social objects for beginners


As y’all will know, I’m fond of talking about “Social Objects” and how they pertain to “Marketing 2.0″. Even so, some people still get confused by what a Social Object actually is. So I wrote the following to clarify some more:
The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the reason two people are talking to each other, as opposed to talking to somebody else. Human beings are social animals. We like to socialize. But if think about it, there needs to be a reason for it to happen in the first place. That reason, that “node” in the social network, is what we call the Social Object.
Example A. You and your friend, Joe like to go bowling every Tuesday. The bowling is the Social Object.
Example B. You and your friend, Lee are huge Star Wars fans. Even though you never plan to do so, you two tend to geek out about Darth Vader and X-Wing fighters every time you meet. Star Wars is the Social Object.
Example C. You’ve popped into your local bar for a drink after work. At the bar there’s some random dude, sending a text on this neat-looking cellphone you’ve never seen before. So you go up to him and ask him about the phone. The random dude just LOVES his new phone, so has no trouble with telling a stranger about his new phone for hours on end. Next thing you know, you two are hitting it off and you offer to buy him a beer. You spend the rest of the next hour geeking out about the new phone, till it’s time for you to leave and go dine with your wife. The cellphone was the social object.
Example D. You’re a horny young guy at a party, in search of a mate. You see a hot young woman across the room. You go up and introduce yourself. You do not start the conversation by saying, “Here’s a list of all the girls I’ve gone to bed with, and some recent bank statements showing you how much money I make. Would you like to go to bed with me?” No, something more subtle happens. Basically, like all single men with an agenda, you ramble on like a yutz for ten minutes, making small talk. Until she mentions the name of her favorite author, Saul Bellow. Halleluiah! As it turns out, Saul Bellow happens to be YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR as well [No, seriously. He really is. You’re not making it up just to look good.]. Next thing you know, you two are totally enveloped in this deep and meaningful conversation about Saul Bellow. “Seize The Day”, “Herzog”, “Him With His Foot In His Mouth” and “Humbolt’s Gift”, eat your heart out. And as you two share a late-night cab back to her place, you’re thinking about how Saul Bellow is the Social Object here.
Example E. You’re an attractive young woman, married to a very successful Hedge Fund Manager in New York’s Upper East Side. Because your husband does so well, you don’t actually have to hold down a job for a living. But you still earned a Cum Laude from Dartmouth, so you need to keep your brain occupied. So you and your other Hedge Fund Wife friends get together and organise this very swish Charity Ball at the Ritz Carleton. You’ve guessed it; the Charity Ball is the Social Object.
Example F. After a year of personal trauma, you decide that yes, indeed, Jesus Christ is your Personal Saviour. You’ve already joined a Bible reading class and started attending church every Sunday. Next thing you know, you’ve made a lot of new friends in your new congregation. Suddenly you are awash with a whole new pile of Social Objects. Jesus, Church, The Bible, the Church Picnics, the choir rehearsals, the Christmas fund drive, the cookies and coffee after the 11 o’clock service, yes, all of them are Social Objects for you and new friends to share.
Example G. You’ve been married for less than a year, and already your first child is born. In the last year, you and your spouse have acquired three beautiful new Social Objects: The marriage, the firstborn, and your own new family. It’s what life’s all about.
There. I’ve given you seven examples. But I could give THOUSANDS more. But there’s no need to. The thing to remember is, Human beings do not socialize in a completely random way. There’s a tangible reason for us being together, that ties us together. Again, that reason is called the Social Object. Social Networks form around Social Objects, not the other way around.
Another thing to remember is the world of Social Objects can have many layers. As with any complex creature, there can be more than one reason for us to be together. So anybody currently dating a cute girl who’s into not just Saul Bellow, but also into bowling and cellphones and Star Wars and swish Charity Balls as well, will know what I mean.
The final thing to remember is that, Social Objects by themselves don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Sure, it’s nice hanging out with Lee talking about Star Wars. But if Star Wars had never existed, you’d probably still enjoy each other’s company for other reasons, if they happened to present themselves. Human beings matter. Being with other human beings matter. And since the dawn of time until the end of time, we use whatever tools we have at hand to make it happen.
[Afterthought:] As I’m fond of saying, nothing about Social Objects is rocket science. Then again, there’s nothing about “Love” that is rocket science, either. That doesn’t mean it can’t mess with your head. Rock on.
[Link:] Mark Earls has some nice thoughts on this, as well. “Things change because of people interacting with other people, rather than technology or design really doing things to people.”
[N.B. "Social Objects" is a term I did not coin myself, but was turned onto by the anthropolgist and Jaiku founder, Jyri Engestrom.]

