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What can we learn from Social Interaction Design


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Title: What can we learn from Social Interaction Design

What can we learn from Social Interaction Design?
  • NewComm Forum 2009
  • Adrian Chan, SNCR Sr Fellow
  • twitter gravity7
  • http//www.gravity7.com

  • Why social media are different
  • How they work
  • What they create and produce
  • Who uses them
  • Users care so should we

  • Background
  • What is social interaction design?
  • The topsy-turvy world of social media
  • Competencies of users
  • Personas 2.0? Or personalities?
  • Practices and applications
  • Illustrations

  • Theoretical influences sociology, symbolic
    interactionism, transactional analysis,
    pragmatics, media theory, and systems theory
  • Social interaction design shifts the focus from
    social media, and products, and interactions with
    products, to
  • forms of online talk
  • dynamics of mediated social interactions
  • ways of presenting and relating to the Self and
    to others
  • mediation of interactions and communication
  • the effects of media on time and temporality,
    organization and structure of relationships and
    interactions, and
  • scaling of social systems through individual user
    actions and emergent social dynamics and social

Understanding Media
  • Marshall McLuhan cemented the importance of a
    theory of media. He viewed media as an
    extension of the self, and as amplifying
    certain sense perceptions over others.
  • Media theory reminds us not to take social media
    literally, but to bear in mind that mediation
  • The medium is the message.

Understanding Media
  • The medium is the message. This is merely to say
    that the personal and social consequences of any
    mediumthat is, of any extension of
    ourselvesresult from the new scale that is
    introduced into our affairs by each extension of
    ourselves, or by any new technology.
  • This fact, characteristic of all media, means
    that the content of any medium is always
    another medium. The content of writing is speech,
    just as the written word is the content of print,
    and print is the content of the telegraph.
  • Marshall McLuhan

Constitution of Society
  • Modern continental sociology views society as
    being non-traditional. Knowledge involves risk
    and trust, and science, money, commerce and other
    modern practices replace the traditional
    organization of relationships.
  • Anthony Giddens theory of structuration argues
    that there is structure, but it is reproduced
    through individual, daily, acts.
  • This insight, that we are each, every day,
    involved in creating and reproducing society
    allows us to view social media as a sort of means
    of production of ourselves, our relationships,
    and of a form of (online) society.

Constitution of Society
  • But the fundamental question of social theory,
    as I see itthe problem of order conceived of
    in a way quite alien to Parsonss formulation
    when he coined the phraseis to explicate how the
    limitations of individual presence are
    transcended by the stretching of social
    relations across time and space.
  • By disembedding I mean the lifting out of
    social relations from local contexts of
    interaction and their restructuring across
    indefinite spans of time-space.
  • Anthony Giddens

The Presentation of Self
  • Erving Goffmans pioneering work in social
    interactions is widely used to describe the
    presentation of Self in social media. His frame
    analysis of social encounters makes an enormous
    contribution to the ways in which we negotiate
  • We have to qualify his insights and account for
    the fact that in social media we lose the face to
    face meanings and with them, the ability to
    negotiate interactions in time.
  • The resulting ambiguity of intent, loss of
    context, and reduced ability to handle
    interactions with more than words creates
    opportunities, and perils, for online

The Presentation of Self
  • Statements orient listeners to the upcoming
    responses, to what has come up.
  • We look simply to see, see others looking, see
    we are seen looking, and soon become knowing and
    skilled in regard to the evidential uses made of
    the appearance of looking.
  • What, then, is talk viewed interactionally? It
    is an example of that arrangement by which
    individuals come together and sustain matters
    having a ratified, joint, current, and running
    claim upon attention, a claim which lodges them
    together on some sort of intersubjectve, mental
    world. Erving Goffman

Communicative Action
  • Jürgen Habermas theory of communication
    distinguishes between communicative action
    (authentic) and strategic action (instrumental).
  • The former binds us to one another in a process
    of reaching understanding. The latter involves
    communication used to achieve results talk
    oriented to getting something done.
  • The former is a model for friendship, the latter
    a model for commercial media use.
  • His emphasis on intersubjectivity in
    communication is a core insight for social media
    users talking to users.

Communicative Action
  • Thus, the illocutionary force of an acceptable
    speech act consists in the fact that it can move
    a hearer to rely on the speech-act-typical
    obligations of the speaker.
  • To understand an expression, however, means to
    know how one can make use of it in order to reach
    understanding with someone about something.
  • Interaction mediated through acts of reaching
    understanding exhibits both a richer and a more
    restrictive structure than does strategic
  • Jürgen Habermas

Games People Play
  • Eric Bernes transactional analysis, while
    somewhat dated, provides key insights into the
    emotional and attention economy of talk. His
    theory that talk and interaction are a way of
    giving and getting emotional strokes is
    valuable for what motivates some social media
  • Bernes insights into crossed transactions, and
    scripts we repeat in order to sustain
    psychological dramas, may also help to explain
    some of the habits and routines that can make
    social media compelling to some users.

