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Socialwave.net News & Notes

Socialwave.net is a community network exclusive to the Silicon Valley area. It's different from other community networks in that it incorporates a strategy of building community around urban villages and neighborhoods by stimulating both social and economic interaction.

January 1, 2004

Public Citizen: There's no place like a community (Campbell Reporter 1/30/02)

Excerpt: Campbell resident Sheldon Chang believes it's all about community. Whether it's virtual or live, meeting people and sharing experiences is what creates a neighborhood, he says.

Chang, 28, believes so strongly in the positive power of connecting people, he's developed a website called Events at 1083--the number represents his street address--where he organizes and coordinates ongoing social events.

Full Article:
http://www.svcn.com/archives/campbellreporter/01.30.02/pub-cit-0205.html

January 7, 2004

A Real Model for the Virtual Community

At the height of the dot-com economy, online communities were predicted to be a form of social unification that would wield the collective influence and financial power to affect the outcome of global events. Companies lined up to create or support them even if ostensibly they were really just trying to use them as a way to market products which ranged anywhere from software applications all the way down to hair dyes. As was typical of the late 90’s, online communities were over-hyped and heralded too soon, but the buzz wasn’t entirely unfounded. Online communities do indeed have real world potential to improve people’s lives and they’re set to make a comeback in 2004.

The dominant doctrine of the Internet bubble years was the “network effect” and it was applied to everything from operating systems to communication devices, and unfortunately even to services like online communities. Roughly translated, the “network effect” states that popularity makes something even more popular and popular things have far more utility than less ubiquitous ones. The most popular and useful product naturally ends up controlling the direction of the market and so companies raced each other to rack up the highest number of users. When it comes to communication products like fax machines and proprietary instant messengers, the network effect applies well, but when it comes to social groups, the network effect’s logic falls short.

The network effect is useful for predicting the relationship between utility and the rate of user adoption, but as far as online communities are concerned, utility provides only a portion of the value. People don’t always exchange information purely out of a need for utility. There are also social reasons why people contribute and exchange information. Sometimes people contribute to a public forum as a way of building an online identity. The more they contribute to the utility of a site, the more likely that they’ll become recognized as individuals. By the time the user has reached the point that he is “someone” on a site, he’ll have an identity that’s associated with it and will therefore work to maintain the site’s value. Once a user has established an online identity, he experiences the “community effect,” a sense of belonging that binds him to where his identity is as long as his status of being a recognized personality is maintained.

Since identity is such an important part of producing enduring online communities, the strategy of harnessing the network effect to create dominant online communities ends up being counterproductive. In the late 90’s, sites that managed to earn the popularity that they sought became overcrowded so quickly that they lost their ability to make anyone feel unique. As the population of an online community grows, existing members start to slide back toward anonymity and it becomes increasingly difficult for new members to establish individual identities. Most of the discussion forum applications that are used to build online community sites have little ability to scale in a way that preserves the community effect. However, with some modifications borrowed from social networking and online dating applications, discussion forum software can be adapted to handle a much higher membership capacity. While the membership capacity can be greatly enhanced, online communities will still not be able to scale like networks. A physical limit on membership may need to be imposed to ensure an online community’s ability to endure as a real community.

If the goal is to create real communities that endure through time, a new model of online community building that’s based on geographical limitations may be a better approach to the purely virtual models of the Internet bubble days. Mirroring online communities after neighborhoods and towns may produce better results because virtual communities tend to benefit from also having a degree of physical representation. Modeling after localities will provide online communities with the opportunity to tap into existing infrastructures to solicit for participation, funding, and human resources. On the other side, physical communities will gain additional logistical and communication resources to help support the needs of local residents and businesses.

