These seven building blocks–identity, presence, relationships, conversations, groups, reputation and sharing–provide a good functional definition for social software. They’re also a solid foundation for thinking about how social software works.
Here’s a brief definition of each element:
* Identity – a way of uniquely identifying people in the system
* Presence – a way of knowing who is online, available or otherwise nearby
* Relationships – a way of describing how two users in the system are related (e.g. in Flickr, people can be contacts, friends of family)
* Conversations – a way of talking to other people through the system
* Groups – a way of forming communities of interest
* Reputation – a way of knowing the status of other people in the system (who’s a good citizen? who can be trusted?)
* Sharing – a way of sharing things that are meaningful to participants (like photos or videos)
Really cool way of classifying the features of a social network. Article goes on to give graphical (yay!) representaitons of how certain biggies in the field embody one or more of the elements above. Good read!
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