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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good reference for people needing to get their sites caught up with the social web
Joshua Porter pours his knowledge about user interface design in social media in this title. While the AOF method (Activities, Objects and Features) he presents early in the book gets a bit confusing when you first read about it, very quickly you get his point.

The design framework he presents is aimed at taking new users of a social site through the steps that...
Published on August 13, 2008 by Manny Hernandez

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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very uneven book
The book is a fast read. It's written in a conversational style, which means it's sometimes very verbose but rarely difficult to understand. There are some references, most of them to blog posts or web sites. A lot of the information sounds more like opinions and the background info is not really explained. The writer makes many unnecessary comments and opinions on things...
Published on August 21, 2008 by M., Marcus


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very uneven book, August 21, 2008
By 
M., Marcus (Helsinki, Finland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Designing for the Social Web (Paperback)
The book is a fast read. It's written in a conversational style, which means it's sometimes very verbose but rarely difficult to understand. There are some references, most of them to blog posts or web sites. A lot of the information sounds more like opinions and the background info is not really explained. The writer makes many unnecessary comments and opinions on things that are very loosely related to the treated subject.

The scope of the book is large. This means that the treatment of topics is shallow. Inside one chapter I could find very interesting paragraphs and then a couple of pages of uninteresting (too shallow or repetition of something that was self evident or repetition) musings. The book would have benefited from more editing and condensation of ideas, as it seems the writer would have had more to say on many topics. This is why it's a shame that the expression is not more condensed and organized.

I would recommend the book as an introduction to many issues concerning modern web site design from a non-technical perspective. I didn't find many new things in the book, but found some inspiring thoughts or comments on existing sites. The problem was that due to the unevenness, there was no fast way of recognizing the less interesting material. But, it's a fast & easy read, so not too much time is lost on the boring parts. I felt i got some ideas & inspiration from it which is always nice.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good reference for people needing to get their sites caught up with the social web, August 13, 2008
This review is from: Designing for the Social Web (Paperback)
Joshua Porter pours his knowledge about user interface design in social media in this title. While the AOF method (Activities, Objects and Features) he presents early in the book gets a bit confusing when you first read about it, very quickly you get his point.

The design framework he presents is aimed at taking new users of a social site through the steps that make up the usage lifecycle: not being aware of the site > becoming interested in it > using the site for the first time > becoming a regular user > becoming a passionate user.

I see a practical application of Joshua's design philosophy in the way Ning.com (a platform for you to create your own social network) is put together: it is easy for a new member to sign up and create/manage a profile page, interact with other members and sharing with others inside or outside the network so as to make more people aware of the network.

The main downside I found to the book was that, in an attempt to be more comprehensive, it went into certain topics that had little to do with design, such as the case with the chapter on "Authentic Conversations" (why they are the most important thing you can do for your social web site) and the closing chapter on "Funnel Analysis" which seemed a bit rushed and disconnected from the rest. Still, the chapter on authentic conversations was useful and even the one on metrics carried weight and useful tips, just not as much as the rest of the book.

Overall, a very good reference for folks needing to catch up with the social web in the sites they manage.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written, May 21, 2008
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This review is from: Designing for the Social Web (Paperback)
First, this is not a programming book- there are no lines of code. Instead, this is about the design of social websites. It is very well written, with many illustrations and examples, in a style which makes it both easy to read and useful as a reference. It's clear that the author put a lot of time into this- probably because he's read countless books himself lacking in these areas. You can probably find books with more information on each topic he discusses but I have never seen one that pulls the information together so completely and coherently. For this alone, he deserves high marks.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing New, but a great packaging of knowledge, June 5, 2008
This review is from: Designing for the Social Web (Paperback)
I highly recommend any web developer read this book. Its a very quick read (I think I spent 5 hrs total with the book over the course of a few weekends), and well worth your time.

It basically presents a lot of common knowledge about designing social features into web software as a coherent package. There aren't a lot of earth shattering ideas in the book, but having all the info in one place was very helpful. It focuses on the user experience, so don't expect any graphic design, or programming knowledge to be inferred, but it will get you thinking about how the social web works, and how to get it to work to your advantage. The last chapter on measuring your success is also quite good, and is tool agnostic.

There was nothing in the book that I didn't agree with, which is rarity for me. And all of the links cited in the footnotes will expand on the topics he presents to get the depth of the topic at hand the book may be lacking.

Buy it now.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview of how to design a Social Web site, January 13, 2009
By 
atmj (Rochester, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Designing for the Social Web (Paperback)
Having only used Social sites and not having been active in designing them, this book was eye opening for me. It summed up some ideas, I was not familiar with and gave me some insight on how to pursue the design of a Social web.

I found it a nice overall view of
* "somethings to do" and "somethings not to do"
* along with the structure of how to do it
* as well as how to see if I was successful.

It was chock full of examples as well.