Ideally, a well-planned physical community doesn’t need an online twin to function as a social unit, but very few people live in such utopian environments. We don’t have to continue living in the disconnected fashion that we’ve gotten used to. Online community applications can help us build communities where it counts the most—in our towns and neighborhoods. While it’d be ambitious to revive the late 90’s dream of online communities disrupting the world social order, it’s not a far stretch to envision online communities as the bridge we need to change our neighborhoods and towns from places where amicable strangers live to places where people have identities.

February 7, 2004

Going Local with a Global Technology: Proposing a New Model for Online Communities

Going back to the mid 1980ís, Iíve been a part of some very memorable online communities that were the kind of intriguing cross-cultural societies described by Howard Rheingold in his landmark book, Virtual Communities. Unfortunately, ever since a few years after that book was published, Iíve seen fewer and fewer online communities that have any element of community at all. Many are anything but communities. After all, in the physical world, would you describe an overcrowded apartment complex where anonymous residents constantly shuffle in and out as a community?

What happened? Online communities were once looked upon as an emerging social phenomenon that was so powerful that it would lead to the development of new socioeconomic groups, but it seems like most of the ones around today are either dead quiet or so noisy that everyone seems to be shouting out to nobody in particular. Are we just going through an extended learning curve caused by the worldwide explosion of Internet users at the turn of the century? Do we just need better applications that are more user-friendly? I believe the answers are yes and yes, but I also believe that the most popular model of online community, the community of interest, has fatal flaws in it that limit its ability to function as a reliable social community.

The problem with communities of interest is that they have a tendency to become unmanageable and impersonal. The topics discussed in these communities fall within a narrow scope of content matter, members come and go constantly, and individual identities are practically impossible to develop. Organizing communities according to interest may appear to be the most logical approach since people naturally want to affiliate with others who are similar to them, but in the physical world, affiliation is a scarce quality. Online, itís not as hard to find others with similarities and partially because of this, virtual communities based on interests have come to resemble social mobs rather than online communities. (Ironically, Rheingoldís second book about connected culture is ďSmart Mobs.Ē)

These mob communities are formed by large masses of transient individuals with similar interests congregating to exchange information or to fulfill a purpose. Theyíre highly unstable social constructs that lack the continuity to develop social cohesion. Search engines and the culture of instant gratification help drive the formation of these mob communities because they allow users to go from community to community looking for immediate answers. Developing more complex social relationships with other members of an online community is not only no longer necessary to find information, but itís also prohibitively difficult to do in environments lacking a shared culture. Before search engines, finding information online was often a social process requiring users to interact with other people and data interfaces alike. Being in an online tribe full of diverse minds had a functional purpose because it was the best way to get answers faster.

Cyberspace is said to be such a great medium for bringing people together because it renders the constraint of space irrelevant; however, space plays an important role in modulating human interactions. The online communities of the 1980ís and 1990ís were either stand-alone services that you had to dial into with a modem or they were on much more primitive networks that became less reliable the farther information had to travel. Even the far-reaching online communities were in practice limited to regional clusters by the immature Internet, which was then a slower patchwork lattice. The constraints of space were not irrelevant then, but merely relaxed.

If physical constraints helped the online communities of the past behave in a more human manner then it might be natural to assume that physical proximity has an enabling role in the development of social online communities. Iíd argue that itís not the physical proximity itself that makes a difference, but some common qualities that are commonly observed with it. When the members of an online community are physically near each other, the likelihood that they interact regularly increases. Theyíre more likely to see each other, engage in activities together, or perhaps they were already friends who expanded their friendship into Cyberspace.

Of course people can also have regular interaction without living near each other. Virtual project teams, online gaming clans, and online support groups all have all been known to develop strong community ties from regular interaction without seeing each other face to face. These examples are important to take note of, but for the purpose of bringing online communities into mainstream usage, theyíre not likely to have a significant impact in the foreseeable future.

