Webvisions: Designing for community interaction

Speaker: Mike Davidson, CEO of Newsvine

  • Lot’s of stuff about Newsvine and news sites, how design can enhance your product/community.
  • News moving from pyramid to hourglass (comments being the bottom portion).
  • Identify interaction goals (comments, stories, posts, etc.)
  • Funny (but slightly controversial) riff on PeopleAggregrator and how horrible the design is and even though Marc is a smart guy, everybody is blowing it off because of the bad design.
  • Cork’d good because you learn about wine from common people/friends rather than wine afficianados. Not a myspace for wine drinkers because the focus is on talking about wine.
  • Friendster is only a social network, there’s nothing else to do (LinkedIn like it).
  • Flickr a photo site and a social network, it could exist without the social network. It’s a great place to “be a picture” (quote from Caterina?)
  • Concentrate on product first, then social features.
  • Active users vs. passive users, most (90%) are passive, get them to come back again and again.
  • Users need to hear about something from two unrelated places to try it.
  • Post-registration, let the user do more before throwing the registration wall.
  • Only collect as much information as you need
  • Give people something to do immediatly after registering
  • 3 strategies (real information like banks require, anonymous, and pseudo-anonymity). Recommends pseudo-anonymity, because even though anonymous can be successful (nichen? paradox) because registration can keep out good posters, people get less out of being anonymous. People are looking to build up a reputation. “Anonymous can’t counter sanity.”
  • Critique of fellow Seattle company Judy’s Book, and how it’s bad to give users a 0 “trust score” when they first sign up (telling a new user they’re bad). General discussion of repuation building.
  • Users are not stupid, just efficient (Veen quote)
  • Users confuse freedom of speech with membership (newsvine has a code of honor and rating system for comments)
  • Platform mostly open-source (PHP) but using SQL Server because the open-source db market still needs work.
  • Companies have inquired about buying Newsvine technology.

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