Games People Play
  • By an extension of meaning, stroking may be
    employed colloquially to denote any act implying
    recognition of anothers presence. Hence a stroke
    may be used as the fundamental unit of social
    action. An exchange of strokes constitutes a
    transaction, which is the unit of social
  • To say that the bulk of social activity consists
    of playing games does not necessarily mean that
    it is mostly fun or that the parties are not
    seriously engaged in the relationship…. The
    essential characteristic of human play is not
    that the emotions are spurious, but that they are
    regulated. Eric Berne

Social systems
  • Niklas Luhmanns systems theory, while complex
    and idiosyncratic, offers valuable insights into
    the value of communication to social systems. In
    particular, his work on media can be used to
    demonstrate the ways in which mass and social
    media observe each other, create and reference
    realities, media events, and more.
  • For Luhmann, all reality is sustained by the
    systems own reproduction. He, and other systems
    theorists, help to explain the feedbacks and
    self-reference of systems, both of which we can
    observe as social media audiences grow over time.

Social systems
  • Therefore, to repeat this important point once
    more in other words, communication duplicates
    reality. It creates two versions, a yes-version
    and a no-version, and thereby compels selection.
  • In the systems perception, the distinction
    between the world as it is and the world as it is
    observed becomes blurred.
  • Advertising declares its motives. It refines and
    very often conceals its methods.
  • Niklas Luhmann

What is Social Interaction Design?
Re-framing social media
  • The social interaction design approach to social
    media can help us frame our thinking about social
    media. Instead of thinking about media, or
    products, or brands, we can think instead about
  • People, relationships, and meaning
  • Talk, communication, and interactions
  • Needs and interests of individuals, and their
    aggregation into social practices
  • The importance of this shift of frame should help
    us think less about brands, images, messaging,
    and products, tools, and media
  • We can make better use of conversational media
    (and design them better) if we think from the
    users and the audiences perspective.

Social media
  • Social media are not just websites, but are
    dynamic social systems
  • Their user interface is a Social Interface
  • Their content is people
  • Their people are contributors
  • Their contributions communicate
  • That communication is a form of talk
  • That talk is informed by design

Socializing media
  • Social media paradigm shift in marketing and
  • consumers participate in production and messaging
  • messages have the authenticity of everyday talk
  • across trusted relationships and social networks
  • on the basis of their own interests and
  • Social media structure and organize talk changes
    branding, marketing, and advertising
  • At stake is how markets produce and consume value
  • and how consumers create that value

Socializing markets
  • Social media cultivate culture
  • Social media socialize consumption
  • Social media create production
  • Social media proliferate communication
  • Social media network audiences
  • Social media relationize connections

Socializing brands
  • Brands shift
  • from how they see themselves to how they are seen
  • from what they want to say to what is being said
  • from image to talk
  • from the value they have created to value created
    by consumers
  • from what they own to what can be owned by users

How is SxD different?
  • Social Interaction Design approaches social media
    as talk systems
  • SxD shapes, informs, organizes, structures, and
    arranges this talk
  • Web 2.0 designs social applications for a
    flourishing culture of new content, new
    navigation, new audiences, new relationships, new
    purposes and uses
  • A shift to transactions as ongoing communication
  • A shift of focus from user practices to social
  • Emphasis on social practices as byproduct of
    design and informed, not controlled, by design

Main concepts
  • Users have the ability to become self-involved
    online, and to relate through social media to
    others (mediated presence)
  • Users expect future interaction (commitment)
    talk media are open states of talk
  • Users have a sense of self and a (self)
    perception of how they look to others
  • Users are motivated to share their professional
    and/or personal interests (social motivation)
  • Users use social media to maintain relationships
  • Users have invested confidence in the system

Interactions Social
  • Conventional user interaction and user interface
    approaches address the users interaction with
    the device
  • The designer designs the screen
  • The interaction is User Software
  • The social interaction designer also designs
    around and through the screen
  • The interaction of User Software User

The social interface
  • Three modes of the screen
  • Mirror mode the screen reflects the user
  • Surface mode the screen contains content
  • Window mode the screen is a transparent to other

The social paradigm
  • User as a social Self
  • User as self-interested and interested in others
  • All activity is social (visible to some others)
  • Interaction is Participation
  • Participation is a form of talk
  • Talk has new forms and languages
  • New forms include posts, comments, reviews,
    ratings, gestures and tokens, votes, links,
    badges, video
  • New forms are distributable and communicable

User needs interests
  • Shift from task and goal-oriented transactions
    common to traditional software use.
  • Non-social software users have needs
  • Social media users have interests
  • Social media are relational media users are
    interested social participants
  • Users sustain interest in own participation
  • The users psychological interests include
    acknowledgment, recognition, membership,
    attention, respect, attraction, citation,
    compliments, pleasure, self- satisfaction,
    popularity, etc, and the avoidance of risk,
    failure, embarrassment, disappointment, etc.

