Sustainable Social Object Advantage.
When Jyri expanded the work of Bourdieu and Hyde amongst others and started to talk about object centred sociality, he used Flickr as an example. The photos were the object while sharing and commenting were the social gestures (or verbs as he would put it). The sociality was a source of competitive advantage.
An observation on her own behaviour made by Elizabeth Churchill in a recent talk prompted me to wonder about an unexpected side-effect of continuous improvement. What if your service develops in a way that changes your users behaviour and reduces their sociality?
Elizabeth spoke of how her former behaviour of being a frequent browser and commenter on Flickr had stemmed fom downtime while she waited for her pictures to upload. It is "former behaviour" because mobile upload has now been perfected. She uploads on the move and thus now uses Flickr solely as an archive and neither browses nor comments.
Yet again, improving a service towards seamlessness shows that seamfulness has its benefits. The formal raison d'etre may be improved, but is the overall user experience denuded? Perhaps social objects need to be in some sense "physical" (be that tactile or time-consuming) in order for the sociality to be sustained.