Live Blogging: Josh Porter on Effective Social Interface Design

Josh Porter, has blogged about social design for 7-8
years. Is lead designer for, a next generation social network.
In August he started his own design company to design interfaces that
focus on enabling people to talk to each other. Main issues: how do
you get people to engage with your site. How do you get them to sign
up? He\’s had clients who got Techcrunched, had a spike, and then over
time they all leak out. How to provide value over the long term?

Five principles:
1. The Lesson. Delicious let you have bookmarks and access
them everywhere. You could tag bookmarks, adding your own comments.
Tagging was new back then. Designers talked about subverting
hierarchical structures and folksonomies. But people were just saving
bookmarks for later. I tell all my clients: "Personal value precedes
network value" or social value. These are great tools even if your
friends don\’t use them. I ask: is your service/software valueable even

In San Francisco for SnapSummit 2.0

I\’m looking forward to hearing keynotes from Dave Morin, Senior Platform Manager at Facebook and Jim Benedetto, VP Technology at MySpace, as well as from 20 or so panelists who are succeeding with their social networking applications and investments. My last major dose of social networking content from industry insiders came at CES in January where I attended (and then bought mp3 recordings) of virtually every session on widgets and social networking. When I went to order my mp3 recordings, they just copied all the ones I wanted onto a thumb drive and gave them to me. It was the first conference where I have purchased the audio that way–very cool.

10% Time

Last week I listened for the third time to Marissa Mayer\’s amazing
talk at Stanford about Google\’s culture of innovation. (I can\’t link
to it right now. I\’m blogging from my blackberry.) She lists the top 9
reasons that Google is innovative.

One of them, of course, is that every Google engineer gets to work on
their own pet project for 20% of the time. Marissa says that in the
second half of 2005, 50% of the products Google introduced came from
20% time.

Another was that "ideas come from everywhere," including customers,
employees, senior management, and through acquisitions.

Clearly Google folks are encouraged not only to have ideas but to
share them and to pursue them.

That is a very different culture from most companies I\’ve ever seen,
where few people are energized with new ideas, and those that have
great ideas are often frustrated by politics or lack of resources to
the point where they have no hope that their ideas will be heard or