Social Design Reading List

[Updated January 2019] I keep an ongoing list of books and articles (google doc) related to the Social interface space. As we learn more about human behavior in online spaces, it’s important to stay informed as we design these spaces. Who knew in 2008 that we would be dealing with fake news and bots in our social interactions in 2016 & 2017? Looking back, we can see some authors calling out warnings, but the landscape was wide open and we all had projects to complete. Now, in 2019, we can look back and see where mistakes were made, how ethics questions should have been and continue to need to be addressed. We can learn from psychology and group behavior and see where we can learn about the consequences of our design and business decisions earlier rather than when it’s too late.


Designing Social Interfaces: Principles, Patterns, and Practices for Improving the User Experience, 2nd Edition; by Christian Crumlish and Erin Malone

Grouped: How small groups of friends are the key to influence on the social web; by Paul Adams

Designing for the Social Web; by Joshua Porter

Community Building on the Web: Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities; by Amy Jo Kim

Building Web Reputation Systems; by Randy Farmer and Bryce Glass

It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, by Danah Boyd, PhD

Anti-social media, by Siva Vaidhyanathan

The Qualified Self: Social Media and the Accounting of Everyday Life, by Lee Humphreys

General Social Articles

The Social Strategy Canvas

Social Strategy Canvas worksheets

Using Mapping to Scope a System (scoping the realm of “social”)

Chasing the Ephemeral

Welcome Area

Social Objects: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know!

Power Law of Participation

Where are you on the Social Media Participation Ladder?

Beyond Player Types: Kim’s Social Action Matrix

Cargo Cults; Atlas Obscura


Thoughts about Identity, Privacy and Moderation in the Age of Fake News and Emboldened Bad Behavior

The Identity Spectrum

Who Are You, Really? Activists Fight For Pseudonyms

The Real Name Fallacy

Online Anonymity, The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

My Name is
Violet Blue:

Corey Doctorow:

Clay Shirky:

Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?

Academic papers about online commenting

How to Disappear Online

Who you are versus who you present yourself to be online

Is your online identity vulnerable to doxing?

Who is that? The Study of Anonymity and Behavior

Relationships & Community

Neighborhoods and Subcultures in Social Design

Your Internet Friends Are Real

The Social Graph – Problems with Portability

Friends, Friendsters and the Top 8: Writing Community Into Being

Interesting conversation  about asymmetrical social graph on Quora

“The Linux of social media”—How LiveJournal pioneered (then lost) blogging

‘People You May Know:’ A Controversial Facebook Feature’s 10-Year History

Ratings & Reviews

MarketingSherpa –
Source for many marketing surveys specifically looking at ratings and reviews

Dramatic New Data on How User Reviews Influence Purchasing Decisions

Adding Customer Reviews Increases Conversions — Dramatically

MarketingSherpa Publishes 2007 Ecommerce Benchmark Guide: 223 New Charts, Tables & Heatmaps to Help Improve Online Sales

Edelman Trust Barometer

Edelman Earned Brand

Why Product Reviews Can Drive Group Buying Success for Retailers

How Online Reviews Influence Sales

Reputation & Game Thinking

Entice Me Back; How Core Loops Drive Re-engagement

Loops and Arcs

7 Gamification Myths Debunked

Kiva President On The Next 5 Years And Why Zynga Is Their Biggest Rival (TCTV)

Some Obvious Things About Internet Reputation Systems

Web Reputation Systems in the Real World

Reading List from 2008

(some links may be dead, I haven’t checked them all in awhile)


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