HypermediaNew Media SystemsSemantic Web &
Knowledge ServicesSocial Software
Social Software is...
Social Software can be thought of as "software which extends, or derives added value from, human social behaviour - message boards, musical taste-sharing, photo-sharing, instant messaging, mailing lists, social networking."
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 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.