September 09, 2005

OSW: Tom Coates - On Social Software

Works for the BBC. Has been blogging (at for six years.

The UK is well behind the curve on blogging. People are a bit reserved about why they think they're important enough to publish their thoughts online.

Whistlestop tour of the last ten years of social software.

When the Internet started (before the web) it was social. IRC, e-mail, usenet, mailing-lists, message boards, MUDs/MOOs.

The web moved the Internet towards publishing and commerce.

Weblogs and have started to move things back in the social direction.

Then Friendster happened. Showed that everyone in the world was on the Internet and you could find a way to connect with your real-life social group online.

Ran through an overview of current social software services... Flickr,, Technorati,, microformats.

What makes a service a good social software service?

  • An individual should derive value from the service
  • These contributions should provide value to other people too
  • The site of organisation that hosts the service should get value out of it and expose this value back to the individuals

Then he demoed Phonetags and Collaborative Audio Annotation.

Collaborative Audio Annotation. Turning audio into a wiki! Allows people to bookmark bits of the data, and basically allow the world to provide meta-data for the BBC's audio data. Very nice!

Posted by Adrian at September 9, 2005 10:51 AM | TrackBack

This blog post is on the personal blog of Adrian McEwen. If you want to explore the site a bit further, it might be worth having a look at the most recent entries or look through the archives or categories over on the left.

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