Landing : Athabascau University

Definition Discussions Elsewhere / Social Software Alliance


  • Kevin Smith January 16, 2016 - 9:39pm

    Seems like this site now requires a login/password combination that is customer-based? I was looking around but can't seem to find the referenced content.

  • Jon Dron January 17, 2016 - 10:49am

    Darn - it looks like it has disappeared for good, not even available via I hate it when that happens. That is, of course, a useful thing to reflect upon! In all our digital dealings there is at once the threat or promise of archival permanence, and the threat or promise of ephemeral transience. Most of the time, it is really hard to know which combination we are dealing with.

    Amongst the things I found while looking for it was this, that is a little flippant in places but provides a good gestalt sense of some of the meanings people apply to social media.

  • Kevin Smith January 17, 2016 - 12:49pm

    Thanks! Even though it turns out not to be there, I had forgotten to check - always a good place to look for older content.

  • Jon Dron January 17, 2016 - 12:51pm

    Sadly (and rightly) respects robots.txt so is of no help here, but it is indeed a wonderful resource most of the time!

  • Craig Diotte January 17, 2016 - 1:45pm

    I don't feel so bad for not initially having a "definition" for social software.  Looking at the 34 definitions, and the various readings it seems like a moving target.  I guess in some ways it's good to not be held back by a definition. 

    As for this link. You gotta love a good paywall :)

  • Jon Dron January 17, 2016 - 3:04pm

    The search for a definition is *much* more important than finding one. It is not just a moving target but one that can be viewed through many valid lenses. Many moons ago I used to teach beginners about the Internet (because there were people that had not encountered it in those days) and asked a similar question of them, 'what is the Internet?' The definitive answer was actually to be found in RFC 1462 -

          * a network of networks based on the TCP/IP protocols,
          * a community of people who use and develop those networks,
          * a collection of resources that can be reached from those

    All are true, and all are indefinitely expandable and refinable. Which you choose, and which aspects you focus on, just depends on your current perspective and interests.

  • Craig Diotte January 17, 2016 - 4:24pm

    Nothing helps establish your geek cred more then being able to quote an RFC!  I remember in my undergrad we had to disect an IP packet using the RFC as a reference.  I was in my glory.

    As for the definition of social software, its almost dynamic.  The definition is almost what it needs to be in the context that its being used.  The context establishes the definition, and the definition helps define the context.  Very circular.

    Myself, I think the definition(s) are a little loose.  But it's that organic nature itself that helps move social media along.