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Social software: facilitating information-, identity- and relationship-management

[conference paper]

Schmidt, Jan

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Abstract During the last years, a growing number of online-based applications has been developed that facilitate the creation, articulation and maintenance of social networks. They are often referred to as "social software", but up to now there is neither an accepted definition of this rather vague term, nor is there a comprehensive analytical framework to describe and explain the social dynamics that come with the institutionalization of these tools. This paper starts with a proposal for a definition and its analytical elements, concentrating on the affordances social software allows. It will then sketch an analytical model of "social software practices" based on the three key concepts of rules, relations, and code, briefly discussing these elements and their interdependencies. The paper will conclude with an outlook how the definition and the analytical model might aid and inform future academic research as well as software development.
Keywords online media; software; social network; Internet; computer-mediated communication; web 2.0; network
Classification Sociology of Communication, Sociology of Language, Sociolinguistics; Interactive, electronic Media
Method descriptive study
Free Keywords Social Software
Collection Title BlogTalks reloaded : social software - research & cases
Editor Burg, Thomas N.; Schmidt, Jan
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Publisher Books On Demand
City Norderstedt
Page/Pages p. 31-49
ISBN 978-3-8334-9614-1
Status Published Version; not reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works