Topsy-turvy world of social media
  • The Self is always reflected
  • Self is a projected Self
  • Social is anti-social
  • Friends, for real?
  • Communication misunderstood
  • Connections are disconnected
  • Neither here nor there
  • Discontinuous continuity
  • Whats dysfunctional functions

The Self is always reflected
  • Social media start with a representation of the
    Self, a representation through which we see
    ourselves reflected.
  • We take an interest in our own reflection, and
    form beliefs around how we appear to ourselves
    and the impressions we make.
  • In this reflected Self, the presence of others is
    constant, as is a sense of what we think others
    may think of us.
  • Through this reflected Self we become involved in
    ourselves as much as we become involved in simply
    being ourselves.
  • The self-reflected Self establishes the first
    relationship, and a psychological one, on which
    other social relationships form.
  • All social relationships on social media are thus
    constructed out of a mediation of the Self a
    splitting of the Self, one self-reflected and one
    reflected in others apparent impression of us.

Self is a projected Self
  • We are not literally online, we re-present
    ourselves online. We use online profiles, pages,
    posts, and videos to craft how we look to others,
    and more importantly, how we look to ourselves.
  • Our online self is our second self its how we
    appear to constructed from a two-sided face a
    self-image and a public face.
  • We relate to our self-image online
    self-reflexively. Reflection occurs in how we
    think about ourselves, the impressions we make,
    what interests others in us, and of course how we
  • Social media are in many ways a personal ME-dium,
    a mini me-dia to the mass media. They are
    powerful because they allow each of us to project
    ourselves into the medium.
  • Social media engage us because we see ourselves
    in them. They are especially compelling if we
    like how we appear to ourselves. Online self is
    an appearancy.

Social is anti-social
  • When communication is not face to face we have to
    interpret other users activity, and suggest and
    signal our own, using recordings and documents
    (pictures, text, video, etc.) in place of
  • Online relationships lack much of the texture and
    presence, affectivity, and dynamics that sustain
    them in the ordinary world.
  • Online social interactions are not a substitute
    for being together, and struggle to create a
    sense of shared time. Users are next to each
    other but not with one another.
  • The social of social media is more accurately
    anti-social, and in some ways social media are
    failed and failing social systems.
  • The shortcomings of social media interaction,
    including, ambiguities, failures, misconnections,
    and misunderstandings are nonetheless precisely
    what engages and motivates much of our activity.

Friends, for real?
  • Relationships on social media are ambiguous and
    sometimes cheap.
  • In the real world, we have relationships with
    particular people, and these are unique and
    non-transferable. Online, relationships can
    appear to be generic.
  • Social media thrive on relational ambivalence and
    ambiguity, because as social beings we respond to
    both with interest.
  • Relational ambiguity wants to be resolved, but as
    social beings we prefer to leave openings than
    close off possibilities.
  • The ambiguity of a relationship (who likes whom,
    why, for what, in the past or in anticipation of
    a future, etc.) gets us psychologically invested.
  • What online relationships mean to us is not how
    they appear to others  the blurring between
    personal and social, private and public, informs
    how we choose and engage with online connections.

Communication misunderstood
  • Online communication is often a matter of
    interpretation and guesswork we do our best to
    get a sense of others, and to provide a sense of
    ourselves, and this may constitute a great deal
    of the personal investment we make in social
  • When our intentions appear ambiguous, and our
    claims unclear, online communication social media
    becomes less a matter of reaching understanding
    with a person with what is said, but of simply
    understanding what is said.
  • Social media disable the facework we use in real
    world interaction to handle our emotional care
    for other people. This only amplifies the
    ambiguity that already underlies many
  • A great deal of online communication solicits the
    acknowledgment and response that is readily
    available in face to face interaction.
  • Online communication contains both its intended
    expression or claim (when created) and a residual
    implication (residue that the author understands
    as how it will likely be interpreted).

Connections are disconnected
  • Connectivity doesnt mean connection, at least
    not on a personal level. Connectivity today
    promises a technical solution to a social
    problem the disconnectedness of everyday
  • Disconnectedness, isolation, and anomie have long
    been themes of modern society. Social media
    promise to restore connectedness to connections,
    presence to absence, and communication to
    silence. The idea, opportunity, and promise of
    social compel many of us to participate.
  • Online connections are thin but durable. The
    medium gives us the sense of being connected,
    being there, and of being available and
    accessible this is sufficient to sustain
  • The discontinuity of connectedness online can
    create ambiguities in the ties that bind and bond
    through normal social relations.

