Matt Locke has an interesting post
“describing social media spaces in a way that can be shared by both traditional media indies and digital media agencies”
He uses a use centered model based on behavior, action and expectation while on a site. The six styles are:
– Secret Spaces
– Group Spaces
– Publishing Spaces
– Performing Spaces
– Participation Spaces
– Watching Spaces
I think he’s on to something here. Social media is first of all social – and that’s ultimately about behavior. Behavior is guided by context. What’s appropriate and expected varies according to situation (site).
This model is useful for site designers as it focuses attention on user’s expectations not the platform or technologies. It’s also a useful taxonomy, especially when applied to traditional media, as these styles are a continuum.
The real power for traditional media and digital media agencies is in meeting user expectation on the social site while using their traditional platform to reinforce the core characteristics of the sites promise. For instance Publishing paces are about showcasing talents outside your traditional group. Strategies to showcasing some material in other places are consistent with user expectation – while blurring the line between traditional and online media. In Canada the CBC program Exposure is an example, though not perfect – because while it’s online portion is technically well executed – but weak in numbers and that detracts from the core promise.
And that point to another issue – part of user behavior is getting to your site – and if someone else has a bigger, better event at the some time you need to think how you can be different to stand out.
Still starting from user behavior and expectation is a pretty wise idea. Thanks Matt.