br />social support<br />community<br />dating<br />Profiles and matchmaking<br />
  17. 17. Social Networking, Community, Identity, Mobile (2000-2005)<br />User studies<br />MSR Connections<br /><ul><li>Visualizing and interacting with personal and corporate social networks
  18. 18. Similarity based on interaction behavior, co-occurrence in communication groups
  19. 19. Enables dynamic network
  20. 20. Extract meaningful collections/groups via cluster analysis</li></ul>Personal Map<br />Point to Point<br />Wallop<br />
  21. 21. Personal MapAutomatically organize contacts in a way that is meaningful/intuitive to user<br /><ul><li>Infers implicit social groups from communication behavior in email
  22. 22. Provide sense of who’s important
  23. 23. Dynamic, changes as levels of interaction change
  24. 24. Minimal maintenance required</li></ul>Similarity (A B) = (sum (AB * significance))/sqrt(A * B)<br />Grouped using hierarchical cluster analysis <br />Shelly Farnham::Will Portnoy<br />
  25. 25. Point to Point User Studiesfacilitate knowledge exchange by exploiting corporate social network information<br />At Microsoft:<br />75,000 mailing lists,<br />each person belongs to on average 11 mailing lists<br />Social network info presented relative to self<br />Shelly Farnham::Will Portnoy<br />
  26. 26. Point to Point User Study I<br />39 employees completed task <br />Participants listed 15 closest co-workers, used to assess accuracy of point to point map<br />People most similar to the user tended to also be on the user’s list of coworkers.<br />People most similar to the user were not crossed off map as not belonging.<br />
  27. 27. Point to Point User Study II<br />17 employees completed 16 choices using Point to Point<br />Study design: Participants decided between two randomly selected people whom they would like to meet for knowledge exchange<br />network information affected decision-making<br />
  28. 28. Mobile Social and Hyper-coordination:Supporting Life Cycle of Events<br />Joe<br />Joe<br />Amy<br />Joe<br />Amy<br />Amy<br />Bob<br />Bob<br />Jen<br />Jen<br />Jen<br />Bob<br />Apart<br />Together<br />Apart (Repeat)<br />Slam:<br />Groups, messaging, photo sharing for the smartphone<br />Swarm:<br />Group<br />Text messaging<br />Shelly to coffee: caffeine?<br />
  29. 29. Groove Field Deployment Study<br />After Katrina hurricane, economy at a stand still, largely evacuated<br />Microsoft effort, Groove deployment to relief workers<br />Secure, peer to peer collaboration<br />Enables sharing and synchronization across locations, while mobile, with intermittent Internet access<br />Ideal for ad hoc, cross organizational collaboration<br />
  30. 30. Waggle Labs (2006-2009) Social Media R&D Consulting and Incubation<br />Pathable<br />Swaggle (group text messaging)<br />Zillow community<br />Trusera<br />CoCollage (Strands)<br />Facebook analysis<br />Social Web 2.0<br />Reality AllStarz<br />Teen Focus Group (MSR)<br />City of Seattle<br />MyTwee<br />
  31. 31.
  32. 32. 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) <br />User Goals for Facebook Apps<br />
  33. 33. CoCollage<br />The Strands Community Collage (CoCollage™) promotes awareness, interactions and communityin third places where people seek conversation and connection.<br />Web site for sharing and conversation<br />Large display showing “Community Collage”<br />
  34. 34. Third Places<br />Semi-public places away from home (first places) and work (second places) <br />People gather to enjoy conversation with friends and strangers <br />Facilitate community development <br />frequent serendipitous interactions<br />increased likelihood of developing web of interpersonal relationships<br />
  35. 35. Existing “Technologies” for Community Development in Third Places<br />Challenging to get to know who comes regularly over time, what they are like, and start conversations<br />
  36. 36. CoCollage: Expanding Impact of Place<br />web site<br />large display<br />synchronous<br />awareness and conversation<br />in cafe<br />asynchronous awareness, sharing and conversation<br />in café or at home<br />
  37. 37. CoCollage Features<br />Uploading<br />People and profiles<br />Commenting, voting<br />Messaging<br />Shared items (photos & quotes)<br />The big screen<br />
  38. 38. Early Deployment Study<br />Procedure<br />Deploy to local coffee shop: Trabant, working closely with owners<br />Observations, interviews and questionnaire<br />Goals<br />develop a better understanding of the psycho-social factors that would impact adoption and use<br />get immediate feedback for iteratively improving design<br />explore how best to measure place-based community development for future studies<br />
  39. 39. Factors Expected to Influence Adoption and Use<br />The size and activity of the existing community<br />the extent to which the individual has a desire to meet others through the café<br />the individual’s existing levels of psychological sense of communityandplace attachment to the café<br />
