What is a Social experience? – Contribution to definition for new book


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We are writing our fourth book on Customer Experience due out in spring 2010, published by Palgrave McMillan. The current working title is Customer Experience: Emerging trends. One of the trends we are looking at is Social media or ‘Social Experience’ as we would prefer to call it. For us Customers are having a ‘social experience’, through the use of social media…Social media is the tool, social experience is the output of using the tool.

So what is a social experience? In its widest context a social experience is visiting a pub/bar with your friends. It could be attending a conference or seminar and interacting with people in a business setting. We know that social interaction is important and people are tribal and need social connections. (Maslow). The huge growth in social media is tapping into that basic human need. In the social media, online space how would a social experience be defined? Here is our draft definition we are looking to crowdsource.

Draft Digital Social Experience definition:

A technology enabled social interaction helps to meet psychological needs for; safety, love/belonging, esteem and self actualisation, (Maslow), and the resultant emotions evoked. Technology enables a wider, faster, more frequent interaction, thus creating in a digital social experience.

Is this right? Can it be improved? We would welcome your thoughts and observations.

We would welcome your thoughts and observations. We hope this is the first of a few interactions and debates

To give credit where credit is due, any contribution that we believe particularly relevant we will ask for permission to reproduce in the book. For all other contributions, we plan to have a “Wall of Fame” page in the book and we will printer the (twitter) name of everyone who contributes to this or any other questions we crowdsource on the book. We hope this is the first of a few interactions and debates as so please subscribe to the RSS feed.

Our thanks to @futurescape for his input so far. We have had a good conversation over Twitter but we need more characters to have a fuller debate! :-) . Also thanks to Bob Thompson from Customer Think for his input so far.

Colin Shaw
Colin is an original pioneer of Customer Experience. LinkedIn has recognized Colin as one of the ‘World's Top 150 Business Influencers’ Colin is an official LinkedIn "Top Voice", with over 280,000 followers & 80,000 subscribed to his newsletter 'Why Customers Buy'. Colin's consulting company Beyond Philosophy, was recognized by the Financial Times as ‘one of the leading consultancies’. Colin is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast, which is rated in the top 2% of podcasts.


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