In nearly every conference room across the business landscape it’s inevitable that at some point the phrase "social media" enters the discussion. Marketers,PR and salespeople are among the first to engage in the discussions,trying to figure how networks can be leveraged to sell more stuff. But I’d like to propose another way to approach the topic. What if we looked at "social media" as a design problem? If you take a trip over to Wikipedia and enter the word "design" you’ll see this at the very beginning of the entry:
"Design is the planning that lays the basis for the making of every object or system. It can be used both as a noun and as a verb and,in a broader way,it means applied arts and engineering. As a verb,"to design" refers to the process of originating and developing a plan for a product,structure,system,or component with intention."
Notice any key words in this small excerpt? There are a few,but the two that stand out for me are the words "planning" and "intention."
As someone who started a career as a designer (graphic design and user experience design) and is currently exploring business opportunities in social media — which I think of as social business design — I can’t help but see the challenges and opportunities in this definition as it applies to social media.
Let’s start with the challenges — the term "social media" itself is indicative of the state of affairs. "Media" limits our view of the movement,and brings with it the baggage of decades of advertising. Marketers are only too happy to view the social web as a new array of channels to market their goods in some shape or fashion. That’s because it’s a model they’ve used since the beginning. And there’s no doubt that "social media" has become effective as a communications channel — just turn on the news to see how companies like Ford,Comcast,etc. etc. are using the channels as a new form of marketing,PR,or customer service.
what are you doing for social media? What is your design? Have you matched your social networks to your site?