I felt this book had to be a challenge to research for and write as the references needed to be current to be most useful and for me they were.

Thanks for an easy to read book and a quick overview of a subject that is all to pertinent to designers today.

What better way to sum up a book then by providing it's own

Table of Contents

The rise of the Social Web
* The Amazon effect
* The social web
A framework for social web design
* The AOF method (Activity, Objects, Features)
* Focus on the primary activity
* Identify your social objects
* Choose a core feature set
Authentic conversations
* The growing Alienation
* What could it look like
* The value of Authentic conversations
* Make the commitment to authentic conversations
* Get attention by focusing on a specific community
* Keep attention by reacting positively to negative feedback
Design for Sign up
* What are they thinking
* The sign up hurdle
* Keep it Simple the Journalism Technique
* Reduce Sign up Friction
Design for On-going participation
* Why do people participate
* Enable identity management
* Emphasize the person's uniqueness
* Leverage Reciprocity
* Allow for Reputation
* Promote a sense of Efficacy
* Promote a sense of Control
* Confer Ownership
* Show desired behavior
* Attachment to a group
Design for Collective Intelligence
* Complex adaptive systems
* Initial Action
* Aggregate Display
* Feedback
* Leverage points
Design for Sharing
* Two types of Sharing
* The Activity of Sharing
The Funnel Analysis
* The funnel view
* The analysis
* Issues to Watch for
* Meaningful Metrics
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fast intro on designing social web sites and applications, June 3, 2009
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This review is from: Designing for the Social Web (Paperback)
This book didn't teach me a whole lot of new things about social media. The ideas and design principles in this book can be read from various blogs from a last couple of years. What the book does nicely is that it collects these things together in single covers although it doesn't get very deep into them. The last chapter about funnel analysis was very interesting but I would've liked to get more details.

It is quite short but very well and nicely written for my tastes which made me read it in just one night. Usually it takes me months to read books from the web industry. Web design books are always very interesting but not very exiting and I get bored and swap from book to another.

Recommended introduction for those that are just beginning to work on social web sites and applications or those that needed a refresh. Or to those that don't have the time to read anything longer...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Many of the most amazing success stories on the web are social websites, June 30, 2008
By 
Foti Massimo (Vezia (Switzerland)) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Designing for the Social Web (Paperback)
Many of the most amazing success stories on the web are social websites (youtube, myspace, facebook, flickr etc), yet books on this topic are hard to find. "Design for Community" by Derek Powazek is one rare exception, I consider it a masterpiece, but it was published in 2001 and it's out of print. Finally we've got some fresh, up to date material. Porter benefits from extensive, first-hand, experience in the field; he has a pragmatic, practical approach to problems, he deliver valuable advice without pretending to know "the ultimate truth" (like many authors do).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe Design, May 25, 2009
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This review is from: Designing for the Social Web (Paperback)
This is a terrific book on a subject that is of increasing importance to those heavily involved with web properties of any kind.

Joshua Porter has written a very thoughtful, well organized, and beautifully illustrated tutorial on how to best utilize the benefits of Web 2.0. Many have written about 2.0 and the profound impact it is having on the web (and our lives). Porter has brilliantly focused on the design elements that are so important to making the interactive world of Web 2.0 come alive for users.

I am designing a web based community scheduled to launch July 1. I am using this book as my template to assure that the features of the community are well understood and appreciated by members. For me, this book is a treasure trove of good ideas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Straight forward, high-level view on what should go into a social website, March 7, 2009
By 
E. Welker (Maryland, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Designing for the Social Web (Paperback)
Designing for the Social Web is a short read, probably about 2-3 hours. The author breaks down the design of a site in terms of life-cycle based on user relationship... starting with users who are unaware of your site, and progressing to sites with a passionate user base. Within, he gives a very high level (no code, pseudo-code or even structured solution outlines) look at how an organization can meet the needs of their users, while still aiming at creating that wide and passionate user base.

The book contains a number of simple diagrams illustrating the author's points. The subject matter is quite broad and rather general, and while I didn't expect the world based on the book's size, I had hoped for more specific examples, deeper inspection of topics, and perhaps some supporting data, rather than isolated example cases.

Overall, I liked the book as it did contain some useful information. However, I often found myself reading something and looking for more than a glossed over discussion of the subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for Those Defining the User Experience for Social Web Sites, July 18, 2008
This review is from: Designing for the Social Web (Paperback)
This book teaches you how to think about designing web interfaces for social websites or websites with social features. You will learn a bit about the psychology behind what works well, so you can incorporate the knowledge into your own design.

The book explains how to prioritize features from the initial sign-up through active user participation on the social website. Many industry examples are given along with some of the reasons why each is successful or not.

The book is about designing the user interface and the overall web site experience. It can and should be read by all team members on the web project including: graphic designers, information architects and developers.
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Designing for the Social Web
Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter (Paperback - May 4, 2008)
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