Using Tom Coates’ slide-deck as a crib-sheet

by Juan Felipe Castaño

I’ve been working in social computing / social software for a long time: I switched from working on understanding large billing systems to building shared virtual worlds in 1997. Recently I’ve been finding Tom Coates talk from SF06 a useful crib-sheet on social media. You can download the slide-deck, and you’ll see that Tom’s used an addictive slide style. But it is hard to use the PDF as a crib-sheet, so I copied the text from Tom’s slides into a text file and I refer to that in discussions and meetings etc. Putting the resulting crib-sheet  online may prove useful to me for those at-someone-else’s-computer moments, so here it is, lifted entirely from Tom’s slides

Using software to enhance our social and collaborative abilities through structured mediation

Individual Motives

Aggregate Value

An individual should get value from their contribution

Social Value

These contributions should provide value to their peers as well

Business / Organisational Value

The organisation that hosts the service should derive aggregate value and be able to expose this back to the users
Aggregation Style


Many contributions make one voice

Generates canonical or definitive representations in data


Many voices with emergent order

Generate lots of material, makes it comprehensible
Community motives

Peter Kollock “The Economies of Online Cooperation”

Anticipated reciprocity


‘Sense of Efficacy’ (a sense that one has some effect on one’s environment)

Identification with a group

Open up social value

Expose every axis of data you can

Give people a place to represent themselves

Allow them to associate, connect, and form relationships with one another

Help them annotate, rate, and comment

Look for ways to expose this data back onto the site

APIs are cool

Be …

Be very careful of user expectations around how private or public their contribution is

Be wary of creating monocultures or echo chambers (e.g. popular)


One Response to “Using Tom Coates’ slide-deck as a crib-sheet”

  1. rbanks Says:


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