To replicate their niche success of online communities on a widespread level, they need to become integrated with the regular everyday communities that people are used to being a part of and will likewise be subject to some of the same physical and social constraints. They need to be more than mere online communities, but ďSocial Community SystemsĒ that would essentially be to the local community what Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are to large corporations. Social Community Systems would pull together various types of social and information applications into an integrated whole that will support and coordinate the interests of the local government, residents, and merchants. Like ERP and CRM systems, online communities must weave themselves into the very fabric of how physical communities operate to achieve success. There are plenty of ignored community portal sites around to remind us all that itís useless to merely design something elaborate.

What would such a Social Community System look like? Well, Iím currently building one. My prototype Social System is currently in the last phases of development and Iíll be launching it as a pilot in my hometown of Campbell, CA in about a month. If youíre interested in finding out more, I will have an entire Web site built to promote my Social Wave Communities Project soon. Drop me an email and Iíll add you to my announcements mailing list. For now, if you want more information I have an FAQ and some promotional flyers that you can download. You can also take a look at my prototype site at http://campbell.socialwave.net. The final version will be available at the end of this month.

March 17, 2004

Social Wave Communities 1.0 Released

Itís here. Itís finally here. After too many delays after delays, Iím happy to announce the release of Social Wave 1.0. Its gone back to the drawing board many times after I felt like I was simply falling in the trap of following in the footsteps of the much trumpeted social networks like Friendster and Tribe. Had I decided to take my ideas and expertise to a sponsoring organization, Social Wave may have ended up following an over-beaten path as a proud clone of a now withering concept. Luckily, I decided to keep Social Wave entirely in my own hands.

Social Wave wonít ever fall victim to the fate of being the hot and hip thing one day and an aging afterthought the next. Iíve intentionally modeled it after the time tested social structure of the physical community. It may not sound quite as sexy as the ideal of a virtual online community of like-minded people around the world interconnected to produce the social structure for the next ďxĒ number of years, but then again the work of building real communities constrained by the limits of social and psychological scale will never grow old. There are no also-rans the work of creating real communities that you can see, feel, and touch.

As I finish up with some follow-up work to the release of Social Wave 1.0, Iíll be turning my attention toward generating some local publicity for it in and around the Campbell area. You can help me get a head start by telling friends who live, work, or play near Campbell about Social Wave. People who live and work far away from Campbell are welcome to come check it out too as guests, but at this time, services are only tailored toward people who spend a lot of time within 10-15 miles of Campbell, CA.

Thanks to everyone whoís been kind with encouragement and help getting Social Wave to this point. Unfortunately in the course of developing this project day unto night for the past six months, Iíve lost touch with many of you. Iíd like to hear what youíve been up to and Iíd like to invite you to help me see this off to a vigorous start. Come on back to some events and take a moment to be active online. Your involvement has been instrumental so far. I could really use it now.

Ok, without further ado, hereís Social Wave Campbell: http://campbell.socialwave.net.

Sheldon Chang

April 27, 2004

Public Excitement About Social Wave not Translating into Active Participation Yet

There haven't been many entries into this blog because I've been very busy putting extra time into managing Social Wave. After the launch party on April 16th, the growth in membership has come at a slow, but steady pace. The public response to Social Wave's goals and purpose have been extremely positive, but the enthusiasm has yet to translate into active participation in an online and in-person community. There are signs of it starting to happen, but I have to admit being slightly disappointed with the creeping progress.

I gave a short talk to the Downtown Campbell Merchant's Association and spoke with many local merchants one on one. Almost to a person, they were excited by the idea of an online facilitator that could help them connect more closely with local residents and build old fashioned relationships. The response was similar at the launch party where over 35 people officially attended and many more either hung out without signing in or spent time at the welcome desk taking information and asking questions before heading out.

From the buzz in the air at the launch party, I'd have predicted a rush of sign-ups from everyone who took information or came to the party. That didn't happen and I'm left having to solve the question of what could be done to translate excitement to active accounts. It may be too soon to tell, or it might be that there's still a missing piece that will elevate Social Wave into the role of a true community network from just another "me too" social network".

