A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Social Networking

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Social networking services focus on building online communities of people who share interests and/or activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. Most social network services are web-based and provide a variety of ways for users to interact, such as email and instant messaging services.

 

1.
#36566

2010: The Year of Reinvention  (link broken)   (PDF)   (members only)

Social media is exploding, and you don’t want to be left behind. Molisani describes a recent conference he attended where he learned first-hand the power of social media, and suggests ways the reader can best use it.

Molisani, Jack. Intercom (2010). Articles>TC>Social Networking

2.
#36280

Accessibility and Social Media

Social media can be a terrific way to share information with your customers, provide them with crucial support, and otherwise communicate with them. Although there is little you can do to compensate accessibility problems while you are visiting Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, there are many things you can do to make shared information on those sites easier for your customers to access.

Dolson, Joseph C. Practical eCommerce (2010). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Social Networking

3.
#37192

Advocate for Community Documentation

Let’s say that the most driven and driving developer on your team, who also happens to be a popular blogger, comes to you and asks why your end-user documentation doesn’t allow comments or ratings. Rather than stammering something about Wikipedia’s latest scandal, or reaching for imperfect responses that sound like lame excuses, do your homework and learn best practices from others who are implementing social web content that is conversational or based on community goals.

Gentle, Anne. Just Write Click (2010). Articles>Documentation>Wikis>Social Networking

4.
#36588

After Frustrations in Second Life, Colleges Look to New Virtual Worlds

Some colleges that have built virtual classrooms in Second Life—the online environment where people walk around as avatars in a cartoonlike world—have started looking for an exit strategy. The virtual world has not lived up to the hype that peaked in 2007, when just about every day brought a new announcement from a college entering Second Life. Today, disenchanted with commercial virtual worlds but still convinced of their educational value, a few colleges have started to build their own, where they have more control.

Young, Jeffrey R. Chronicle of Higher Education (2010). Articles>Education>Social Networking>3D

5.
#35647

Anonymous Cowards, Avatars, and the Zeitgeist: Personal Identity in Flux: Part I

Governments and large organizations, with legal and administrative concerns like taxation and security typically address the practical aspects of identity we experience on a daily basis—issuing IDs and credentials and deciding the mechanisms for their verification. This division of responsibilities for defining and executing the construct of personal identity is nearly as old as the mind/body schism at the heart of Western culture.

Lamantia, Joe. UXmatters (2009). Articles>Web Design>Privacy>Social Networking

6.
#36467

Applying Web 2.0 to Technical Documentation

This article is based on my presentation at the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators' annual conference, in October 2006, on new trends in technical authoring. It covers the application of Web 2.0 technologies to technical documentation.

Windows 7 Help and Resources (2006). Articles>Documentation>Web Design>Social Networking

7.
#34820

Are Business-Oriented Social Networking Web Sites Useful Resources for Locating Passive Jobseekers? Results of a Recent Study   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Employment recruiters often maintain that business-oriented social networking Web sites offer a fertile source of information concerning “passive” jobseekers. These individuals, according to placement specialists, are persons who are currently employed and not seeking a career change. Many human resources professionals maintain that passive jobseekers are especially desirable because they represent an untapped pool of potential candidates who are not already associated with placement agencies or other recruiting professionals. Also, many passive candidates are considered to be especially stable employees. Although special effort may be required to convince the passive jobseeker to seek employment elsewhere, this effort is worthwhile because of the quality of the individual and the ultimate payoff to the recruiter who successfully places the candidate . The managers of business-oriented social networking sites do not dispute the notion that their services are oriented toward passive jobseekers. Indeed, some of these sites, such as LinkedIn and Power Search, explicitly promote their networks as providing vast databases of passive candidates accessible to recruiters. However, the assumption that members of business-oriented social networking Web sites are passive jobseekers has never been validated. The purpose of this study is to examine the accuracy of this assumption.

DeKay, Sam. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Careers>Unemployment>Social Networking

8.
#34126

Are URL Shorteners A Necessary Evil, Or Just Evil?

What started out as something people did via e-mail and bookmark-sharing services like Delicious, is now moving to Facebook, Twitter, and other social broadcasting services. It is just so much more efficient to share a link once with all your friends and followers than to send it to each one individually.

Schonfeld, Erick. TechCrunch (2009). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Social Networking

9.
#31927

Are You Job Hunting or Job Fishing?