Comments

  1. Hugh I think people will enjoy these examples . . . the thing I love about examples is that you have to go through the filter of imagination: what does this mean (if anything) for people

  2. …like this post about social objects is now the social object.. :)
    nice.

  3. Social Object = Common Ground. Non?

  4. Ah yes…the “l” word again.
    Isn’t it all about love?

  5. On the flip side of the above examples, you have the odd situation where someone you don’t get on with likes the same things as you do. For some reason, we seem to find it a little disconcerting when a disliked acquaintance has the same political views, taste in music, fashion sense and other shared social interest as we do.
    Online social networks make these similarities way more obvious, which is another way in which they’ve changed the way people see each other.

  6. and, humans being human, we can turn it around – that young man will probably quickly realise that that “girl who’s into not just Saul Bellow, but also into bowling and cellphones and Star Wars and swish Charity Balls” is really, really cute, no matter what the first impression ;)
    Social objects in common make relationships. :)

  7. As much sense as it makes, if that’s all a social object is, then how exactly do you make such a thing indespensible? Or get over the hump how to get the first person to like it (and then the second)?

  8. I can attest to a baby being a social object. One of the strongest ones I’ve ever encountered. Stronger, even, than an iPhone. Heh.
    Seriously, what is it about babies that gets everyone to go nuts?

  9. Jon Husband says:

    I think I’d amend that.
    Social Objects are formed around purpose, or are created by people acting on purpose. Social networks (that thrive) are built by providing the means and the field for people to address that purpose.
    Social networks that do not have purpose will wither and founder … after all there’s an infinite market for meaning, not messages, as some wag once put it.

  10. Who can ever get enough of Bowling for Bellow?

  11. coco_beans says:

    My favorite social object to hate: blood relation.

  12. It would be easy to consider the quality of the social object in terms of its stimulus, provocation, aesthetics or even bling, but in truth far more derives from its capacity for people to be creative around it and particularly to invent judgements and opinions as a basis for debate with others. The ensuing delight derived from conviviality & controversy is a heady mix and without discounting bowling, is probably stronger with the bible.

  13. Of course, for the English, the default Social Object is the weather ;)

  14. Genius. Just what we all needed: a simple clear exposition of the idea

  15. Good luck with the ‘Jesus Christ is a social object’ line :-)
    It does seem to beg the question about whether social objects can be entirely abstract, and whether they need to have common (socially defined) meaning.
    Interesting also to think of the subclassifcation of such objects on a continuum of human needs. Presumably, the hunt is more primal than the social objects around sharing and family, which is still more primal than the needs around self-expression and growth.
    Does the guy with the fancy phone buy it in part because he can sees it as a potential social object around self-image and prestige?

  16. Rachel wrote, “if that’s all a social object is, then how exactly do you make such a thing indespensible?”
    Who says it must be indispensable? At the kitchen at work, I interact with people over dispensable social objects all the time–magazines, a tub of soup, etc.
    Rachel further writes, “Or get over the hump how to get the first person to like it (and then the second)?”
    Ahhh, there’s the rub. I think that’s the most important question. And it’s the question all marketers face, isn’t it?

  17. Re: Tom’s suggestion of phone buying motivation.
    Think the guy with the fancy phone buys it because others around him buy it (or want to, or he thinks they do).

  18. I had my own social object moment this Christmas. My wife’s sister’s boyfriend and I have nothing in common. Every holiday or other times we meet, we say hi and he falls asleep on the couch.
    They recently purchased a 10 acre farm (my wife and I purchased one a couple of years ago), and they have two horses. He repaired the barn and put up fencing. We walked the property and talked fencing.
    It was the best visit with him after all these years.
    They were kind enough to get us gate latch for a gift, like the one they have, like the one I had admired as we inspected the fencing.

  19. Happy Downunder New Year from Australia..!
    Please let me be the last to congratulate you on a great 2007 blog. And the first to congratulate you ahead of 2008′s. I love it.
    Really, I checkout read your blog most days and it give me a link back to sanity.
    As a Brit moved downunder to Melbourne we’re the first to get New Year.
    So Happy New Year from here. The Sydney fireworks were amazing, check out the pictures.
    All the best for 2008.
    -Andrew

  20. Ok, so if I kick you in the butt because you’ve just turned “social objects” into social objects, hoping to get you away from the computer for a while so you can make things like FRESH AIR, MOUNTAINS, HOT DOG STANDS, COFFEEHOUSE FILMS, and things you have to live, eat, breathe, drink and touch, into social objects, would my “kick in your butt” become a social object, as well?

