In December 2007 Brian Oberkirch and I sat down in my home in San Francisco for a discussion about social objects. This week Brian added the conversation to his series of podcasts on social software.

Although it’s been a year and some of the discussed services have evolved (for instance, OpenSocial has progressed in leaps and bounds), the discussed ideas continue to be at the core of my work.

Here’s a topical breakdown of the 42-minute MP3 file in roughly chronological order:

  • definition of a social object
  • Facebook and OpenSocial
  • what makes a good social object
  • verbs
  • making objects shareable
  • turning invitations into gifts
  • charging publishers not spectators
  • status updates as social objects


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December 22nd, 2008 at 8:41 am (#)

Really good stuff. Cross-posted a similar comment on Brian’s blog, but re-worded it here:
I’ve been thinking hard about the sharing of intentions – and hope to come up with something at – though I keep changing my mind while chewing on drawings about how it fits into a person’s peripheral vision. I feel that intention is a very under-represented core of everyday language.
It’s not as much about “what I’m doing in the future” – but more like the temporal inverse of a mini-feed. Intentions have been done in little niches, like dopplr and travel intentions, but the comfort of networked intentions is powerful and maybe more useful than presence, though without the expressive power. It’s also possible to click “me too” on long term intentions, creating the possibility of goal-directed communities.
It’s possible that personas can be seen as having 3 lingering elements – presence (status sharing), sentiment (affective sharing) and intentional sharing.

Douglas Galbi
April 22nd, 2009 at 7:57 pm (#)

You might find interesting the example of sheet music as a social object. Its social position has changed greatly across the twentieth century, but its revenue compared to other print products has changed little. For some data and analysis for the U.S., see print music in different media worlds.

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