Earlier, I wrote that Social Wave really isn't a "Social Network," but a Community Network. The lines of relationship do not follow the lines of a person's friend and family ties, but lines of physical proximity joined by a desire to develop social relationships regardless of personal diversity. To do this, an online system must support the human motives that drives them to seek community ties vs. purely social ties.

If I'm correct in my assumption, then the accelerated adoption that I'm looking for may not come until I give the early adopting members of Social Wave all of those reasons. Despite the expressed desire to exist in a collective space, it may be the economic motives that will finally bring Social Wave to the status that I believe it deserves to have. I'll get to test this in about a month when Social Wave's Hometown Merchant Network is unveiled.

Demographics for Social Wave Deviating from the Young, Hip, Urban Line

Thanks to a step-up in recent publicity attempts, sign-ups for my prototype Social Wave network have been steadily increasing. As new members are signing up, I'm noticing a trend that I'm please to see, but wasn't expecting. Older users are signing up and many of them haven't even heard of Friendster or only know of it by name only.

The assumption all along from myself and others around me was that Social Wave would be facing stiff competition from people who were already avid users of one of the many popular Social Networks like Tribe, Friendster, or Ryze. My expectation was to compete for the "young, hip, urban" demographic that had gotten tired of the ephemeral nature of online social networks and hope that enough older users could be coaxed into participating now and then online.

Advertising for the Social Wave Campbell network was done online to the "hip-young" demographic and via printed hand-outs to an older group. So far it's the older group that has responded to the call to community online and in-person. These results are surprising, but hopeful for the possibility of having found an overlooked demographic looking for social outlets that make sense to them. For now, I'm leaving my observations as anecdotal evidence. If I have enough of a sample size in a few weeks to show a definite trend, I'll post them.

August 14, 2004

Social Wave Campbell becoming just simply Social Wave

Social Wave has been going by the formal name of Social Wave Campbell so far, but sometime soon, the Campbell part will drop out of the name and it'll just be Social Wave, but the local quality of Social Wave will not change. Social Wave will remain a Silicon Valley thing and there are no plans to expand beyond that.

A lot of new people have come onto Social Wave lately and many have asked what the expansion plans were and many were puzzled when I said that I planned to keep things within a very narrow scope of geography. As a fan of social sciences, an administrator of business information systems, and a longtime veteran of online communities dating back into the 1980's, I believe that local is the way to go.

My vision for Social Wave isn't about expanding it as much as possible. It's about becoming as integrated as possible within existing physical communities to improve community life, increase communication, support local business, and share information and resources for mutual benefit. There are about two million people in Silicon Valley. If only one or two percent of people living in Silicon Valley used Social Wave to improve their access to their fellow residents, a lot of change and a lot of good can happen. If this succeeds, it will be a truly truly unique success story.

January 14, 2005

Sign up to catch the Social Wave rolling into Campbell (Campbell Reporter 12/1/04)

Excerpt: Enraptured by the possibilities the Internet offered to connect people and information since the 1980s, Chang worked to help businesses create knowledge databases that facilitated communication at all levels of a company to help them run more effectively. Using this model, Chang had an inkling this concept might work right here in Campbell. He envisioned connecting neighbors, not colleagues, and sharing thoughts, not business ideas.

Full Article:
http://www.svcn.com/archives/campbellreporter/20041201/ca-neighbors1.shtml

April 22, 2005

Campbell Express: NEW DOWNTOWNCAMPBELL.COM WEBSITE PROMOTES EVENTS AND COMMUNITY

The following article appeared in the April 21st edition of the Campbell Express newspaper in Campbell, CA.

There's something big and new in Downtown Campbell, but you'll have to get online with your computer to find it. Earlier this month, the new DowntownCampbell.com website was launched to provide Campbell area residents with up-to-date information about news, events, and activities happening in Downtown Campbell.