  21. hugh macleod says:

    Sam, are you being CONTROVERSIAL again? Dang!

  22. Social objects don’t even have to be real things. Christmas, New Year’s Eve etc. are also social objects. In a way, anything two people can talk about because they know something about it is a social object, and this can be as simple as the weather. And if you think about it like this, it becomes OBVIOUS that we need social objects for relationships to other people, because if we have no social objects, we just have nothing to talk about. Apart from that, I bet the chances to meet a hot young woman at a party whose favorite author is Saul Bellow are somewhere around zero.

  23. Rachel Bellow says:

    There’s something about the social object concept that makes me think we’re mistaking the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself. (I haven’t read Engestrom, just your own helpful illuminations of the concept). Social objects are the particular manifestation of shared meaning, right? So that suggests there’s a drive underlying all these manifestations….that the social object is not, in itself, the drive. The need for meaning…specifically shared meaning…is a deep human impulse that will, invariably, manifest in some form or another. If not this social object, another. Social networks like Facebook are simply evidence of that quest. Aren’t they simply forums where the quest for shared meaning can coalesce and result in manifestation (social objects)? People tend to be conscious of the social object more than they are of the underlying impulse that led them to it. The search for meaning–a purpose that radiates beyond the limited confines of the self–lies at the center of all human interaction. It seems to me that identifying the nature of that impulse, what sort of meaning is in play at any given time, is really important….and helps us create brilliant social objects to express it, specifically. I imagine that what attracts you to Saul Bellow is the way he expresses his own constant, agonizing quest for meaning…a way of expressing that angst that is similar to your own, that allows you to join him, rather than simply watch with admiration. And so the woman who likes Bellow too must want to soak in that particular bath of meaning as well…which is what attracts you to her. It’s the underlying taste for that particular form of meaning that being an SB fan indicates, and to which you respond. Henderson the Rain King isn’t the point. Neither is Saul Bellow. What is the point is that you and this woman share a taste for that particular worldview. That shared taste promises more social object creation between you two in the future. What I’m saying is that I think it’s worth understanding at all times what form of meaning a social object is indicating….so that future social objects can can be created in its wake. Good Lord. This is the longest post I’ve ever written. Over.

  24. Well, yes… just what I needed. I appreciate your taking time to clarify the concept of social objects. As you know, I was off the mark several degrees. Happy New Year.

  25. Great post, Hugh.
    Speaking of Social Objects, one of my favorites is Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. In the Ender series, OSC posits that we’re connected to other people and things in this universe by way of philotic twines: invisible yet tangible connections based on the mutual love we share for each other or for, as you put it, social objects.
    Rachel Bellow’s comment was fantastic, describing the yearning to find in another that which we ourselves grok. As C.S. Lewis put it: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You, too? Thought I was the only one.”

  26. If social objects are actually the indicator of a search for shared meaning – as Rachel suggests – can we revisit what shared meaning means in the age of the network.
    Wittgenstein thought that learning to take part in social interaction was about learning a common language of meaning (language games).
    What does that mean in a world where meaning can be shared between people anywhere in the world instantaneously? And people can simultaneously belong to multiple tribes? Surely this is another example of how the internet isn’t democratising but rather is decentralising – allowing groups to form free-form around communities of meaning, wherever they are?
    So now we’re not all learning one language game but multiple games across different communities of interest.
    And with that, over to the most abstract of social objects: happy new year!

  27. With these definitions facebook itself sucks as a social object, not so bad (if you can weed throught the crap) as a place to share social object and therefore forming social networks.
    Tom Hopkins- My only thought on the Jesus Christ is yes “he/it” is a social object, merely a social object I don’t think so. This requires more thought on my end though.
    Rachel Clarke – the weather is a social object in most areas in most cultures I have been in.
    Happy New Year all! Enjoy some good friends and wine! Maybe ’08 I can get some Blue Monster shipped to me! Cheers!

  28. Nicely done, even better with all the conversation around this. Which is indeed the social part of the blog object isn’t it? It is also a Western thing to make objects and definitions.
    Happy new year!

  29. Great discussion. I have recently been splashing the word “Social Object” all about because a lady I respect very much, Leah Jones wrote in her fabulous blog on Dec 18th that Singelringen is a “Social Object”: Leah in Chicago. Leah linked your name. So I endeavored to look up your previous posts on Social Objects as I find the topic fascinating. Thank you for the further clarification here.
    For those of you who haven’t heard of it yet:
    Singelringen (“The Single Ring” in Swedish) is a unisex ring that serves to remind the single wearer that they are already complete; while open to possibilities. This distinctive turquoise and silver ring is worn on the right hand or neck chain and is easily identifiable from across a room. Each ring has a unique registration number that provides access to the Singelringen Global Community. First introduced in Scandinavia in 2005, Singelringen is now worn by more than 150,000 singles in over 20 countries around the world. I am the agent for North and Central America.