  40. 40. Place Attachment<br />Rosenbaum et al. in study of a suburban diner<br />People who experienced social support through diner, developed place attachment – bond between person and place<br />Used items that loaded highly on three factors: <br />Functional dependency: “I get more satisfaction out of Trabant than other cafes”<br />Commitment: “I really care about the fate of Trabant”<br />Identification with self: “The success of Trabant is my success”<br />Sense of Community<br />Place Attachment<br />
  41. 41. Questionnaire: Existing Community <br />Size of their existing café network:<br />58% had at least one acquaintance in café, of those averaging 4.2 each<br />25% had at least one personal friend, of those averaging 2.8 each<br />Psycho social factors:<br />Satisfied with café (M = 5.6)*<br />Lukewarm in sense of community (M = 3.5)*<br />Place attachment on dependency (M = 5.4)* and commitment (M = 5.3)* factors, but less so on identity (M = 3.4)*<br />Desire to connect with others<br />56% had some or more interest in meeting others at the café <br />suggests roughly half of regulars would want to join CoCollage<br />*on scale of 1 to 7, where 1 = not at all and 7 = extremely so<br />
  42. 42. Raw Correlations<br />Bolded items are statistically significant at p < .05.<br />Of 69 who completed questionnaire, 24 also joined CoCollage<br />Sense of community, place attachment, and desire to connect correlated with whether joined CoCollage<br />
  43. 43. Percentage of users who engaged in each type of activity, with means<br />CoCollage Usage<br /><ul><li>82 users in first month
  44. 44. Primary usage:
  45. 45. create a profile
  46. 46. browse other profiles
  47. 47. upload images
  48. 48. View others’ images
  49. 49. Significant correlation between desire to make friends and
  50. 50. number of comments (r = .43, p < .05)
  51. 51. number of unique days they have returned to the system (r = .43, p < .05)</li></li></ul><li>A Month Later: Impact on Place Attachment<br />
  52. 52. A Month Later: Impact on Neighboring<br />
  53. 53. CoCollage Study Conclusions<br />Within first month, decent adoption<br />82 out of roughly 400 regulars joined CoCollage in the first month<br />Questionnaire results shows that people who<br />a) are looking to connect with others<br />b) already have a psychological sense of community at the café<br />c) already feel place attachment to the café,<br />are more likely to join CoCollage and start conversations<br />CoCollage did have impact on attachment and neighboring over time<br />Psychological sense of community for place and place attachment are meaningful constructs in predicting adoption of a place-based community technology<br />
  54. 54. Pathable: Leveraging Social Media for Professional Social Networking<br />Whom do I most want to meet, in the limited time available to me?<br />How do I meet them?<br />EIBTM’s WorldWide Technology Watch Award for 2009<br />
  55. 55. Social Networking at Events<br />World wide over 1.2 million professional events each year, adding up to a hundred billion dollar industry<br />Why?<br />Learning<br />Meeting people!<br />Forming connections with clients and colleagues<br />Face-to-face for developing trust<br />face-to-face for informal idea and knowledge sharing via conversation<br />
  56. 56. Building Community at Events<br />In early interviews with conference organizers, they listed building community as a primary goal<br />Why do event attendees and event hosts at professional events care about building community?<br />
  57. 57. What is Community<br />Cupcake Society<br /> "I define "community" as networks of interpersonal ties that provide sociability, support, information, a sense of belonging, and social identity.” <br /><ul><li>Barry Wellman (2001)</li></li></ul><li>Why Do Event Attendees Care about Community?<br />Hey, I’m a member of the Cupcake Society too!<br />Can I borrow some sugar?<br />Take my recipe, too!<br />Sure!<br />Sure!<br /><ul><li>Community groups enable transitive relationships
  58. 58. Powerfully increase social capital through simple act of joining community
  59. 59. Communities of practice: group of people interested in content domain, shared practices increase effectiveness of members</li></li></ul><li>Why Host Cares about Community<br />We expect that sense of community at events increases attendee loyalty.<br />
  60. 60. Designing Pathable: Leveraging Social Media for Face to Face Professional Social Networking<br />Whom do I most want to meet, in the limited time available to me?<br />How do I meet them?<br />How do we become a “social tie”?<br />How do we become a community?<br />
  61. 61. Who is here? Who do I want to meet?<br />
  62. 62. Social Networks<br />Social Scientist<br />Media Startup<br />Research<br />SocialTech<br />Community<br />RealityAllStar<br />BlogHer<br />Blogger<br />startup<br />community<br />social technology<br />blogger<br />
  63. 63.
  64. 64.
