In designing for social participation, we can consider user goals and needs — even interests, features, functionality, adoption and scaling issues. Best practices and popular ways of using social media guide us in our decisions. But there’s a basic concern we seem to often overlook: “What is the user good at?”
We each differ in what we’re good at socially, so asking this question raises other interesting questions that can be useful in mapping the social design objectives for tools, services, social brand campaigns and more. In the answers lie a rich set of possibilities.
Bloggy Boot Camp, the sold-out first stop on a five-city tour. It is the brainchild of Tiffany Romero and Heather Blair, the founders of the Secret Is in the Sauce, a community of 5,000 female bloggers. Boot Camp is at once a networking and social event, bringing together virtual friends for some real-time girly bonding, and an educational seminar designed to help the participants — about 90 percent of them mothers — to take their blogs up a notch, whether in hopes of generating ad revenue and sponsorships, attracting attention to a cause or branching out into paid journalism or marketing.
“You’re here because you want to be seen as a professional,” Ms. Romero told the group. A summer-camp director from Los Angeles, she steered the proceedings with the good-natured sass of a sorority social chairwoman and the enthusiasm of a, well, summer-camp director.