12 Comments

  • Louise Hewitt

    December 27, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Great article and easy to transfer to clients / managers. Many intranets are stepping into this realm, and typically suffering while they learn the lessons of appropriateness, how to encourage participation, moderation, and maintenance.

    This article is a lovely summary of the key point of good social media experience. Thanks Erin.

  • Eric Seaholm

    December 28, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Encouraging article. Wise to add a dash of realism by suggesting we need not do everything at once, but rather let it grow over time. Nothing is ever finished; the evolution of life.

  • Ben Curnett

    December 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Seems like step 2 has the most practical parts/most widely used elements in it.

    The parts and pieces brought up in the other steps, to me, are more core components to particular networks or services. The sites that use these features were designed to “be social” rather than adding social, like you say at the beginning. Still, great post- everything in one place, good examples- I can definitely use this as a reference. Thanks Erin.

    One example of a social comments feature I like is on Men With Pens dot com, where commenters are IDed by their last blog posts, linked to their own sites. I think it encourages comments, and prevents people from having to be slick or sales-y, trying to link to their own posts. It can be abused, sure, but what can’t?

  • Linda Seamore

    January 5, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    This is a great article. Thought this would amount to a lot of repetitions before in can get synced to my system. Thanks!

  • Martin Kono

    January 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Great article. I’m planning to extend my current website profile and it helped me a bit. Maybe my site isn’t too big now and it’s based on wordpress cms but I’m planning to switch to custom cms.

  • laurie kalmanson

    January 11, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Web sites grow and change over time, and accommodating change is helpful for clients and their customers

  • Lance Quejada

    January 15, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I’d like to point out that in #3 you got it right. One of the best example would be twitter, when it started there was really no convention in interacting through 140 characters, over time users devised a way to better express themselves hence the creation of hashtags, RT, DM, and etc. later these conventions were officially adapted by the platform.

    Really a good read! :)

  • Kieran Flanagan

    January 15, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    The growth of social media is drastically changing both the way we do business and the way we interact with each other. How popular the websites become is really down to how technology facilities the growth and how well it becomes part of peoples every day lives. If you look at twitter, it was really when celebrities starting using it, that it became so popular. Lance made a good point, opensource really is the best way to watch technology evolve. If you hand it over to the people, they will find ways to use it that you never thought possible (good example is Linux).

  • rajat julka

    January 26, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Good Article… Erin.

    There are a lot more features and concepts (depending upon your target audience) available for social sites but the above points as mentioned by Erin are basic foundation blocks. I believe point number two and three are the most important points for consideration while creating a social networking site. More social interactions/participation on sites with little or simple UI interactions is the mantra for a successful site.

    Again… thanks for sharing this nice article Erin… Keep posting :)

  • Linh Mcdermott

    February 10, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Great article, i think that points 3 is useful to give users a something to do on the site that doesnt require any effort (such as thumbs up rating . This is a great way to get users to participate without registering. Once users are comfortable with the idea of contributing more, they can register and create a profile.

    Also there must be some reason to keep coming back to the site and do or participate.
    Too much to do and too much choice? Do users have too much choice to comment about virtually everything?

    It would be nice is if more site had profiles which carried over to other sites, so essentially you only have one or a few, not multiple on each site, so users are constantly, something which Facebook and PublicSquare seem to do. Understandably each site/ service provider want their own private database.

  • karl long

    February 22, 2010 at 12:43 am

    This is some of the best writing I’ve seen done on “designing social”, it’s really, really good.

    That being said this site, Boxes & Arrows needs to keep up technically, the sign up process I just had to go through was totally unnecessary, it asked for a lot of simple things in the on the form that it could have grabbed automatically from a number of services via Twitters Oauth, facebook connect, openID, etc. As a user I hate it when a site asks me to do unnecessary work :) and in a number of cases you could offer people different login options depending on the referer (if it hasn’t been broken by a url shortner that is).

    Hope I don’t lose reputation points for moaning :)

    http://twitter.com/karllong

  • Sam Cannon

    March 4, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Would suggest that you look at Maslow’s B-values in terms of the “things” that seduce tribes into working for them.

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