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7 Principles of Social Software
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Dave Pollard’s Salon Blog column for July 14, 2005 is a brilliant summary of what well designed social software should do.

Lifting some quotes:

1. Social Relationships Must Meet Four Preconditions: Willingness to establish a relationship with someone presupposes the existence of mutual trust, respect, context, and self-disclosure between the parties.

2. Relationships Require a Conversational Ice-Breaking. "Conversations are much denser and hence more efficient and effective ways of transferring a lot of information while filling in context, than asynchronous communication mechanisms."

3. First Impressions Matter. "Once we have established an impression or initial judgement, what we seem to seek most is reassurance that this initial assessment was valid."

4. Information Conveyed by Observation Counts More Than That Conveyed by Language. "it may actually be more important to a relationship to see the other person’s environment than to see them".

5. Collaboration is the Miracle Glue of Relationships. Doing something together, the more participatory and challenging the better, immediately establishes deep trust, respect, shared context, disclosure, even a shared identity (e.g. Lennon-McCartney).

6. Every Interaction Carries the Burden of Our Entire Networks. "..there is a huge invisible ‘audience’ for each network interaction beyond the direct participants in it. Social Networking Applications need to recognize and involve this audience (by recording and forwarding the interaction, by inviting others affected to join in etc.)"

7. Social Networks are Complex Systems: "Social Software is designed as a solution to a complicated, rather than a complex, problem. We hope that we can one day in some way completely diagram, understand, and optimize use of our complete social networks, but the best we can hope for are possibly dangerous oversimplifications."

Best to do the right thing- Use Social Bookmarking to tag this essay, then blog about it, and post comments elsewhere.

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