Neither here nor there
  • There is power in absence, a power completed by
    our own activity, through which we fill in whats
    missing online.
  • The medium, by bracketing out the face and body,
    engages us in ways of supplying personal meanings
    to the activity and communication of others.
  • By engaging us in what we believe is happening
    online, what is in fact absent becomes compelling
    for what matters to us, interests us, and
    resonates personally.
  • The presence of online media is constructed
    around the individual psychological act of
    building anticipations and expectations.
  • These expectations take the shape of personal
    habits and practices objective online
    realities emerge around internalized and
    subjective realities.
  • By with-holding reality, online media give us
    reason to want more.

Discontinuous continuity
  • Time we spend online is stitched together from
    discontinuous fragments, and each of us is on our
    own time.
  • These separate timelines may intersect online but
    cannot produce a real sense of spending or
    sharing time together.
  • The discontinuous temporality of online time
    prevents us from using the rhythms and pacing of
    the time we have when together with others.
  • The episodic nature of time periods and stretches
    of time are likewise unavailable in social media.
  • Social media time is an open time, missing a
    clear frame or beginning, middle, and end. Its
    open-ness is one of its strengths, and becomes a
    reason that we return to it.
  • Being out of time, social media can more easily
    accompany our activities where we are, but also
    distract us from what are doing.

Whats dysfunctional functions
  • Dysfunctional design, architecture, and features
    may increase participation. Design ambiguity can
    produce talk and social activity among users
  • when our systems fail, we talk, and this talk is
    the stuff of online communication
  • in talking, we create activity
  • when site navigation, design, or features are
    unclear, we can invest time in figuring them out
  • which creates traffic, and again, communication
    and activity
  • The design goals of functional functionality and
    efficiency common to conventional software matter
    less in social media design than the use of
    dysfunctionality for the purpose of compelling
    user engagement.

Design distortions
  • Social media need only be socially functional
    and this is possible even if they violate
    software design best practices.
  • One example of the ways in which social media can
    be socially functional while being
    dysfunctional from a software design
    perspective is twitter.
  • Twitter displays the users tweet in what appears
    to be a conversation stream. This creates the
    sense, or illusion, of a conversation. (Would we
    tweet if we did not see our own post on the
  • However, our own posts appear in a stream with
    those we are following, not those who follow us.
  • In truth, they appear to those who follow us. The
    design is a false representation of whats
    actually going on.
  • This is only one example of the different design
    practices and needs of social media.

Design distortions
Design distortions
These are tweets from users I am following. My
tweet is seen by users who follow me.
Competencies of users
Competencies of users
  • Users have social skills and competencies ways
    of participating, engaging, communicating, and
  • These competencies are met by social media,
    sometimes matching a users interests and styles
    of use, sometimes not.
  • Tools may appeal to users with different
    competencies, just as user populations and social
    practices might also.
  • Some users may tweet, others dont get it. Some
    wiki, some digg, some maintain LinkedIn profiles,
    some ask and answer questions, some Yelp, some do
    video and so on.
  • By appreciating that users have varying
    competencies, we can focus less on needs and more
    on interests meeting those interests shapes the
    success and utility of social tools.

Competencies of users
  • Users have interests, social skills, and
    competencies with social interaction and
  • Three core user types
  • Self-oriented users
  • Other-oriented users
  • Relationally-oriented users
  • Some users relate first to the medium

Motives and motivation
  • Users of social media are self-motivated, and
  • in themselves and their self-image
  • in others and their impressions of others
  • in how they appear to others, and what others
    seem to think of them
  • in relationships, interaction, and communication
    for acknowledgment and acceptance
  • Users seek recognition and validation, often on
    the basis of their like-ability and desirability,
    and are sensitive to pride and shame
  • User motivation is necessary for user engagement,
    sustained attention and interest, active
    participation, or even interested social
    discovery and exploration (lurking)

Self Interests
  • Self-Interests involve how we see ourselves,
    what we think of ourselves, and what we think
    others think of us. These are represented or
    indicated on the page, and suggested in messages.
  • Self-Image
  • Self-Image, who I am
  • is who (I think) I am, and how I see myself
  • Self Reflection
  • Self reflection, or what am I doing?
  • is what I think of myself, how I think of myself
  • Self Perception
  • Self perception, or how do I look, how do I
  • is an internalized impression of how I appear to

Interests in others
  • Interests in others are what we think of
    others, their interests and who they are, but
    also what we think they think of us, and whether
    and how they might be interested in us
  • Others include
  • others in general (sense of an audience)
  • other individuals (specific users)
  • and the community identity (sense of membership)
  • Others are represented, as is the user, by a
    face that expresses the users self-image
  • Like the user, others have interests and are
  • Any interest in an other user includes the
    possibility of the other users reciprocal

The possibility of relationship
  • What passes quickly between people in
    face-to-face situations is deferred and displaced
  • But where we have a clear impression of our own
    face (our self-image), we can only form an
    impression of others (applies even to those we
  • appearing to be appealing, interesting, smart,
    popular, funny, cool, etc.
  • Until communication begins, others are thus
    always in possible relation
  • interested in us, are like us, might like us
  • not interested, not like us, might not like us

