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Building Social Web Applications: Establishing Community at the Heart of Your Site

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Building a web application that attracts and retains regular visitors is tricky enough, but creating a social application that encourages visitors to interact with one another requires careful planning. This book provides practical solutions to the tough questions you'll face when building an effective community site -- one that makes visitors feel like they've found a new home on the Web.

If your company is ready to take part in the social web, this book will help you get started. Whether you're creating a new site from scratch or reworking an existing site, Building Social Web Applications helps you choose the tools appropriate for your audience so you can build an infrastructure that will promote interaction and help the community coalesce. You'll also learn about business models for various social web applications, with examples of member-driven, customer-service-driven, and contributor-driven sites.
  • Determine who will be drawn to your site, why they'll stay, and who they'll interact with
  • Create visual design that clearly communicates how your site works
  • Build the software you need versus plugging in one-size-fits-all, off-the-shelf apps
  • Manage the identities of your visitors and determine how to support their interaction
  • Monitor demand from the community to guide your choice of new functions
  • Plan the launch of your site and get the message out

About the Author

Gavin Bell is one of a group of volunteers behind talkeuro.com, development notes for which are on betageek.co.uk. Gavin designs infrastructure web products at the BBC, having previously worked in academia, publishing, and advertising. In his spare time, he is interested in reactivating political debate as well as the future of social software. He writes widely, though intermittently, on takeoneonion.org.

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