4 May 2010

What’s up with social objects?

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Social objects
The concept of social objects is pretty widely used in social interaction design, but we’re missing a solid definition of what social objects are, says social media expert Adrian Chan on Johnny Holland. Or, whether they really even exist.

The most common use of the term “social object” refers to shared online resources around which interactions develop and coalesce. Examples could include gifts on Facebook, videos, or what have you. The object sort of serves as a shared object, a focus of attention, an actual digital object, and so on. And the object plays a role in governing or informing interactions; we know what objects mean and what to do with them (give them, comment on them, play them, etc.)

So argues Chan, we need a better description, and he gives it a go.

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