  30. So when two people first meet at a party and they don’t have anything to say to each other they ask stupid questions trying to find something IN COMMON to talk about?

  31. Hugh, of course one of your favourite social objects is the fountain pen! nudge.
    Rebecca Caroe

  32. Dave Armstrong says:

    Hugh,
    Discover photography as a Social Object. You have an undiscovered talent for it. nudge.

  33. Dave Armstrong says:

    I forgot to mention – start with photographs of women you have just met. They love it. You will make new friends. nudge.
    Best Wishes,
    Dave

  34. Great concept. I’m gonna have to go into your archives and dig up some posts about social objects now that you’ve provided this intro.

  35. Interesting as always, Hugh.
    So let’s try it on with say, Hollywood Actors. Are they social objects themselves or simply set up to be purveyors of social objects? And, with the advent of deep social networking, (which better connect social classes), will we see the demise of Hollywood addicts…er…actors –to be replaced by connections to people we are more likely to respect and like? I guess my friends on Facebook won’t likely be featured in a blockbuster but I’m nearly as entertained for twice as long watching them on YouTube clips as I am in the movie theater paying $29 for popcorn. Then again, well-written storylines rule, don’t they? So, does all this mean that “storylines” are the fabric for all social objects?
    (in which case, we need to get the WGAE Writers Strike resolved! All hail the story writers!)
    PS: It’s so cute that Robert Scoble is so smitten with his baby. (per his comment above)

  36. Object or construct? Just scanning the remarks and there seems to be some confusion here.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_constructionism
    And I think it’s an important distinction. An object must be interpreted and mutually agreed upon. We may all agree an iphone is an amazing object to be discussed and mulled over.
    But what if you don’t recognize it to begin with?
    Then perhaps there is no reason for interaction. No discussion. Or maybe a different reason to interact.
    ‘You’ve never seen one of these? Well then let me show you!’
    The construct, it seems to me, is the thing. If you can construct a reality that is generally agreed upon, then there would be plenty of social objects (phones, babies, books) that are worth while.
    A more powerful marketing strategy it seems to me, is to create an object worthy enough to be introduced into already agreed upon social construct.
    The construct provides a convenient reason for the social object to be discussed.
    My personal experience: This Christmas was EXACTLY the right social construct for the introduction of the iphone, the ipod and a myriad of other ‘objects’ to a wider audience…including my parents. Powerful stuff.
    It’s sort of like a marriage provides the reason for a baby to be introduced? And baby without a marriage is associated with an altogether different kind of construct…

  37. AH! I understand now! Thanks for this post. ;D

Trackbacks

  1. [...] to perfection’ – is a brand ritual like no other. It’s an unparalleled intangible social object, reinforced by barstaff and brand fans the world over. Not only is the ritual observed, but people [...]

  2. [...] PDRTJS_settings_458967_post_873 = { "id" : "458967", "unique_id" : "wp-post-873", "title" : "Social+Objects+-+Jyri+Engestrom", "item_id" : "_post_873", "permalink" : "http%3A%2F%2Fglennas.wordpress.com%2F2009%2F10%2F14%2Fsocial-objects-jyri-engestrom%2F" } While the concept has been floating around in the mainstream for several years now, I just recently came across Google’s Jyri Engestrom’s notion of a Social Object. For an introduction to the notion of a Social Object, please see Hugh MacLeod’s Social Objects for Beginners. [...]

  3. [...] Gapin Void (ele cita especificamente o post sobre objeto social) [...]

  4. [...] that anybody will be able to install and run smoothly on a glamorous device. Applications became social objects as opposed to technological [...]

  5. [...] that anybody will be able to install and run smoothly on a glamorous device. Applications became social objects as opposed to technological [...]

  6. [...] was a social object. No awkward silences ever happened when we [...]

  7. [...] MacLeod pragmatically notes, “The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the reason two people are talking to each other, as [...]

  8. [...] social objects for beginners | gapingvoid (tags: social experience design object) [...]

  9. [...] MacLeod pragmatically notes, “The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the reason two people are talking to each other, as [...]

