What do we mean by “action”? There are more than a dozen entries in the Dictionary.com definition of the word. Two of them stand out for me:
ac-tion [ak-shun] -noun
–An act that one consciously wills and that may be characterized by physical or mental activity.
–The causation of change by the exertion of power or a natural process.
So how do we effectively promote “conscious acts of mental or physical activity” in those who merely read, listen, or watch social media and are content to shake their heads in silent sympathy? How do we enable those with leadership skills to take charge and “cause change” in the context of technology-mediated social participation scenarios?
The great 19th century journalist, women’s rights activist, and transcendentalist, Margaret Fuller, once said, “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader”. I will introduce the Preece/Schneiderman “Reader-to-Leader Framework” (http://aisel.aisnet.org/thci/vol1/iss1/5/) which posits four potential levels of social media participation: Reader, Contributor, Collaborator, Leader. The framework is designed to model a problem whereby achievement of strategic goals for user participation in collaborative media exercises is limited by our ability to influence users to participate at increased levels of responsibility and activity. And most relevant to our problem as purveyors of collaborative technologies, Preece and Schneiderman describe potential usability and sociability factors that may exert positive influence on users to engage with the collaborative media at increasingly higher levels.
After introducing basics concepts I’ll engage in a discussion of how the framework might be used to analyze our collaborative media efforts, set measurable performance goals for our social media programs, and extend the model with domain-specific usability and sociability factors.
Looking forward to a fruitful meeting of the minds!
Neal Johnson, Intranet Manager, National Gallery of Art