PPIG 2005 - 17th Annual Workshop
PP2SS: From the Psychology of Programming to Social Software
Marc Eisenstadt
Abstract: Social Software is software which amplifies or otherwise leverages human social behaviour. Common examples include message boards, reputationbased music file sharing, photo-sharing, instant messaging, blogs, wikis, and generic social networking hubs such as Friendster, LinkedIn, and Tribe.Net.
Interacting with other people not only forms the core of human social and psychological experience, but also lies at the centre of what makes the internet such a rich, powerful and exciting collection of knowledge media. We are especially interested in what happens when such interactions take place on a very large scale – not only because we work regularly with tens of thousands of distance learners at the Open University, but also because it is evident that being part of a crowd in real life possesses a certain ‘buzz’ of its own, and understanding the nature and power of group interactions poses a natural challenge. Different nuances emerge in different user contexts, so we choose to investigate the contexts of work, learning and play to better understand the trade-offs involved in designing effective large-scale social software for multiple purposes.
How does the Psychology of Programming fit into this? Right now, it doesn’t: but it should. I believe that PPIG has much to offer the Social Software community, and vice versa. In this talk, I will outline four ways in which a symbiotic PP/SS relationship could grow.