Archive | April 9, 2003

Thoughts on Social Software

Different needs and modes require different structures:

  • Chat rooms / IM – instant feedback, good for quick answers, no memory, though.
  • Email lists – good for current participation, arhives can be difficult to search, thread drift (or mobs) increase signal/noise
  • Forums – quick feedback, give-and-take discussion, scrolls off forum (perhaps into archives), searching haphazard
  • Blogs – Linking as feedback, organic structure, shallow, chronological structure good for *now*, weak for a thread through time
  • Wiki – web structure, deep links in and out, good searching, structure builds over time, poor feedback mechanisms (although email notifications and RSS can enhance)

I’ve started to discover that too many RSS subscriptions mean that I have to spend too much time reading and sorting, and not enough time left to blog, or even to read everything as it scrolls by. What’s needed is better filters to help screen interesting from not, perhaps a rating system to establish the esteem in which various posts are placed, so the news aggregator doesn’t just present a single stream of RSS feeds as they happen, but a richer, rated list, weighted either with my preferences or perhaps the Whuffie of Technorati or a similar service. What’s popular isn’t always of interest to me, but keeping up on what is popular might be.

Social Software on Meatball Wiki

There’s also this very interesting, heavy-cross-linked wiki posting on Meatball Wiki.

One of the key differentiators that many Social Software advocates are arguing about is the question of the number of participants vs. the value. We have all seen forums “turn nasty” and communities go sour. I’ve also had the priviledge to belong to long-lasting groups that had decorum as well as numbers CompuServe’s FoxForum 1990-1995 hosted as many a 500 messages per day and yet threads were maintained, order was enforced (not by SysOps as much as community activists) and a really powerful social as well as business network was formed. I am not convinced that the software features are as enabling as a few skilled people who serve as Connectors, as Malcolm Gladwell described them in “The Tipping Point.”

More Social Software Posts…

New Social Software Products. Social Software Making Progress Dan Gillmor: “The smaller the group, the more immediate value in the relationship. That’s one notion behind an emerging phenomenon called “social software”


Jeremy Allaire writes: “Dan’s got some thoughts on the emerging category of “social software”, a phrase Clay Shirky has been promoting.  Another interesting company solving similar problems — and one who was just on a panel moderated by Clay, also including SocialText — is Providence, RI-based Traction Software, who’s “enterrprise weblog” software is really a powerful distributed communication and publishing tool for information professionals.”
[via Jeremy Allaire’s Radio]

Phone Booth

Steve and I saw Phone Booth yesterday afternoon. Great flick. While the move is short (80 minutes), you don’t want to hang on the edge of your chair any longer than that. Colin Farrell has a riveting performance. Great suspense, little blood, no gore.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.