Personalities of users
Why personality types?
  • The diversity of social media applications
    available attracts different kinds of users,
    engaging them in different kinds of activities
    and practices.
  • Personality types help us to know who the user
    is, how to reach him/her, and how he or she
    influences others.
  • With personality types we can better understand
    how social media scale and evolve over time.
  • These personality types are not based on research
    data but suggest ways to view social media
    through the user experience. They are a kind of
    social media-specific personas 2.0
  • In contrast to market segmentation, or
    tool-specific user types (early adopter, casual
    user, etc), personality types describe ways in
    which different kinds of users become engaged
    based on and using their view of self, other, and
    relationships, and extending their social and
    communication skills and competencies.

Users are people
  • Social media users have personalities that come
    out in how they relate to and use social media.
    Users are people. People have
  • perceptions and inclinations.
  • understanding and interests.
  • habits and expectations.
  • motivations and intentions.
  • anticipation of the behavior and interests of
  • self-motivated actions and a private or social
    interest in their outcomes.
  • communication that varies in its honesty,
    sincerity, seriousness, presentation, and
  • relationships varying in their meaning, purpose,
    organization, and nature.
  • a sense of being in time, of being together and
    with others.

Grouping the types
  • The following is an over-simplified view of
    personality types suggested for use in the design
    and application of social media.
  • Types are organized around the poles of the Self,
    the Other, and Relationships which can be used
    as a simple way of grouping the social variations
    of personality
  • those types centered on the Self
    self-presentation, self-centered talk,
    self-image, and extensions of the self such as
    possessions, signs, etc.
  • those types centered on the Other other-oriented
    sense of self, other-oriented talk, the others
    apparent interests in the self, and projections
    of the self onto others such as attention,
    recognition, desire, etc.
  • those types centered on Relationships
    relational-oriented sense of self, relational
    (especially triangles) talk, the relationships
    state, maintenance, obligations and other
    implications for the self.

The personality types
  • Status seeker
  • Critic
  • Socializer
  • Em-cee
  • Lurker
  • Buddy
  • Creator
  • Pundit
  • Rebel
  • Officiator
  • Harmonizer

Pundit personality
  • Considers him or herself an industry leader or
    pundit, and routinely offers the latest news,
    opinions, and observations.
  • Is personally interested in playing the part of
    news anchor and industry commentator even if not
    deeply interested in making news him or herself.
  • May believe that he or she has a reputation, an
    audience or following, and may regularly talk to
    his or her audience in order to maintain it.
  • Can be a regular and consistent participant in
    online news and publishing, driving subscriptions
    as well as capturing the attention of audiences.
  • Is valuable for his or her role in distributing
    content and in creating and defining topics, as
    well as by serving as a channel for news.
  • May evaluate experts and their contributions for
    their insight or expertise.

Pundit interests behavior
  • Is critical to making the web the fastest source
    of news and commentary.
  • Is self-motivated and makes the effort to sustain
    the webs role as publishing platform.
  • Keeps news fresh and dynamic by making
  • Helps to validate the claims of net journalists
    and blogosphere to legitimacy, authenticity in
    media and reporting.
  • Likely has a focus the Net, industry, social,
    product, news, cause, etc and helps to advance
  • Helps to build thematic and topical spaces
  • Pushes and gets behind news  and sees his or her
    role as a newsmaker.
  • Is more likely to be sensitive to reputations,
    credibility, and position than less serious users.

Status-seeker personality
  • Sense of self is built on what he or she has,
    owns, and has attached to him or herself both
    material and symbolic.
  • Identifies through status and status signs and
    values  and is sensitive to their social
    significance and to their effect in attracting
  • May enjoy accumulating symbolic tokens (including
    online merit badges, smilies, gifts, etc) as
    status symbols and signs of success and
  • May or may not compete with others (friends,
    strangers, or general audience) for social rank,
    but is motivated by status he or she does.
  • Believes that visible accomplishments make a good
    impression and are socially recognized and
  • Relationships can be understood in terms of
    exchange, trade, collecting, and taking
    possession of things and signs.
  • Helps to invest online signs that can be counted
    and measured with social value is important to
    rivalries, economies, and exchange cultures

Status-seeker interests behavior
  • Rank is relative Status is social Position can
    be counted.
  • Pursues ways of supplementing his or her online
  • Checks own stats as well as leaderboards.
  • Compares own stats to those of others.
  • Accumulates friends, symbolic tokens, and other
    social status symbols.
  • Is important to making the social count online.
  • May tend to avoid the deep and involved chats and
    conversations that matter more to relational
  • Examples
  • Yelp elite
  • Celebrities members on Twitter, any online
    community, etc

Em-cee personality
  • Like the pundit, plays a role in providing news
    and attracting audiences, but is often more
    socially inclined, and often uses his/her
    personality and performance to get attention.
  • Is a performer at heart, and makes an impression
    as well as engages the audience by means of wit,
    personality, and character.
  • Can be more interested in capturing an audience
    than in content itself and may tactically
    attract interest in ways considered as strategic
    or disingenuous by purists.
  • Is attentive and responsive to the audiences
    feedback and reception.
  • Is less interested in being genuine and authentic
    than in social validation.
  • Can keep an audience interested through anecdotes
    and asides not often used by the serious
  • Is sensitive to what interests the audience
    because keeping and holding an audience is of
    personal importance.