  10. [...] ball when it comes to social objects. He has a witty post up today on gapingvoid.com called “Social objects for beginners.” Through seven short examples, he shows how social objects bring people together by giving [...]

  11. [...] MacLeod pragmatically notes, “The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the reason two people are talking to each other, as [...]

  12. [...] (fans / followers) to evolve and grow, they need something to get excited about – the ’social object’ or as Simon Francis (CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi) calls it ‘lovemark’. A social object [...]

  13. [...] Andreas L: social objects for beginners | gapingvoid – The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the reason two people are talking to each other, as opposed to talking to somebody else. Human beings are social animals. We like to socialize. But if think about it, there needs to be a reason for it to happen in the first place. That reason, that “node” in the social network, is what we call the Social Object. [...]

  14. [...] require the canned presentations. They provide the seed for the ongoing dialogue. They’re the “social object” around which conversation and community [...]

  15. [...] what is the role of content in this product: is the content filled with meaning to be consumed, a social object, or a container for meaning? How you answer that question is the first step in determining what [...]

  16. [...] similar pins on each other and use the common as a reason to introduce themselves. This ‘social object‘ idea worked very very well and the coffee and lunch breaks were full of buzz as people met [...]

  17. [...] Detalles y ejemplos aquí [...]

  18. [...] social graph in Web 2.0 extends this notion of social network into relationships of social objects. These social objects can be people, events, or other websites on the web.  Let us take a look at [...]

  19. [...] protocol facebook abilita l’utente a relazionarsi con altre entità, i social objects, che Hugh McLord definisce come segue: The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the reason two people are talking to [...]

  20. [...] concept of social objects, Hugh McLeod wrote a great introductory post on this concept entitled social objects for beginners which is excerpted below The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the reason two people are talking to [...]

  21. [...] på riktigt skapat det som till viss del tanken om den semantiska webben handlar om: att allt blir sociala objekt. Allt du möter kan du nu koppla till din användare – dvs till din identitet och om vi [...]

  22. [...] of experiences, actions and interactions. We’ll grow our own catalogue of stories and social objects for our customers to share and pass along to [...]

  23. [...] button on the ENTIRE Internet. What about stuff you don’t like? How long before every social object has at least one “Like” in the new [...]

  24. [...] Picked up a pair of Luckies yesterday, and found this in the pocket. A brilliant example of social object theory in practice. [...]

  25. [...] It creates social objects. Voice packs become gifts that lovers or mothers or friends can share. Each shared pack may only be [...]

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  27. [...] we first have to know what a social object is and really there is no better description that the one from Hugh Macleod, who pretty well invented the term as far as I know. The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the [...]

  28. [...] is almost never about the content. Commenters engage each other, eskay’s postings are the social object around which they congregate. As I’ve said to eskay before, no one actually cares about [...]

  29. [...] the strategists and planners to define a client’s digital strategy. Largely we look for the social object that the customer will be attracted to. This hopefully will also be the emotional connection with [...]

  30. [...] use other people’s stuff or other people’s content to socialize. And your stuff’s either a social object or it’s not.” [...]

  31. [...] use other people’s stuff or other people’s content to socialize. And your stuff’s either a social object or it’s not.” [...]

  32. [...] use other people’s stuff or other people’s content to socialize. And your stuff’s either a social object or it’s not.” [...]

  33. [...] people’s stuff or other people’s content to socialize. And your stuff’s either a social object or it’s not.” [...]

  34. [...] use other people’s stuff or other people’s content to socialize. And your stuff’s either a social object or it’s not.” [...]

  35. [...] MacLeod designed these two prints based on my favorite WOM lines. Do read Hugh’s social object post to understand one of the biggest ideas in word of mouth: 1. Would anybody tell a friend? If it’s [...]

  36. [...] We did it 20+ years ago and it was always a talking point. In today’s parlance we’d likely call that a social object. [...]

  37. [...] to each other, they connect through a shared object.  As a result, according to the cartoonist Hugh Macleod, “social networks form around social objects, not the other way [...]

  38. [...] document.write(String.fromCharCode(97)); social object document.write(String.fromCharCode(111,114)); it’s not.” [...]

  39. [...] Je veux donner quelques exemples : [...]

  40. [...] Every popular social site has one or more social object. These are objects which are central to the experience of that site and which you can share somehow, often via a URL. On Facebook the social objects are profilepages and fanpages. Youtube uses video’s and profilepages as social objects. Twitter uses profilepages and tweets. More on Social objects on Andy Roberts blog, Hugh McLeods blog) [...]

  41. [...] a recipe for his tweeting leading to multiple “tweet-spins”. Also his understanding of Social Objects helps a [...]