Landing the best jobs, like snagging the best fish, takes hard work and patience.

Fiske, Peter. Science (2000). Careers>Resumes>Social Networking

10.
#33999

Best Practices for Designing a Social News Website

In this article I’ll showcase some of the current top social news sites, will identify trends and patterns in their designs and suggest some best practices to follow when designing such sites. Let’s begin by looking at four popular social news sites and see how their designs compare.

Fadeyev, Dmitry. Webdesigner Depot (2009). Articles>Web Design>Community Building>Social Networking

11.
#32566

Best Practices for Facebook Fan Pages: User Types

The average Facebook user doesn’t want content pushed to them, particularly contests or other promotional programs that don’t speak to their overall enthusiasm for a brand. These types of promotions can be supported on the Facebook Fan Page, but should not be the primary focus and should be housed in other digital arenas. Successful communities on Facebook offer an attitude of openness, transparency and enthusiasm - not a technology platform for advertising.

Douma, Collin. Social Media Today (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Marketing>Social Networking

12.
#35416

Beyond Microblogging: Conversation and Collaboration via Twitter  (link broken)   (PDF)

The microblogging service Twitter is in the process of being appropriated for conversational interaction and is starting to be used for collaboration, as well. In order to determine how well Twitter supports user-to- user exchanges, what people are using Twitter for, and what usage or design modifications would make it (more) usable as a tool for collaboration, this study analyzes a corpus of naturally-occurring public Twit- ter messages (tweets), focusing on the functions and uses of the @ sign and the coherence of exchanges. The findings reveal a surprising degree of conversa- tionality, facilitated especially by the use of @ as a marker of addressivity, and shed light on the limita- tions of Twitter's current design for collaborative use.

Honeycutt, Courtenay and Susan C. Herring. Semantic WebProceedings of the Forty-Second Hawai’i International Conference on System Sciences (2009). Articles>Collaboration>Social Networking>Ethnographies

13.
#37205

Bill Scott: The Want Interview

Yessir, there’s nothing like working for a quarterly publication in today’s fast-and-loose online media environment. The best part? Interviewing someone like Bill Scott about his company, Netflix, and then finding out three weeks before press time that he doesn’t work for Netflix anymore.

Grobe, Ken and Bill Scott. Want Magazine (2010). Articles>Interviews>Social Networking

14.
#25484

Blogging as Social Activity, or, Would You Let 900 Million People Read Your Diary?   (PDF)

'Blogging' is a Web-based form of communication that is rapidly becoming mainstream. In this paper, we report the results of an ethnographic study of blogging, focusing on blogs written by individuals or small groups, with limited audiences. We discuss motivations for blogging, the quality of social interactivity that characterized the blogs we studied, and relationships to the blogger¡¯s audience. We consider the way bloggers related to the known audience of their personal social networks as well as the wider 'blogosphere' of unknown readers. We then make design recommendations for blogging software based on these findings.

Nardi, Bonnie A., Diane J. Schiano and Michelle Gumbrecht. Comcast (2003). Articles>Web Design>Blogging>Social Networking

15.
#32949

Bokardo

A blog about interface design for social web sites and applications. I write about recommendation systems, identity, ratings, privacy, comments, profiles, tags, reputation, sharing, as well as the social psychology underlying our motivation to use (or not use) these things.

Bokardo. Resources>Web Design>Blogs>Social Networking

16.
#37858

Boost Your LinkedIn Profile with Recommendations   (members only)

Whenever someone writes a recommendation, the honoree always has the opportunity to accept, decline, or edit the recommendation before it gets posted to their LinkedIn page. So you needn't worry about what a connection might say; you always have the chance to change it or simply not post it.

Maggiani, Rich. Intercom (2011). Articles>Social Networking>Collaboration

17.
#38108

Bringing Social Media to the Writing Classroom: Classroom Salon   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article introduces a new IText technology called Classroom Salon. The goal of Classroom Salon is to bring some of the benefits of social media—the expression of personal identity and community—to writing classrooms. It provides Facebook-like features to writing classes, where students can form social networks as annotators within the drafts of their peers. The authors discuss how the technology seeks to capture qualities of historical salons, which also built communities around texts. They also discuss the central features of the Classroom Salon system, how the system changes the dynamics of the writing classroom, current efforts to evaluate it, and future directions.

