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The Realm of Sociality: Notes on the Design of Social Software

Wim Bouman
Tim Hoogenboom
René Jansen
Mark Schoondorp
Bolke de Bruin
Ard Huizing
University of Amsterdam, Netherlands


Abstract
In this article we seek to understand and clarify the contribution of the multifaceted concept of sociality towards the design of social software systems. Our premise is that it is not software as such that is social, but the free choice of people to engage in social activities. Paraphrasing Wenger (1998): sociality cannot be designed; it can only be designed for. We adopt a soft systems approach to cope with the loosely defined concepts of social software. The paper's main contribution to the field consists of the theoretical work on the sociality based conceptual model, identifying if and to what degree software systems can trigger social behavior, and the design framework that stretches beyond the more traditional functionality-based approaches and focuses on the realms of sociality. We consider this orientation toward sociality, not functionality, a valuable contribution to the field of study.

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Reference:Bouman, W., Hoogenboom, T., Jansen, R., Schoondorp, M., Bruin, B. de, Huizing, A. (2008). "The Realm of Sociality: Notes on the Design of Social Software," University of Amsterdam, Netherlands . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 8(1). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/8-1
Keywords:Social software, sociality, design framework, soft systems methodology
Item Type:Article - Volume 8 Article 1 (2008)
Language:English
Email: Wim Bouman (w.bouman@gmail.com)
Tim Hoogenboom (mail@timhoogenboom.nl)
René Jansen (rene@winkwaves.nl)
Mark Schoondorp (mark@winkwaves.nl)
Bolke de Bruin (bolke@xs4all.nl)
Ard Huizing (a.huizing@uva.nl)
Related Link(s):http://primavera.feb.uva.nl/scripts/abstract.php?id=407
Additional Information:primavera working paper 2008-1

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