  42. [...] The cartoonist Hugh MacLeod puts it quite eloquently in his dissertation on social objects: [...]

  43. [...] my own exploration of this subject, it’s the concept of social objects that I have found most interesting.  And cutting to the chase and avoiding any network theory [...]

  44. [...] Social Objects: Both the Bistro 17 doggie dishes and the patrons’s dogs are social objects – they make conversations easier to start and they warm the heart. Smiles are more likely. [...]

  45. [...] the reason two people are talking to each other, as opposed to talking to somebody else.” — Hugh Macleod This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← [...]

  46. [...] for an already addicted smoker, the creepy warnings used all over the world just become a sort of social object. My suggestion? Make all the packages white, with the requirement that all product names are [...]

  47. [...] Social Objects: Both the Bistro 17 doggie dishes and the patrons’s dogs are social objects – they make conversations easier to start and they warm the heart. Smiles are more likely. And [...]

  48. [...] more folks are holding conversations in context-rich places like a band’s fan page or where social objects trigger talk. Horizontal tools like Skype and email are becoming backup [...]

  49. [...] states or wasn’t geared up for being the subject of a business-like discussion. We treat any social object as the focus for a verb, even a URL. Perhaps, verbs like [...]

  50. [...] The most intriguing part of Gartner’s definition involves social objects.  A social object is something tangible that two people discuss, share, or collaborate on.  As Hugh Macleod states: “Social networks form around Social Objects, not the other way around.“ [...]

  51. [...] Hypothesizing about Social Objects Posted on November 1, 2010 by tdoyon| Leave a comment The reason why we speak to each other and form social networks is to discuss, collaborate on, and share Social objects. [...]

  52. [...] use other people’s stuff or other people’s content to socialize. And your stuff’s either a social object or it’s not.” [...]

  53. [...] was interesting about the door handle was it became a sort of social object when one individual mentioned ‘how much they liked the handle’ it inevitably started a [...]

  54. [...] more folks are holding conversations in context-rich places like a band’s fan page or where social objects trigger talk. Horizontal tools like Skype and email are becoming backup [...]

  55. [...] more folks are holding conversations in context-rich places like a band’s fan page or where social objects trigger talk. Horizontal tools like Skype and email are becoming backup [...]

  56. [...] try to imitate the real thing, instead they showcase the beauty of the design – essentially social objects.  His gallery really doesn’t speak for the quality of the designs he showed at the [...]

  57. [...] by the idea around social objects and this related reading I put the family in the center of that concept. I wanted to take under [...]

  58. [...] auf diesen Punkten hat es Hugh Macleod ebenfalls sehr präzise auf den Punkt gebracht: The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the reason two [...]

  59. [...] instructions, simple concise descriptions, business cards, and, if we want to get fancy with it, social objects, are all ways to make sharing easier for those who want to talk about us. [...]

  60. [...] Gaping Void — Social objects for beginners [...]

  61. [...] your car? Filing your taxes? These things can be made more fun by our friends. I think the true social object of social productivity is not (necessarily) the tasks people need to do. Deborah’s task to [...]

  62. [...] to such wonderful people like Joyce and Russ and whom I would not have met if it weren’t for my social object known as a camera! 7. I am thankful that this Saturday 11 September 2010 will be the sixth year [...]

  63. [...] or wasn’t geared up for being the subject of a business-like discussion. We treat any social object as the focus for a verb, even a URL. Perhaps, verbs like [...]

  64. [...] to such wonderful people like Joyce and Russ and whom I would not have met if it weren’t for my social object known as a camera! 7. I am thankful that this Saturday 11 September 2010 will be the sixth year [...]

  65. [...] que d’un solide Community Management pour l’exprimer. L’objectif : transformer sa marque en un objet social , et là encore pour utiliser un raccourci, il suffit de se rappeler l’excitation enfantine de [...]

  66. [...] While focusing on design and usability, he managed to make technology seamless and natural, to make it an extension of man. It has transformed the lead of unsexy geeky technology stuff into the gold of social objects. [...]

  67. [...] While focusing on design and usability, he managed to make technology seamless and natural, to make it an extension of man. It has transformed the lead of unsexy geeky technology stuff into the gold of social objects. [...]

  68. [...] bulletin board, around the watercooler etc [The usual CC licensing terms apply]. Y’know, a social object to start a conversation [...]

  69. [...] more, social networks tend to work when communities come together around content (the fabled social object – think photos in Facebook). The M&Gs are hardly short of content, but even so, all of [...]

