2012/Identity, Reputation and Gratitude: Designing for a Community

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How is Wikipedia designing its user experiences? In a larger
sense, how do you design for a collaborative community — the type of
social network where people make things together? Brandon Harris,
senior designer for the Wikimedia Foundation, explains.

Speaker: Brandon Harris

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Communities that grow organically grow without social norms: 


• Humans are social creatures • naturally gravitate towards each other (any port in a storm problem) • communities are creatures. Once you understand it, they're easy to predict. Steps:

1. Understanding identity: ⁃ Important because it controls your reputation ⁃ makes me recognizable ⁃ makes it easy to find me ⁃ gives me acknowledgment ⁃ context dependent: It morphs and moves around throughout the day ⁃ brandon ⁃ Jorm ⁃ son ⁃ metalhead ⁃ designer ⁃ the guy who doesn't take out the trash ⁃ three types: ⁃ actual ⁃ Pseduonymous ⁃ anonymous 2. How does this happen ⁃ people with identities create linkages ⁃ identities + conversation = community ⁃ All online communities are combinations of two things: ⁃ warrens: lots of smaller places: Wikipedia, Reddit (FB groups, FB messages??) ⁃ Difficult to moderate ⁃ difficult for users to find ⁃ easy to make impact when joined ⁃ grow by adding new warrens ⁃ scale like crazypants ⁃ plazas are large areas: larges areas of everyone you know like fb. ⁃ easy to join, can get started in them very quickly, difficult for any one person to stand out, how do you make an impact? Difficult. Has scaling problems (socially) ⁃ Second Rule; you ust understand your communities ⁃ motivations ⁃ Dating (FB, myspace) ⁃ Collaboration (quora, stackexchange, wikipedia) ⁃ mischief (4chan, something awful, ED) ⁃ Entertainment (XBox live, Reddit) ⁃ News (Reddit) ⁃ Personal motivations ⁃ people want value from communities ⁃ they will leave when they no longer get it ⁃ a persona's motivation to join a community is personal ⁃ values (ephemeral) ⁃ cultural norms ⁃ all communities have norms ⁃ never going to be what you need them to be ⁃ you may dictate to new communities ⁃ you must shape existing ones ⁃ you better have a terms of use to set cultural norms, code of conduct. "I don't like to ban anyone, but I will. Don't be an asshole" ⁃ Starting from Stratch ⁃ you get to dictate cultural norms ⁃ using content moderation ⁃ crowd sourcing vs dictators (goons will come in and game your system so you'll have to ban everyone) ⁃ strong terms of use: for most it's less a legal document, no revealing other people personal information, graphic images, pornography ⁃ strong leadership: crowdsourced moderators, dictator moderators, Ex: Wikipedia users look to each other for how to communicate, have empathy with each other. ⁃ Existing Communities ⁃ You have to shape ⁃ Do NOT determine the encouraged ⁃ you don't have a clean slate ⁃ Determine discouraged behaviors ⁃ (Develop social currency), you want to determine what you want to discourage, what's hurting your community, Figure out where certain users (i.e. women) broke off the community ⁃ carrots as reward, sticks as punishment ⁃ best way to discourage a behavior is to encourage competing behaviors. Ex; vaporizing little girls in BioShock. Making one behavior more advisable. Make one alternative more logical based on values of community. ⁃ social currency is reputation ⁃ reputation is social currency ⁃ Social Currency ⁃ Know what the community values: need to know your community to know what they value so you know what they will find useless and useful ⁃ useless currency is useless ⁃ social currency is reputation ⁃ reputation is social currency ⁃ Evaporative Cooling ⁃ When high-value contributors leave, they take other contributors wit them. ⁃ lower-value contributors get vulva from high-value contributors ⁃ When an a-lister leaves it lowers the value of the community and lowers the tone ⁃ people who are at the threshold leave overtime, there's an uptick over time, user overturn. A leaves, B --> A, C--> B, etc, A stays because they mentor newbies. ⁃ Can try to lessen this through empathy and gratitude ⁃ Preventing loss ⁃ you can't ⁃ build gratitude into you social ⁃ Gratitude ⁃ When you've got so much to say, it's called "gratitude"/ ⁃ Brandon Barris ⁃ bharris@wikimedia.org ⁃ wikipedia user: Jorm ⁃ @Jorn ⁃ Jormosuarusrex 3. What happens when you thank people for certain actions…? 4. Varies from country to country 5. wiki love: a tool designed to express gratitude within the wikipedia foundation. Delivers pictures of cookies, beer, barnstar, russians gives each other meat. Food, burgers

File:Identity Reputation Gratitude OSB.pdf

Identity + Communication = Community

Warrens - smaller areas (sub-reddits) Plazas - larger areas

Your Community

 * Motivations
 * Values
 * Cultural Norms (how they communicate the previous two)

Doing what attracts is better than doing what repels.