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The Social Machine

The Social Machine Cover

The Social Machine

Designs for Living Online

By Judith Donath

MIT Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780262027014, 418pp.

Publication Date: May 23, 2014

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Description

Computers were first conceived as "thinking machines," but in the twenty-first century they have become social machines, online places where people meet friends, play games, and collaborate on projects. In this book, Judith Donath argues persuasively that for social media to become truly sociable media, we must design interfaces that reflect how we understand and respond to the social world. People and their actions are still harder to perceive online than face to face: interfaces are clunky, and we have less sense of other people's character and intentions, where they congregate, and what they do.

Donath presents new approaches to creating interfaces for social interaction. She addresses such topics as visualizing social landscapes, conversations, and networks; depicting identity with knowledge markers and interaction history; delineating public and private space; and bringing the online world's open sociability into the physical world. Donath asks fundamental questions about how we want to live online and offers thought-provoking designs that explore radically new ways of interacting and communicating.



About the Author
Judith Donath is a Faculty Fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society and a Visiting Scholar at MIT's Program in Science, Technology, and Society.
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