A few weeks ago I was invited to spend an hour or so with the attendees of the The Marker COM.Vention conference, discussing incentives in online social services.
<a set of existential meta questions follow>
- Why am I writing this post?
- Why do I ask questions on Yedda?
- Why are people answering my questions? (well, except for this one. urghh).
- Why am I posting pictures to Flickr?
- What makes me actually comment on a picture?
- Why am I not active on digg?
- Why do I post URLs to my delicious?
I got on Flickr back on August 2005 because I had a professional interest in understanding the service, it’s user experience, and the social incentives system built into it. I’ve since uploaded 2,590 photos and faved 2,434 photos from other people.
When I use Flickr, I am both the addict and the observer studying the addict.
Do not attempt to build an online social service unless you are using online social services yourself. Or you won’t get it.
P.S. Ayelet Noff, a.k.a Blonde 2.0, did a wonderful job summarizing the conversation that took place in that session into a great post with some pretty useful sources and pointers. Check it out. Thanks Ayelet!