  70. [...] Sociala Objekt, kort sammanfattat, är anledningen två människor pratar med varandra, istället för att prata med någon annan. Människan är social, men det måste finnas en anledning till att kommunicera till att börja med. Denna anledning är vad vi kallar “sociala objekt”. Oftast är detta ett gemensamt intresse eller diskussion. [...]

  71. [...] groups of the participants. Plus, if we can get people talking about these things, they become social objects in their own [...]

  72. [...] o meno lo stesso concetto è stato teorizzato in maniera divina da Hugh MacLeod ed il suo Social Object: The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the reason two people are talking to [...]

  73. [...] Why Are Social Objects Important? Posted on March 17, 2011 by Drew Meyers When starting a conversation, finding things you can relate to the other person is absolutely crucial. If two people have nothing in common, then building a relationship is going to be tough. Enter social objects. The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the reason two people are talking to each other, as opposed to talking to somebody else. — Hugh Macleod [...]

  74. [...] serious about building their personal brand should read up on social objects. And I just happened to write a post about social objects over at Geek Estate Blog. [...]

  75. [...] the photos are not what actually matters; they, as Hugh MacLeod says, "social objects" http://gapingvoid.com/2007/12/31…7:02amView All 0 CommentsCannot add comment at this time. Add [...]

  76. [...] your development around them. Passionate customers will spread your product idea and make it a social object. 5. Speed Don’t get fooled by the “the product is not ready yet” syndrome. [...]

  77. [...] At the center of this community creation process is your collaborative book. By virtue of uniting you and your fellow contributors the book is a social object. “The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the reason two people are talking to each other, as opposed to talking to somebody else. Human beings are social animals. We like to socialize. But if think about it, there needs to be a reason for it to happen in the first place. That reason, that ‘node’ in the social network, is what we call the Social Object.” –Hugh MacLeod [...]

  78. [...] to such wonderful people like Joyce and Russ and whom I would not have met if it weren’t for my social object known as a camera! 7. I am thankful that this Saturday 11 September 2010 will be the sixth year [...]

  79. [...] blogosphere with his site Gapingvoid. He pioneered so many areas, but especially the concepts of ‘Social Objects’ and using blogging to benefit business (ie. something other than talking about your breakfast). He [...]

  80. [...] that can function as a social object,with layers and edges and angles that allow for different but related [...]

  81. [...] me to these amazing people like Joyce and Russ and whom I would not have met if it weren’t for my social object acknowledged as a digital camera! seven. I am thankful that this Saturday eleven September 2010 [...]

  82. [...] to such wonderful people like Joyce and Russ and whom I would not have met if it weren’t for my social object known as a camera! 7. I am thankful that this Saturday 11 September 2010 will be the sixth year [...]

  83. [...] to such wonderful people like Joyce and Russ and whom I would not have met if it weren’t for my social object known as a camera! 7. I am thankful that this Saturday 11 September 2010 will be the sixth year [...]

  84. [...] to such wonderful people like Joyce and Russ and whom I would not have met if it weren’t for my social object known as a camera! 7. I am thankful that this Saturday 11 September 2010 will be the sixth year [...]

  85. [...] Internet drehen sich Konversationen nicht um Organisationen sondern um Personen, Objekte oder Themen. Wenn politische Kampagnen im Netz Geschwindigkeit gewinnen, dann geschieht dies [...]

  86. [...] MacCloud of Gaping Void fame, sheds light on this in a great post defining what he calls ‘social objects’. For him, context is discoverable in a social object [...]

  87. [...] does optimising for the social web look like? It looks like creating social objects. It looks like talking to your customers. It looks like – put as simply as possible – [...]

  88. [...] does optimising for the social web look like? It looks like creating social objects. It looks like talking to your customers. It looks like – put as simply as possible – [...]

  89. [...] and by the way, at conferences we turn our lunches into a Social Object – HT to Nancy White for posting this gem of an idea. And here’s a description of TEDx [...]

  90. [...] framework is a social construct, a social object that fosters a group’s social construction of reality. For example, a framework may be an [...]

  91. [...] Kohn is correct when he says that conversation happens around pieces of content, or social objects. These social objects become the online equivalent of topics discussed during water-cooler moments [...]

  92. [...] are conversations.’ That concept has since been augmented by the idea that the ‘social object‘ is something around which people can readily congregate. The one I see every day above my [...]

  93. [...] to such wonderful people like Joyce and Russ and whom I would not have met if it weren’t for my social object known as a camera! 7. I am thankful that this Saturday 11 September 2010 will be the sixth year [...]