Em-cee interests behavior
  • Participates in platforms that gather audiences.
  • Is significant for his or her role in moderating
    online communities, groups, discussions.
  • Often makes others feel recognized and
    appreciated, and acknowledges communication.
  • Attracts audiences and helps to create a social
    center of activity on applications or sites that
    facilitate them.
  • Pays attention to attention.
  • Likely to have an interest in tools that retool
    broadcasting online for their appeal as media
    podcasting, RSS, blogs, video, twitter, etc.

Critic personality
  • A writer and author, interested in the substance
    and meaning of content online and not as socially
    or performance-oriented as the pundit, for whom
    an audience is a necessary feature of delivering
  • May feel that audience approval is a measure of
    his/her understanding, intelligence, accuracy,
    and insight not popularity, attractiveness,
    performance, or even originality.
  • Can have a valuable grasp of the multiple
    perspectives on a topic, the relevant arguments,
    opinions, and positions of others, and may be
    interested in making genre, category, and
    taxonomic distinctions.
  • Believes in the information value of online media
    may prefer rational and good argument over
    time-wasting social media opportunities.
  • May frequently edit and update content as much to
    eliminate inaccuracies as to keep it current
    believes in the factual version of truth.
  • Contributes to the connections and associations
    of things online, and has value for long tail

Critic interests behavior
  • Sees value in correcting mistakes, factual
    errors, mis-statements, etc.
  • Sticks to the topic and is interested in topical
    conversations (eg blogs).
  • Is important to the belief that social media can
    produce better knowledge.
  • Is an important contributor, blogger, poster,
  • Sustains the idea that social media use the right
  • Tends to avoid online socializing for its own
    sake and may have fewer personal relations than
    professional friendships online.
  • Takes a committed interest in permanent topical
    online discussions or publications.
  • Examples
  • Wikipedia.com, Imdb.com, Yelp.com
  • Some social bookmarking and list-making

Buddy personality
  • Has a strong sense of friendship and values
  • In addition to spending time with friends online,
    and in online activities, may have ideas of
    loyalty, best friends, inner trust circles and
    the expectations that accompany them.
  • Is usually aware of what friends think of
    him/her, takes notice of the presence or absence
    of friends online, and will do what friends do.
  • Is familiar with the language and rituals of his
    or her friends, including ways of talking,
    insider jokes, and so on.
  • Events seen through the lens of friendship and
    may derive recognition and reassurance of good
    friends, or suffer from betrayals real or
  • Motivated more by relationships with those he or
    she knows is genuine and tends not to do things
    for strategic reasons.
  • Relationships are the content of communication,
    and online activities are a vehicle for
    sustaining relationships.

Buddy interests behavior
  • Validates the social utility promised by large
    social networking sites that real friends use
  • Tends to use social media for real event and
    activity coordination and interaction.
  • Is a reason that many new users join social media
    his or her friends are there.
  • Is valuable to the uses of friend networks in
    promotional, commercial, and other uses.
  • Styles of friendship differ, but those who flirt,
    play, tease, and joke with friends online create
    important, if gestural, communication and
  • Networking among friends draws intense interest
    from industries marginal to social media but
    which see its potential as a threat to their own
    ability to make and market messages.

Officiator personality
  • Views situations and interactions by means of
    rules, conventions, characters, positions, or
    roles, and knows how a situation should go.
  • Can wear a public face and use the behavioral
    codes and rules of a social activity in order to
    exercise authority without having to do it
  • Believes in the social value of convention,
    normative rules, obligations, and expectations
    and may pro-actively embody and play the role for
    the sake of the system, game, or situation.
  • Often believes in collaboration and cooperation,
    and may presume that cooperation is a universally
    shared belief for the reason that his or her
    notion of society requires that it applies
    equally and to all.
  • Can be sensitive to, suspicious and distrustful
    of people s/he believes are insincere,
    inaccessible, and private.
  • Understands relationships on the basis of their
    abstract organization and meaning and may develop
    relationships according to their description
    rather than by personal and gut feel.

