Rashmi Sinha on Designing for Social Sharing

Rashmi Sinha hits the nail on the head. Being social is more about sharing than declaring. Sharing meals, sharing music, sharing gossip and news, sharing activities, all of these kinds of shared experiences are the stuff of social life, beyond the “hello” and the tribal handshake.
Rashmi’s insightful presentation on “Design for Social Sharing” explores the design patterns of “second generation social networks that put objects at the center: tagging, video, news creation”. Design patterns include passing on a cool video, tagging and rating. Social sharing apps combine personal social value. Tagging a link helps me remember it, and helps others find it too. Creating a playlist or group of pictures helps the person who makes the list, and other who come later.
One insightful pattern is sensing the presence of others. The is the magic of recent changes in a medium-sized wiki, where you can have a window into what your colleagues are thinking. The conventional wisdom is that “presense” means synchronous presense — I can see that you are there and I can interrupt you if I want to. Asynchronous presense is differently good, you can see the flow of others’ activities without interrupting.
Rashmi Social Sharing as a “second generation” of social networks, beyond the first-generation of explicit tools like Friendster. I think the generational terms are more about the hype cycle than what’s been going on. While the Friendster fad flared, LiveJournal and Flickr fostered community and fun, and MySpace skyrocketed. Now, the design patterns and the nature of social apps are better understood – it’s not just about saying hello.

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