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Re: [Social-discuss] Adoption dynamics (and why your intuition fails)

From: Nathan
Subject: Re: [Social-discuss] Adoption dynamics (and why your intuition fails)
Date: Fri, 28 May 2010 21:16:34 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20100228)

Miron Cuperman wrote:
Hi all,

We have a common goal.  We would like people to control their destiny by
moving from proprietary social networks to distributed ones (dsns).

However, social networks are like the Internet and the telephone, and
unlike, for example, Mailman or PHP.  Mailman and PHP are tools.  You
pick them up, use them, deploy them, then put them aside for awhile.  A
social network is only useful when used in collaboration with your
friends and under daily engagement.  A social network has very different
adoption dynamics from the tools that you used or helped develop.

For a new social network to succeed, its adoption cannot be
incremental.  It has to be a rapid exponential.  After you join, 10 of
your friends must join within 3 days, and 50 within 3 months.  Otherwise
it will fail, just like others have failed.  (I think the Diaspora guys
get the adoption part.  I don't know about their tech...)

Your intuition is that you can incrementally develop a system and that
it will be incrementally implemented and adopted.  This intuition is wrong.

The only way to succeed is to have a "big bang" release.  There must be
an adoption date chosen and a compelling message (like "quit FB day",
but with a positive alternative).  There has to be an easy to adopt dsn
that is not too fragmented or confusing.  Usability has to be
excellent.  There has to be virality built in.  You must be encouraged
to invite your friends and it is easy to do so.  The default message to
your friends must be compelling.  You must be able to find your friends
if they are already on.  The user experience must be on par with what
they are used to.

If you've got an open decentralized social network.. then why would you need to invite anybody? to where exactly? and why a 'big bang', I can see why if you're 'just another silo' trying to play catch up with twitter, facebook et al - but not for this - unless of course, I completely misunderstand what everybodies thinking & talking about.

Regardless though, virality (?sp), is completely built in - make good, useful tools, where the user controls their own destiny+data, and you're done - build it well and the masses will come, build it badly and.. well no loss in the scheme of things because other will build good things :)

AFAICT, this isn't really a flash in the pan thing, a miss it and you've messed up scenario - this is the ground work for the next generation of the web - pretty much an unstoppable movement.


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