Officiator interests behavior
  • Is important to social games and gaming
    applications, particularly those that involve
    roles and game rules.
  • Is often the online game organizer and moderator.
  • Is less concerned with the personal repercussions
    (e.g. on their friendships) of playing a
    moderating or officiating role.
  • Likely to take an interest in the ritual,
    ceremony, and trappings of social games
    tokens, points, leaderboards, ranking, game
    events, etc.
  • Can help to keep players in line, on task, and
  • Sustains the reality of online games, and helps
    to make them relevant to those for whom
    participation may seem a distraction or poor use
    of their time.

Harmonizer personality
  • Appreciates group membership and a sense of
    belonging, but unlike the em-cee this
    personality is motivated by the groups
    relationships and not its value as an audience.
  • Generally has a sense of where others stand in
    relation to him or herself.
  • Gives good attention to others, is socially
    sensitive and responsive, and may triangulate or
    mediate group interactions.
  • Pays attention the debts and obligations among
    members of a group (who is affected by whom) and
    is mindful of how group members are doing.
  • Senses acknowledgment by others, or lack thereof,
    and may tend to project or read into situations
    is likely to be motivated to rescue
  • Is less interested in anonymous publicity or
    attention from strangers than reception by
    familiar friends and colleagues.
  • May do things to make others happy, including
    tasks and organizing efforts that serve a groups
    integrity and activity.

Harmonizer interests behavior
  • Is important for their sensitivity to group
    participation and engagement, and for his or her
    efforts to keep activity going.
  • Is likely to know whats going on with friends
    and colleagues, and contributes content that is
    both personal and social.
  • Helps to make groups tangible, often giving them
  • Uses group communication tools and applications,
    including private social networks and
    group-oriented social applications.
  • Has a sense of belonging, and of membership, in
    social media use.
  • Checks in with friends and colleagues when they
    fade or drift away from group online activity.
  • Will circulate tokens, gifts, files, and so on.

Socializer personality
  • Goes online for information about friends,
    events, and social news.
  • Derives a sense of well-being from online
    interactions, and believes in online community.
  • Keeps track of what his/her friends are up to,
    and goes online to stay in the loop.
  • Tends to participate in online social pastimes
    rather than pursuing personal projects .
  • A member of the audience likely to pay attention
    when invited and notified, and not likely to miss
    being online when busy.
  • Knows what people are up to, and how to find out
    if not.
  • May participate as if she or he feels like an
    integrated and key member of an online community,
    but is sometimes playing along.

Socializer interests behavior
  • Makes new friend contacts.
  • Creates friendly contributions and content --
    testimonials, notes, comments, etc.
  • Participates in social games and interactions.
  • Is important to sustaining the pleasure of
    social networking, and is an engine of social
  • Is important to emerging social conventions,
    rituals, ceremonies, and pastimes as well as
    their codes of conduct, etiquette, and
  • Inclined to the social implications of ratings,
    votes, and signs and to investing them with a
    surplus of meaning.

Lurker personality
  • Is self-effacing in his/her presence online, may
    seem shy and be sensitive to what and how people
    talk online.
  • Is drawn to spending time online in part by the
    lure of the medium and the private or personal
    possibilities presented by others, abstractly or
    in reality.
  • Emotional sensibilities may govern his/her
    presentation style and sense of self.
  • Doesnt draw too much attention to self but may
    participate and log in consistently, creating
    site visits, traffic, and page views by browsing.
  • Is often an observant participant, and may serve
    as a resource to those who spend time online.
  • May subscribe to others and follow them online.

Lurker interests behavior
  • Generates a large number of page views.
  • Characterizes some of the user experience of the
    passive or non-participating user.
  • May subscribe to people and content  and is thus
    a user of the non-social social media tools.
  • Is more likely a user of low-impact and
    low-participation tools.
  • Is possibly more likely to have initial social
    media experiences on marginal sites where
    community is not managed by early adopters.
  • Is more likely to be naive about social media
    interactions and represents an important market
    and growth opportunity.
  • His or her concerns about privacy, security,
    safety, authenticity, and so on represent issues
    to be addressed by social media systems, and
    which may describe the mainstream potential for
    social media.

Creator personality
  • Creates, builds, makes, publishes.
  • Relates to the online world as a place in which
    she or he has a strong presence, using it to
    distribute his or her (personal) creative works
    and efforts.
  • Getting attention and receiving recognition may
    or may not be required for this users ongoing
  • Probably sees his/her online self as a real and
    valid extension of his/her real self the medium
    is neither gimmick nor waste of time.
  • Provides the content that others share, pass
    around, rate, vote, and comment on.
  • Has talent with the stuff of culture and can
    create or mash up meanings to produce something

Creator interests behavior
  • Joins collaborative creative efforts that require
    belief and commitment from members.
  • Is important for their content contributions to
    social media.
  • Might prefer to pursue creative pastimes in
    public, or socially, rather than privately.
  • Is behind the success of user-generated content
    sites and services.
  • Is of significant value in re-contextualizing and
    interpreting culture.
  • To some degree, benefits from users who enjoy
    finding and sharing online content gems they
    bring this user recognition.
  • Often an early adopter of authoring and editing
    tools and applications.
  • Might pay attention to his or her own popularity
    but if so, take it as signs of genuine interest
    (not as social byproducts).