The new website was a joint effort between the Downtown Campbell Business Association and the Campbell-based community network, Social Wave. It was created through Social Wave's "Downtown Destinations" service, which helps local downtowns brand and market themselves as community centers through interactive websites that allow merchants and associates of local downtowns to put their information online themselves with no technical expertise required.

The DowntownCampbell.com site employs many features commonly found in big-budget websites employed by designer shopping destinations such as Santana Row, but emphasizes community charm rather than trendy appeal. While it may not focus on trendy appeal, it's not because Downtown Campbell is behind the times. As the first local downtown to go online with Social Wave's community-oriented online marketing service, Downtown Campbell is far from being out of date; it's serving as an example of how technology can work hand-in-hand with local communities. After viewing the new DowntownCampbell.com, other downtown districts have expressed interest in having similar websites.

Many people are interested in their local communities and want to become more engaged in community life. DowntownCampbell.com was designed to appeal to people seeking community connections as well as people just looking for fun things to do. In the past, when cities were smaller and transportation more scarce, downtowns were focal points where real community life happened because people had to cross paths to buy goods or get information. We no longer need to go downtown for vital necessities, but our downtowns can still serve as community centers where people can meet, get to know each other, and find a range of high-quality goods and services from personable local merchants. DowntownCampbell.com can help supply the information needed for community life to happen in Downtown.

Visit DowntownCampbell.com and you'll find out that there's a lot more going on than the weekly Farmer's Market and seasonal festivals in Downtown Campbell. You might find that there's a computing interest group meeting at Orchard Valley, a social mixer happening at the Coop, or a jazz band playing at a wine singles event at Tannins. If you're looking for neither entertainment nor community connections, then check out DowntownCampbell.com to get the scoop on sale announcements or browse the merchant profiles of some of your favorite businesses like Radio Daze, Twist Cafe', or the Stone Griffin. There's also a photo gallery that's regularly updated with pictures of what's new around Downtown Campbell and there's an electronic newsletter that you can sign up for as well.

See it for yourself. Go to www.downtowncampbell.com and explore all that your favorite downtown has to offer.

Disclosure: The author is the creator of the Social Wave Community Network and developer of the new Downtown Campbell site.

May 31, 2005

Social Wave's Social Enterprise Purpose Statement

As Social Wave gets into its second year, we're regrouping to tighten its definition now that its structure has become more stable. We also plan to use the term "Social Enterprise" more noticeably even though it has been a Social Enterprise from the start. One of the reasons why we need to adopt this label is to address the clashing ideals that residents have for Social Wave vs. the ideals that businesses have for Social Wave.

Residents want everything to be free and businesses want to make sure that you're making enough money to provide good service and so that you can stay around. We can almost resolve this clash of ideals by elaborating on what it means when we say that Social Wave is a social enterprise.

Mission Statement

Social Wave is an online service designed to help Silicon Valley develop stronger communities by creating opportunities for residents get to know other locals, businesses, and their area both online and in person.

Social Wave's Business Structure and Goals

Social Wave is a Social Enterprise

A Social Enterprise is a business whose operational goal is to achieve financial sustainability while serving the common good by using innovation in business to address a sociological problem that negatively affects the community. Social Enterprises do not have to be non-profits, but any surplus generated is returned to the community through additional services or direct contributions. The purpose of a Social Enterprise is defined by the problems that it's designed to address. In the case of Social Wave, the problems addressed are social isolation and its role in the decay of sustainable local economies.
  • Society has become highly mobile in all aspects, leading to the degradation in the quality of traditional community life because natural social networks require stability and take time to form. Radical changes in industry as we've seen in the past two decades produce large scale economic migrations which negatively impact the quality of community life in places where people leave and in the places where people follow jobs to.

