lat week I bought this document from Forrester
, 'Social Computing: How Networks Erode Institutional Power, And What To Do About It'Charlene Li
states that, 'The goal of the report is to be the foundation piece for a key area of research for Forrester. So if you've had a chance to read the report, I'd love to hear what you think of it.'
Ok - here goes ...
There isn't much new in the paper that hasn't been discussed within the past year. It does sum up some conclusions but again, I think that big agencies (in this case, Forrester) is looking to cookie-cut something to sell to marketers.
Forrester is still trying to make a killing - while social networks are trying to make a difference.
But here, the real problems of design and development of data collection and feedback methods that can solve critical challenges in on-line social behavior, content creation, and retention are not quite there yet.
Sure, web sites CAN collect data from site users and feed that data back to users to create an enhanced and thriving on-line community but sophisticated integration of this data into the content and structure of a web site can't help solve the problems of bad behavior, lack of participation and difficulty of finding content in a growing collection.
Perhaps these solutions work best for contextual communities that contribute to a shared resource; tools must be as specific to the kind of content the community is organized around; the display and collection of community data must be at the core of the underlying site programming and infrastructure to be effective; and community interaction is noticeably improved by the implementation of community tools provided to both contributors and a larger audience.
When the authoring difficulty is low (like in blogs, for example), quality control problems and a general impoverishment of the social environment is a noticeable consequence, although other tools may be used to counteract this effect.
Tools are then needed to promote social responsibility, encourage greater user participation in the community, create better site navigation, filtering and user awareness.
Collecting and utilizing this data facilitates more informed content creation and consumption within a growing contextual knowledge base.
Status and reputation metrics give members a sense of their place in the community, while referential data and associated metrics serve as valuable filtering mechanisms, enabling users to find compelling content quickly and to guide others.
The use of these concepts allow community sites to grow the knowledge base of user-generated content faster, while still providing scalable means to navigate valuable information.
Speaking in context: People don't interact in these defined and explicit ways that social software sites such as Friendster, Tribe, LinkedIn and Orkut try to shoe horn us in to. Quantifying people in a profile cheapens the person and in the end tells a not-so-real story about that person.
Connect millions by digital lines that are clear and precise, and they'll figure out some way to overcome the system's limitations and bring it into genuine sociality.
Something will emerge .... just can't tell what yet.