Rebel personality
  • A frequent heckler given to subverting the social
    situation at hand.
  • May tend to disrupt online chats and discussions
    for the sake of attention.
  • Uses social games and applications to undermine
    those who take it seriously, to disrupt the
    activity, to push an agenda, or game the system.
  • Might focus on content, a group, or its
    individual members.
  • May only become a heckler when faced with
    authority (when provoked or challenged), or may
    simply want attention from an audience,
    regardless of what its about.
  • May just heckle occasionally and when annoyed, or
    might identify him/herself with being in the
  • Might feel superior to others and enjoy showing
    off or winning, even when doing so requires
    playing along cynically or disingenuously.

Rebel interests behavior
  • Often shows leadership in new technology
  • Important to the development of non-commercial
    social media applications.
  • As a fixture of the hacker culture, contributes
    to mashups.
  • His or her independence is an indirect source of
    transactions that drive online marketplaces.
  • Heckler subversives interested in spoiling the
    fun of others damage the mediums reputation.
  • A heckler subversive is often drawn to popular
    sites and applications.
  • May contribute positively to the open web, while
    undermining organizations seeking commercial

Practices and applications
Practices and applications
  • Conversational branding and marketing
  • Participatory branding
  • Personality-based engagement
  • Currently working on conversation models

Best practices?
  • Are there best practices?
  • Do practices transfer?
  • Do they last?
  • Can they be taken out of context?
  • Is there a one-size-fits-all approach for all
  • Audiences matter, and best practices that work in
    one audience may not transfer to another. Porting
    the tool or technology, the design, features, or
    techniques, doesnt guarantee the same social
    results in a different audience.
  • Personalities matter, and users use social media
    according to their interests, competencies, and
    personalities. Best practices may overlook the
    users involvement.
  • Context matters, and our ways of interacting in
    one context (Facebook) may not translate to our
    ways of interacting in another (LinkedIn).

Open vs Closed social
  • Advantages and disadvantages
  • open creates opportunity for public visibility
  • closed preserves and protects trust and
  • page and community-based provide for lasting
  • flow and conversation-based capture speed and
  • There is bias in interaction models introduced by
    different kinds of personal, social, and public
    audience engagement. This bias may cause users to
    talk differently, and strategically, if public
    visibility and celebrity are at stake.
  • Social distortion in the content results from
    bias introduced by interaction models, resulting
    in content that carries social bias. Users who
    talk to say something but to be seen saying it
    also, may be less objective, and more subjective
    and this colors the content discovered by users

Conversational marketing
  • Shift away from brand image to audience
    reception the audience owns its perception of
    the brand
  • Embrace existing conversations
  • Where they are, in social media tools, and
    amongst their audiences
  • Using personalities
  • social skills and competencies
  • preferred social tools
  • authentic interests
  • existing relationships
  • to leverage what users care about

Participatory branding
  • Re-frame brand view of the world to start with
    the customer
  • User-centric, customer-engaged branding, for
    ongoing engagement with the many facets of a
    brand that appeal to and interest users,
    according to the interests those users already
  • Re-tale-able
  • Co-creative
  • Multi-modal messaging for different types of
    users, and for different types of statements
  • Serial and episodic over time
  • Game-like, activities, embedded rewards, etc

Personality based
  • A personality-based marketing model would target
    users not by tool, by interest, or by market
    segment, but by styles of social media use.
  • Personality-based marketing would recognize that
    users get something out of their social media
    involvement. And that a user is interested in
    participating in ways that enhance self image,
    give them something to say, repeat, cite, or pass
    along. That the goal is not to move the user, but
    for the brand to be moved by the user.
  • Personalities for individual benefit
  • Personalities for desired content
  • Personalities for interactions and activity
  • Personalities for social dynamics
  • Scaling social media by personalities

Conversation models
  • I am currently looking at conversation models
    that may help the design of social media for high
    engagement, and which might be usable for
    commercial ends while not violating the primacy
    of the user experience.
  • types of transactions
  • types of statements
  • types of social actions
  • kinds of language words, gestures, acts
  • routines and repetitions, habits
  • relevant and usable social practices
  • feed-based commerce

Flow applications
  • Flow applications (twitter) represent the next
    stage in social conversational media, and should
    be understood as flow, not as page-based traffic.
  • Twitter, status, feeds, and flow
  • talk as a symbolic form
  • social capital vs currency
  • expenditure and influence
  • social distortions
  • personal, social, and public dimensions
  • measurement and analytics
  • visualization and twitter extensions
  • twitter and search
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