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Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007 at 8:01 am

Social Media Design Best Practices From Google

By Jeffrey Eisenberg
November 6th, 2007

Josh Porter of is becoming one of my favorite blog authors.

Tucked away as part of the new Open Social initiative launched last week, Google engineers offered an interesting best practices document of social design dos and don’ts.

Social Design Best Practices

The list of best practices are as follows:

1. Engage Quickly – (my interpretation: provide value within 30 seconds)
2. Mimic Look and Feel - (make your widget look like the page it is in)
3. Enable Self Expression – (let people personalize their widgets)
4. Make it Dynamic - (keep showing new stuff)
5. Expose Friend Activity – (show what friends are doing)
6. Browse the Graph - (let people explore their friends and friends of friends)
7. Drive Communication – (provide commenting features)
8. Build Communities – (expose different axes of similarity)
9. Solve Real World Tasks – (leverage people’s social connections to solve real problems)

This list is interesting for several reasons…[read the rest of his post about social design]

Facebook has done so much of this right. That is why you can see from Bryan’s and my Facebook profile that we’re engaged and active within the community. Neither of us felt this way about MySpace or LinkedIn. (Oh, and by the way, if you are a regular reader of GrokDotCom or our books, please feel free to friend either or both of us.)

If you’re active in a social network, what are the key features you use or would like in a social network? If you aren’t active is it because certain features are missing?

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Comments (2)

  1. I was just wondering what role facebook, mysapce,etc can play for an e-commerce store owner ? It just take so much of your time and the ROI of these social media activities are just way to low..any advice on that ? Thxs !


  2. From my experience the role of Social Media is very specific to a branch and location. If your target is 50+, well don’t use Social Media…yet.

    Also in some countries it is not used that much, so it’s not worth the effort….yet.

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Jeffrey Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark. You can friend him on Facebook.

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