  94. [...] services, or experiences for a “real” person. It creates empathy, focus, and serves as a social object in a way that’s impossible with the elastic concept of user. While the job reflected in Gary’s [...]

  95. [...] analog: es denkt und gestaltet die Interaktion zwischen allein seinen Nutzern, nicht aber seinem social object, dem Text. Dieser bleibt ganz eigenständiges Werk mit klar definiertem Anfang und Ende. Und [...]

  96. [...] analog: es denkt und gestaltet die Interaktion zwischen allein seinen Nutzern, nicht aber seinem social object, dem Text. Dieser bleibt ganz eigenständiges Werk mit klar definiertem Anfang und Ende. Und [...]

  97. [...] use other people’s stuff or other people’s content to socialize. And your stuff’s either a social object or it’s not.” [...]

  98. [...] such platforms where bare bone discussion groups formed around common interest topic areas or social objects where you could make yourself heard without worrying too much about identity, reputation, [...]

  99. [...] stuff is just so clever and original – real ‘social objects’ as Hugh McLeod would [...]

  100. [...] object’ – a la Hugh McLeod –  on Twitter or Facebook or any other social media of me meeting Jonathan Franzen. It seems [...]

  101. [...] be about you at first unless they talk to you first (see how to do that below). Look for a SOCIAL OBJECT that makes the person unique. Maybe they have a really cool camera or a piece of jewelry or [...]

  102. [...] con la teoría de los objetos sociales una parte fundamental del proceso es la definición de los verbos que definen las acciones que [...]

  103. [...] Soziale Objekte. Nennen wir es für spät zum Thema Gekommene die Diaspora-Lektion. [...]

  104. [...] use other people’s stuff or other people’s content to socialize. And your stuff’s either a social object or it’s not.” [...]

  105. [...] to such great individuals like Joyce and Russ and whom I would not have met if it weren’t for my social object identified as a camera! 7. I am thankful that this Saturday 11 September 2010 will be the sixth [...]

  106. [...] use other people’s stuff or other people’s content to socialize. And your stuff’s either a social object or it’s not.” [...]

  107. [...] Hugh MacCleod’s post about ‘Social Objects for Beginners‘ is many years old (like an ancient rune in webtime), but I keep going back to it. It’s [...]

  108. [...] use other people’s stuff or other people’s content to socialize. And your stuff’s either a social object or it’s not.” [...]

  109. [...] years ago, the next big term was "Social Objects": The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the rea­son two peo­ple are tal­king to each other, as [...]

  110. [...] what is the role of content in this product: is the content filled with meaning to be consumed, a social object, or a container for meaning? How you answer that question is the first step in determining what [...]

  111. [...] sui Social Network  e quindi mi è sembrato opportuno approfondire l’argomento traducendo  Social Objects for Beginners. Io credo che per risolvere la crisi in atto e tagliare i fili con i quali i banchieri ci guidano, [...]

  112. [...] par les réseaux sociaux, internes ou externes à l’entreprise. Les objets sociaux qu’ils véhiculent permettent d’y tisser des liens : statuts, articles, [...]

  113. [...] second school of thought is object-centred sociality (OCS).  Led by Jyri Engeström and Hugh MacLeod, this school says that the connections between people don’t matter nearly as much as the [...]

  114. [...] nuevas divinidades de las marcas olovemarks. Así, el fan de una marca encuentra un espacio, un objeto social como nexo de unión con otros fans, una comunidad de intereses y pasiones a la que pertenecer y [...]

  115. [...] that people will share and talk about online. (Jyri Engeström first coined the term, but cartoonist Hugh Macleod has done a lot to put it into practical terms.) For your speech, that social object could take [...]

  116. [...] something that people will share and talk about online. (Jyri Engeström first coined the term, but cartoonist Hugh Macleod has done a lot to put it into practical terms.) For your speech, that social object could take many [...]

  117. [...] his 2007 blog post Social objects for beginners cartoonist and social observer Hugh MacLeod popularised the concept of social [...]

  118. [...] to such wonderful people like Joyce and Russ and whom I would not have met if it weren’t for my social object known as a camera! 7. I am thankful that this Saturday 11 September 2010 will be the sixth year [...]

  119. [...] ότι έχει πολλά ενδιαφέροντα και ότι πάντα κάτι (social object!) έχει ετοιμάσει να μας δείξει και να το συζητήσουμε: [...]

  120. […] through explicit attributions and links. Ideally, the curated items become social objects (think: McLeod and Engstrom), topics of conversation, the seeds of connections that ripple […]

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Testimonials

Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
@copyblogger
 
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark
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