  • Sustainable locally owned businesses are more difficult to operate in fractured communities because natural social networks are part of the economic relationship people have with the businesses around them. While price competition pressure is likely the most significant factor in explaining the troubles of small locally owned businesses, it does not account for the entire range of challenges facing them. Any expert online shopper knows that large online retailers have great expertise in making buyers pay for their discounts in the long run.

  • Information networks such as the Internet were once hailed as the great equalizer, but end up serving the purposes of dominant brands instead of local economic interests. Without focused application, Internet services tend to favor entities with the most marketing power, the farthest reach, or the loudest voice because the Internet is completely geographically agnostic.
Social Wave operates under the belief that problems with fractured communities and weak local economies are highly related and the best way of solving them is to address them together. A highly fractured community will be less engaged with local merchants because small locally owned businesses traditionally rely on social connections such as word of mouth or reputation to survive. In a fractured community, strong corporate branding becomes a surrogate for the trust relationship that people may otherwise develop with local businesses. This relationship can be developed through direct experience or through word of mouth.

In another time, there was a direct relationship between social interaction and the local economy. The need to go downtown for goods, services, and information was a primary driver of community interaction. Downtowns (and similar districts) have since become obsolete as essential commercial hubs, but still possess high potential to be the centers of social interaction that help make real communities possible. Information tools can help direct residential attention toward community centers, but so far has not served the interest of the local community well.

It was once believed that the Internet would level the playing field between big and small organizations because it amplified the power of word of mouth. Years after the euphoria that led to this utopian proclamation, the Internet seems to have ultimately tipped the balance of power further to the side of large corporations that have unmatchable resources to spend on reinforcing the power of their brand. Because the Internet as it exists today is a decentralized medium with no bias to geographic location, it is less a conduit for traditional word of mouth (which is based on social connections) than it is a revolutionary conduit for large scale phenomenon.

The problem is compounded by the fact that many locally owned businesses do not even have a website and the ones who do often don't have competent sites. With high quality local information so difficult or impossible to get online, people will be reluctant to test the potential for using the Internet to find information that they need to connect with their community economically and socially. A focused service like Social Wave can help repair fractures in the community by facilitating the development of social connections between people and by making more high quality local information accessible online.

Many services have been launched that help people develop their social lives. There's hundreds upon hundreds of them in the form of online dating sites and social networking sites, but none of them tie in directly to the local economic infrastructure. Without a socioeconomic connection, these services can at best succeed in benefiting a small percentage of participants, but will never be an effective way of achieving broader community. By unifying a range of popular types of online information and networking services with an innovative approach toward supporting locally owned businesses, Social Wave hopes to improve upon the efforts of its social networking service siblings and stimulate long lasting improvements in the overall quality of community life.

July 27, 2005

Social Wave to Celebrate One Year of Community Building in Downtown Campbell

The following article appeared in the July 27th edition of the Campbell Express

Think about your community. I'm going to guess that you have family, friends, and some neighbors in mind. You're only halfway there. Don't forget things like city services, coffee shops, pubs, restaurants, charity organizations, religious institutions, local festivals, and the charismatic businesses that form the infrastructure that your social network is built upon.

For most people, it's obvious that if there's nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no place convenient to buy things, "having a life" would be nearly impossible, but it's harder for them to imagine the reverse--that the infrastructure that sustains our community is in turn dependent upon having a community with healthy social connections. This is because the institutions that are most focused on creating a genuine and vibrant community tend to be small and lack marketing power. They rely heavily on word of mouth to survive. This includes small locally owned businesses who know their customers on a first name basis and local organizations who produce events that bring people together and build community spirit.

As a consequence of the economic boom and bust, recent years have not been good for the foundations that we use to develop that sense of community. With our social connections frayed by the exodus of old faces who were forced to move and the large scale influx of newcomers, it becomes much harder to absorb the decay in the physical qualities that makes a place feel like home to us. It also makes for a tougher recovery because there's more than one thing broken. To make matters worse, the Internet hasn't been the friend that some of us hoped it would be.

