Participation Design


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This is a short post going back to something that I share from my experiences working with various clients as well as within my own organization. This is a graphic I created to understand the bare minimum participation dynamics that need to be taken care of when setting up a community platform, whether as part of your internal employee collaboration plans or external customer engagement ones. The idea is simple:

People need to post stuff – so you need to be able to create, rename, update & delete stuff – called CRUD in software development circles.

People need to read whats been posted but then not everything can be made readable. The content in the various groups or communities created can be open or closed for consumption by non-members. These groups/communities can be listed or unlisted too. A non-listed closed community is probably that place where your top management is storing some of the sensitive stuff. Or just a small project team working in a stealth mode.

Well, the above two are basics of most web software. Where a bit more of Web 2.0 behavior shines through is in the annotations that people do on the stuff thats been posted. Comments can be considered a post or an annotation, depending upon your own personal philosophy. I have been jumping from one camp to the other for quite a long time. My current thinking is this: It definitely contributes to the UGC (user generated content) in text form, and that is a very important aspect to be considered from an analytics stand point. But from actions standpoint, while designing the platform you might want to consider them as an annotation.

The last bit is Curation, and this is a very recent behavior in terms of gaining prominence in the context of community platforms. Curation helps finding the relevant stuff amongst all the conversations. To take a phrase from telecommunications, Signal to Noise Ratio (S/N or SNR) is a very major concern when the community become large & lively. Only here it is not about the noise in the electrical signals but rather referred to the conversations that are not relevant to an individual.

The way I think this happens (I still haven’t grasped it completely) is that people aggregate content from all the relevant places (these are the knowns) and then filter on them. Collation happens when the filtered stuff from different people is added up. Like the stuff.

As always, I would definitely like to hear any inputs/feedback from you. 🙂

BTW, to understand why you need to setup a community platform for your customers, do read this excellent post “Torching a straw man”[1] that very lucidly breaks down the last few vestigial remnants of an opposition towards the community platforms.

An good piece from GetSatisfaction. Even if they are providers of hosted community platforms. Don’t miss the discussion in the comments though!


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Prem Kumar Aparanji
SCRM Evangelist @ Cognizant. Additional knowledge in BPM, QA, Innovations, Solutions, Offshoring from previous roles as developer, tester, consultant, manager. Interested in FLOSS, Social Media, Social Networks & Rice Writing. Love SF&F books. Blessed with a loving wife & a curious kid. :)


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