Kaufer, David S., Ananda Gunawardena, Aaron Tan and Alexander Cheek. Journal of Business and Technical Communication (2011). Articles>Education>Social Networking>Collaboration

18.
#20284

Building a Virtual Community: A Case Study of Professional and Technical Communication  (link broken)   (PDF)

The Diploma of Professional and Technical Communication is an Internet-based course, developed and taught by Christchurch Polytechnic in conjunction with University of Western Sydney, Nepean. Developing a student community is essential in an effective learning environment. The diploma is designed to encourage online student participation with the aim of promoting a virtual community. Elements of effective online course design include clear learning outcomes, tutors who motivate, activities to encourage participation, and prompt feedback. The analysis of student online interpersonal communication showed a successful virtual community was in fact created.

Draper, Richard, Kathy Knight and Alison Sanders. STC Proceedings (1998). Articles>Education>Community Building>Social Networking

19.
#20636

Building an Online Learning Community

We decided to explore alternative methods for incorporating discussion into a distance-learning course in an attempt to facilitate the sense of community found in more traditional classrooms. Our goal through this study was to uncover factors that enable and hinder discussion between students in online learning environments and to determine whether the level of class discussion leads to an increased sense of community.

McDowell, Mindi, Stephanie Trunzo and Kristin Vincent. Orange Journal, The (2003). Articles>Education>Community Building>Social Networking

20.
#30256

Building Online Communities: Interview with Svi Ben-Elya about Elephant.org.il

In this podcast, I talk with Svi Ben-Elya about Elephant.org.il. Elephant is an online community he and others created to empower technical communicators in Israel (originally in the city of Yokneam) with relevant salary information to make them more market savvy when they negotiate jobs.

Ben-Elya, Svi and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Articles>Interviews>Community Building>Social Networking

21.
#32754

Building Viral Marketing Tools   (PDF)

One of the best ways to spread the word about your website is to let your audience do it for you.

Walter, Aarron. Building Findable Websites (2008). Articles>Web Design>Marketing>Social Networking

22.
#25659

Building Web-Based Scholarly Communication Forums

Scholarly communication is the root of scientific progress. Research on how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the scholarly communication system is being carried out worldwide, particularly with respect to electronic journals which can and should be constructed as communication forums. Refereeing new contributions for these forums is a major means for their quality control and for the acceptance of the new media. We have implemented a web-based electronic refereeing system for an electronic journal (RIS - Review of Information Science) whose many value-added features are described in detail. Faster communication and enhanced interactivity between referees, editors and authors will be achieved by the use of this Web based electronic refereeing system. In order to ease access and browsing, articles already published will be integrated and managed in a database-based open hypertext system, in this case in KHS (Konstanz hypertext system). Finally, we describe the advantage of a real time communication system for authors, referees, editors and the domain-specific public. Further research will focus at improving the communicative features of this preliminary web-based communication forum and at evaluating it from a user point of view.

Kuhlen, Rainer and Zhongdong Zhang. ISRDP in Digital Libraries (1997). Articles>Research>Community Building>Social Networking

23.
#36452

Buzz Launch Wasn’t Flawed, Google’s Intentions Are

Last week Google exposed private aspects of Gmail accounts by default in its introduction of Buzz and then backtracked to offer what can only be described as user-hostile instructions to remedy it. It’s ludicrous to think that the Buzz fiasco was simply a result of under-testing. Indeed, it was not an implementation snafu at all, as often described. It was a reflection of the strategy with which Google has decided to capture the enormous territory left up for grabs by the decline of Microsoft.

Kontra. counternotions (2010). Articles>Social Networking>Content Strategy>Email

24.
#35323

The Cautionary Tales of Social Media

Why is social media so important? Traditional media tells the same big story TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE. Social Media is about lots of little stories told IN SMALL GROUPS AT THE SAME TIME.

Goldstein, Seth Justin. SlideShare (2009). Presentations>Business Communication>Social Networking

25.
#35015

Change is Gonna Come

There's a shift happening in the way in which documentation is produced. We’ve all seen the beginning of it: the growing volume of what’s called (among other things) user generated or crowdsourced documentation. That trend is growing. And while a number of people in our profession are still resistant to the idea, it’s only a matter of time before users are our main partners in creating documentation.

Nesbitt, Scott. DMN Communications (2009). Articles>Documentation>Technical Writing>Social Networking

 
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