Once heralded as the great equalizer that leveled the playing field for players of all sizes, the Internet appears to have ended up concentrating more power in all things big and global But I believe that technology isn't the problem. It's the way that we're using the technology that is the problem and that's why I launched Social Wave, a community network tailor-made to serve the interests of Silicon Valley residents and locally owned businesses. By keeping the focus local, Social Wave helps us build stronger communities by creating opportunities for residents get to know other locals, businesses, and their area both online and in person.

That was over a year ago and I'm happy to say that it's starting to make a difference. If you're not familiar with Social Wave, I invite you to come find out more about it at our one-year anniversary party on July 29th, which we're hosting as part of Sundown Cinema's showing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Before the movie, we'll have information tables, festivities, kids' activities, and a free raffle for you in the parking lot. Come see what Social Wave is all about and come meet some of your neighbors.

Sundown Cinema and Social Wave's Anniversary Party will be held in the parking lot between the Courtyard and Orchard Valley Coffee in Downtown Campbell. For more information about the Social Wave party, please see http://socialwave.net/party or call Sheldon Chang at 408.455.2559.

August 10, 2005

Online community Social Wave celebrates one-year anniversary (Campbell Reporter 8/10/05)

On the occasion of Social Wave's one year anniversary, the largest local paper in Campbell, CA took the opportunity to publish a follow up article about Social Wave's progress. Readers of the Social Wave blog won't see any new information, but it's a nice summary of my thoughts about the role of social networks in sustainable local economies.

Online community Social Wave celebrates one-year anniversary Campbell Reporter - Aug 10, 2005

May 23, 2007

Social Wave 1.6 Released

I'm pleased to announce that Social Wave was released last week. This latest release lines up Social Wave to carry out some philosophical changes that I've wanted to implement in how we run the site. here's a summary of what we'll be able to do differently with the recent upgrades.

Backend changes to support new Social Wave portal sites

Any group on socialwave.net can now have their own custom site that displays feeds of any content posted to their group on socialwave.net. For an example, see the Downtown Campbell Group and then see the DowntownCampbell.com site.

Currently, any portal set-up for a SocialWave group will need to be a custom set-up done by us, but if there's any interest from people to do this themselves, I'll publish a toolkit for socialwave.net integration in the future.

There are currently two socialwave.net portals (downtowncampbell.com and downtownwillowglen.org). We plan to roll out another one for the Downtown Campbell Neighborhood Association soon and are exploring group portal sites for other groups as well.

Allow Guest Posting of Topics, Events, and RSVPs

To allow the portal sites to be interactive, and also because we recognize the need to open up posting permissions on socialwave.net to stimulate more activity, we've made it possible to post to the Social Wave network by passing a CAPTCHA and email validation process.

We expect regular users to also use the guest posting feature. We've had a lot of users tell us that they don't want to bother with logging in or they can't ever remember how to login. As long as people provide the same email address as their registered account, registered users can now post as guests, but have their posts linked to their account.

Post reviews, events, and topics into forums

Instead of keeping events, topics, and reviews separated, they can now all be grouped into forum categories. I expect this to improve the ease of posting for some users who get confused navigating around the site and it's also an important step to make the new RSS feeds more useful.

RSS 2.0 Feeds for all Forums and Groups

In order to better network with neighborhood blogs and websites throughout Silicon Valley, I've finally gotten around to publishing RSS feeds of forum content and group content. In some cases, forum and group content are exactly the same. As mentioned just above, the forums now contain events and reviews that can be posted directly into them and will also be reflected in the RSS feeds.

There are also other notable changes that I'm not listing here. For a more complete list please view this thread:
http://www.socialwave.net/topics/3396/

About Socialwave.net News & Notes

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to The Social Wave Blog by Sheldon Chang in the Socialwave.net News & Notes category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Search Engines is the previous category.

Societal Effects of the Internet is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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