I'm looking forward to hearing keynotes from Dave Morin, Senior Platform Manager at Facebook and Jim Benedetto, VP Technology at MySpace, as well as from 20 or so panelists who are succeeding with their social networking applications and investments. My last major dose of social networking content from industry insiders came at CES in January where I attended (and then bought mp3 recordings) of virtually every session on widgets and social networking. When I went to order my mp3 recordings, they just copied all the ones I wanted onto a thumb drive and gave them to me. It was the first conference where I have purchased the audio that way--very cool.
Josh Porter, Bokardo.com has blogged about social design for 7-8 years. Is lead designer for Chi.mp, a next generation social network. In August he started his own design company to design interfaces that focus on enabling people to talk to each other. Main issues: how do you get people to engage with your site. How do you get them to sign up? He's had clients who got Techcrunched, had a spike, and then over time they all leak out. How to provide value over the long term? Five principles: 1. The Del.icio.us Lesson. Delicious let you have bookmarks and access them everywhere. You could tag bookmarks, adding your own comments. Tagging was new back then. Designers talked about subverting hierarchical structures and folksonomies. But people were just saving bookmarks for later. I tell all my clients: "Personal value precedes network value" or social value. These are great tools even if your friends don't use them. I ask: is your service/software valueable even