  65. 65. Exploration at Seattle Mind Camp 3<br />75 people provided tags for self, organization, related people, related events<br />
  66. 66. Pathable<br /> Community and social networking tools for conferences<br />Community Dashboard <br />Profiles<br />Attendee directory<br />Match-making<br />Messaging<br />Integration (blog, twitter, LinkedIn)<br />Wiki (Wetpaint)<br />Schedule<br />
  67. 67. Design Themes<br />The event host is a connector and community moderator<br />Rich information with minimal effort<br />Social tags are used as pivots of awareness, connection, and communication<br />Professional match matching for improved people finding <br />Incorporate communication back channels<br />
  68. 68. Profile<br />Per event<br />
  69. 69. Profile<br /><ul><li>User can prepopulate from past event
  70. 70. Host can prepopulate, e.g. for speakers</li></li></ul><li>Attendee Directory<br />Searchable<br />Tag-centric<br />Most used feature<br />
  71. 71. Conversation<br />To all, or tags<br />Subscribe to mailing list<br />
  72. 72. Contacts<br />Added through bookmarking<br />
  73. 73. Tweet Stream<br />Live updates<br />
  74. 74.
  75. 75. Host Manager<br />
  76. 76. Face to Face Integration<br />Using existing technologies:<br />Mobile<br />Badges<br />Printable calendar<br />Visualization<br />
  77. 77. Personalized Badge<br />
  78. 78. Match-making<br />Best matches possible, with minimal effort in profiles<br />Based on predictors of successful matches:<br />Common interests<br />Same roles<br />Job title<br />Host provided categories<br />Co-location<br />By geography<br />By events<br />Existing shared groups and communities<br />Weighted sum to produce ordered list<br />
  79. 79. Pathable BarCamp Seattle Study<br />Questions: <br />how important is social networking at events<br />can Pathable help?<br />BarCamp Seattle is a free, two-day conference held for Web 2.0<br />280 people registered for the event using Pathable<br />78 people total (76% male and 24% female) completed the questionnaire, 18 at the event and 60 afterwards online<br />
  80. 80. Primary Goal in Coming to Event<br />
  81. 81. Correlations between Event Features and Intention to Return<br />Sense of community and event attachment highly correlation r = .81<br />Bolded items are statistically significant at p < .05.<br />
  82. 82. Pathable Usage<br />Everyone registered through Pathable, about half actively used the system<br />60% actively browsed directory<br />47% actively browsed messages<br />19% actively sent messages<br />43% intended to use directory after event<br />55% intended to use communication features after event<br />If they said they came to event only to learn, less likely to use Pathable (t = 2.6, p < .02)<br />The higher the usage, the more they said it helped them meet people (r = .65, p < .001)<br />No correlation between usage and raw count of people met <br />Usage correlated with count of professional friends at event (r = .36, p < .01)<br />**percentages for those who indicated at least somewhat or quite a bit<br />
  83. 83. Impact on Professional Network<br />
  84. 84. Impact on Attachment and Sense of Community<br />
  85. 85. Impact of Usage by Feature<br />Pathable helped attendees meet others <br />the more they browsed the attendee directory <br />(r = .37, p < .005)<br />the more they browsed attendee messages <br />(r = .43, p < .005)<br />the more they sent messages <br />(r =.54, p < .005)<br />the more they used the match-making feature <br /> (r = .66, p < .005) <br />
  86. 86. Figure 9. Life cycle of Pathable activity before, during and after event<br />Life Cycle of a Pathable-enabled Event<br /><ul><li>Gnomedex
  87. 87. Can create an active community with minimal effort
  88. 88. Two emails
  89. 89. Seeded initial profiles
  90. 90. Seeded conversations</li></li></ul><li>Seeding the Community<br />Ensure the community feels full from the start<br />Model the desired behavior<br />Invite the organizers, speakers, volunteers to complete a profile first<br />Author the speaker/high status profiles<br />Seed representative tags<br />Seed type of conversation hoped for<br />Send personal invitations<br />
  91. 91. Leveraging Match-making Features<br />Nurturing tags<br />Use badges<br />Use color coded categories<br />Provides overview<br />Easy point of conversation<br />Examples <br /> Job types: developer, designer, marketer<br /> Interests: blogging, podcasting, and mobile<br /> Person types: creative vs. geek <br /> Personality: introvert, extrovert<br />Integrate with face to face<br />Introductions<br />Birds of a feather meetings<br />
  92. 92. People Loved Badges<br />and blogged about them!<br />
  93. 93. Themes and Conclusions<br />Mission <br />Help people meet goals through social technologies<br />Incorporate psychology of social media<br />Clearly define user goals<br />Examine psycho-social context of technology to influence design<br />Prototyping and *early* deployment to assess technology’s ability to meet goals<br />Broad conclusions<br />Important to map natural social processes into social technologies<br />People are *always* seeking to develop social relationships, even in professional environments<br />people, networks, and groups as primary content<br />Networking and community technologies can and SHOULD meaningfully impact face-to-face interactions<br />