Saturday, July 24, 2010

Building Social Web Applications

I am referring to the book "Building Social Web Applications a lot in the past few days.
Building Social Web Applications: Establishing Community at the Heart of Your Site
The book gives a good mental framework for designing social web applications. I have jotted down some key points that caught my eye.

Chapter 9
  • Every social application has a simple core. A profile, a social network and some form of group communication tool.
Chapter 12 : Talks about community structures.
  • There are 3 types of communities. Publisher led, interest led and product led. In an enterprise setting, I think there will be publisher led and interest led communities. Publisher led communities are people who gather around a published artifact. Interested led communities are people who gather around a topic.
    Chapter 13 : Organizing Your Site for Navigation, Search and Activity
    • Tags can be used as a filter. Tags can be used as a search term. For example, clicking on a tag can narrow the focus to topics tagged with a particular tag. Clicking on a tag can also broaden the conversation by pulling up all the people and artifacts tagged with a particular team. 
    • Tags Create Navigation: Tags create a people generated taxonomy without any over classification. Meaning emerges from the frequency of usage. People apply tags largely for their own benefit to allow them to retrieve content later. Tagging might look messy. But tags solve a lot of problems. They provide labels for content. They offer new means of navigation and search. They devolve the classification issue to the person best suited to do it - the person who created it or the person who is consuming it.
    • Connecting Content Through People: Profile pages can act as connectors to other content. Content can take a viewer to a person's profile page.
    • Search :Search by Person on your application should present an interface for activity based on the relationship between the searcher and the person returned in the search results. Show the relationship between people and offer a means to create a relationship.
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