5 stepping stones for building social experience

  1. What’s your social object? Make sure there is a “there” there. Give users a reason to rally. Why would someone come to your site?
  2. Give people a way to identify themselves and to be identified.
  3. Give people something to do
  4. Enable a bridge to real life (groups, mobile, meetings, face-to-face)
  5. Gently Moderate. Let the community elevate people and content they value.

Erin Malone: 5 Steps to Building Social Experiences


Ambient Intimacy

“Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible. Flickr lets me see what friends are eating for lunch, how they’ve redecorated their bedroom, their latest haircut. Twitter tells me when they’re hungry, what technology is currently frustrating them, who they’re having drinks with tonight.”

Lisa Reichelt

Relationship Symmetry in Social Software

In general, there are two ways to model human relationships in software. An “asymmetric” model is how Twitter currently works. You can “follow” someone else without them following you back. It’s a one-way relationship that may or may not be mutual.
Facebook, on the other hand, has always used a “symmetric” model, where each time you add someone as a friend they have to add you as a friend as well. This is a two-way relationship, and it is required to have any relationship at all. So as a Facebook user there is always a 1-1 relationship among your friends. Everyone who you have claimed as a friend has also claimed you as a friend.

Joshua Porter

Designing for collaboration and communication


  1. Social aspects are the actions and interactions that people
    engage in at home, work, school, and in public.
  2. The three main kinds of social mechanism used to coordinate and
    facilitate social aspects are conversation, coordination, and
  3. Talk and the way it is managed is integral to coordinating social
  4. Many kinds of computer-mediated communication systems have been
    developed to enable people to communicate with one another when
    in physically different locations.
  5. External representations, rules, conventions, verbal and
    non-verbal communication are all used to coordinate activities
    among people.
  6. It is important to take into account the social protocols people
    use in face to face collaboration when designing collaborative
  7. Keeping aware of what others are doing and letting others know
    what you are doing are important aspects of collaborative working
    and socializing.
  8. Ethnographic studies and conceptual frameworks play an
    important role in understanding the social issues to be taken
    into account in designing collaborative systems.
  9. Getting the right level of control between users and system is
    critical when designing collaborative systems.

From: Preece, J., Rogers, Y., Sharp, H. (2002), Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, New York: Wiley