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Design principles of online communities

From what I’ve learnt during this course the most popular online communities are the ones that prove to have the most functionality and ease of access. I will mainly be relating this post to Facebook a it is at the moment the most popular online community on the web.

Why do other online communities not have the innovation that Facebook managed to grasp? This is a question that I don’t think people think about. Before Facebook there were multiple social networks such as Skype, Bebo, Messenger, Myspace and more. The difference is that however good these social networks were, they didn’t have much ease of access. Certain aspects were blocked if you weren’t a “premium member” or finding people you knew was difficult. This is a main principle that online communities should think about.

After Facebook, Google tried to come out with their own social network as well, they called it Google+ (G+). I joined this social network because their promotional video really emphasized the functionality of the community. It also had a great function that other networks lacked: the option to host group video calls without having to “go premium” (paying extra money for more functionality). I was quite sad when i joined G+ because nobody else seemed to want to join it. This was mainly because people couldn’t join it. G+ was given to the public as a beta to see if people would like it or not. The only problem is that the only way to get the beta was through an invite. Not enough people could test it and the result was that nobody bothered  to change from Facebook to G+ when it as released.

To conclude, the main principles to follow to have a good online community is to make it fully available to the public, make it easy to use, easy to share and easy to find people without the need to leech money of the public to make “premium” services available.

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Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Industrial Design Engineering 2012
2 comments on “Design principles of online communities
  1. Nancy White says:

    These are useful principles for the platform design. You started to notice one of the social design principles when you talked about your disappointment of others not joining GooglePlus. What are other social design principles that you think might be important?

    • Dessy says:

      Barnes quote struck me we call moral ppolee principled. How odd, especially since Barnes exactly characterizes the Pharisees and many (most?) other religious ppolee. Unhappily, I’ve often been very principled. Sad indeed.

  • Nancy White { I love, love, love that you mentioned learning from mistakes. This is so important, but often we hide it, or "don't mention" it. Yet we... } – Nov 16, 2:39 PM
  • Nancy White { 🙂 } – Nov 16, 2:12 PM
  • Maarten Thissen { did you send the video to her? } – Nov 16, 1:52 PM
  • Maarten Thissen { As a designer, I think you're describing the classical approach. there is a point in the process where you should just 'do your thing'. It... } – Nov 16, 1:49 PM
  • Maarten Thissen { Somehow you've touched on all the things that we think are important for open innovation. } – Nov 16, 1:44 PM
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