I recently tweeted an observation of David Weinberger’s on how our language has shifted:
Over the past decade, we’ve gone from talking about social circles to social networks. A circle draws a line around us. Networks draw lines among us.
Social software becomes, therefore, the technology side of the definition of social media, and we use it when we refer specifically to software that enables and supports personal interaction. The personal interaction becomes social to the extent that there are named and identifiable people on each end (or in all the threads) of the transaction. These may be either tools, platforms, or social networking sites/services.
“web‐based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi‐public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.
These technologies are changing the way we work, the ways in which we grow relationships with other human beings, and the ways that we process, filter, and give context to information. These are the practices that are emerging that make us comfortable with, dependent on, and successful using social media. It is in this area that some of the more interesting new terms are sprouting. I say “interesting” because the terms themselves challenge us to think anew about who and how we — and our enterprises — are in the world.
An organization designed consciously around sociality and social tools, as a response to a changed world and the emergence of the social web. (Stowe Boyd)
Social architecture is the intentional use of social media in the design of how people work. For me, the term architecture implies design, as is evident in these definitions from two of my favorite people:
Social architecture is the conscious design of an environment that encourages certain social behavior leading towards some goal or set of goals. (Andrew Gent.)
Social architecture is a user experience oriented approach to the design and analysis of social tools. (Stowe Boyd)
[is] the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes while connected to others (peers, mentors, experts) in an electronic surround of digital media, both real-time and asynchronous. (Harold Jarche).
Even as I include that definition, I feel that we must also acknowledge, via Jay Cross, that informal learning occurs by many means (especially face-to-face) that can’t be controlled or programmed, but by its nature when the learning comes through exchange with other human beings, it is social learning. I have also blogged social learning at theappgap.
Social team (from Boris Pluskowski): a collection of individuals who have a common understanding of the “game they are playing” (i.e. the team’s purpose); know in which goal they are trying to score (i.e. have a shared understanding of what a “win” looks like); and are collaborating together to achieve that aim. Boris is extending the concept of team using the concepts from Here Comes Everybody to illustrate the potential to tap the expertise, passion, and abilities of a large number of people to support a shared purpose.
…(in a nutshell) is the reason two people are talking to each other, as opposed to talking to somebody else.” (Hugh McLeod)
Note I tend to equate these social objects with a more scholarly term, boundary objects, most clearly explained by Lilia Efimova in writing about blogs as boundary objects.
Social analytics. The aggregation and correlation of the data collected from social software that reveals social structures and relations to assess interaction and conversation patterns. (See Mike Gotta for the basics and also for his thinking about how this is an emerging topic for 2010 .)