My me-too social object theory post.

Many thanks to James Whatley for sending this my way; he likely understands this much better than I do but I’m going to attempt my own description and cross my fingers that I get it somewhat right.

You might be interested in social object theory if (1) you’re building a social network, (2) you’re building a community within an existing network or (3) you’re trying to figure out what makes successful social networks tick. I’m posting this for that third reason…

Social object theory has been around since 2005 when Jyri Engeström, co-founder of Jaiku, first wrote about it in this blog post. The basic idea is that social objects are what successful social networks use as their currency:

And so on…

Though Facebook and Twitter aren’t limited to any one type of social object, each has their own unique means of sharing them — #hashtags for Twitter and the near-ubiquitous “like” button for Facebook.

That’s my understanding of it — here’s more on social object theory straight from the source:

Note that from Slide #41 onwards it’s basically a pitch for Jaiku — and we all know what happened to Jaiku.

Still, social object theory is an interesting way to quantify how social networks work. And if it helps James and the rest of the WOMWorld Nokia team come up with evermore amazing opportunities for bloggers — like the two tours they’ve sent me on — then I’m obviously all for it. 😎

And if you wanted to know more about Jyri and his work he’ll be a guest on Heather Gold’s Tummelvision tonight at 8pm Eastern. I plan to be there in the chat…

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