Thursday, December 15, 2005

Functions of social software

Dave Pollard (2005) suggests that we define social software by recognizing the functional boundaries and cited the following as features that should be in social software:

  1. Finding people (in your communities of interest)
  2. Building directories, network maps and social networks
  3. Inviting people to join your networks
  4. Managing access to your networks (permissioning)
  5. Connecting/communicating with people in your networks (using various media)
  6. Managing relationships across media (e.g. e-mail to web logged to voice to voice or face to face)
  7. Collaborating with people in your networks
  8. Content publishing/sharing/filtering

Terry Anderson suggests 9 features that social software should have that could enhance distance education:

Presence tools
Cooperative learning support
Student modeling
Introducing learners to each other
Helping others
Documenting and sharing of constructed objects

    Perhaps we can merge the lists. Do these functionalities need to be unique? The list below is my attempt at merging these two lists together (where I thought they matched I put Anderson's in brackets).

    Social Software Functions

    1. Presence notification (Presence)
    2. Push and pull notification (Notification)
    3. Referral tracking (Referring)
    4. Mentor referrals (Helping others)
    5. User profiling (Student Modelling)
    6. Finding people in your communities of interest (Introducing learners to each other)
    7. Building directories, network maps, social networks
    8. Inviting people to join your networks
    9. Permissioning - Managing access
    10. Connecting/communicating
    11. Managing relationships across media
    12. Cooperating with people in your networks (Cooperative Learning Support)
    13. Content storing, publishing, sharing, filtering (Documenting and sharing of constructed objects) (Filtering)

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