Unplatformed Design: Appropriating social media for coordinated participation

Educational Technology

Collaborators Monash University

Abstract

We look at three projects that have successfully coordinated participation through the use of existing social media technologies.

Method

We conceptualise social media technologies as material for design, as a raw material with which coordinated participation is realized.

Takeaways

Unplatformed design allows researchers an approach to coordinating participation that is robust, high fidelity and scalable.

Using existing social media technologies as a resource for design offers significant potential for sustainable and scalable ways of coordinating participation. We look at three exemplar projects in three distinct domains that have successfully coordinated participation through the configuration and augmentation of existing social media technologies: participatory future forecasting, participatory health research, and connectivist learning.

In this paper we conceptualise social media technologies as material for design, that is, as a raw material with which coordinated participation is realized.

From this we develop a model that proposes four material qualities of social media technologies, morphology, role, representation of activity and permeability, and point to how they can be productively employed in the design of coordination of participation.

Three case studies

Health Research with Distributed Populations, Asynchronous Remote Communities (ARC)

The ARC method brings together a group of participants in a digital environment (e.g. a closed and hidden Facebook group) to complete a set of assigned individual or collaborative activities.

Connectivist Online Learning, Online UWC

Looking at a series of connectivist open online courses in collaboration with United World Colleges (UWC), that used existing social media platforms as central infrastructure for the learning activity.

Strategic Foresight, WhatFutures

WhatFutures employed the messaging application WhatsApp to gather rich qualitative data in support of the IFRC’s strategic project to develop a 10-year strategy.

Publications

Unplatformed Design: A Model for Appropriating Social Media Technologies for Coordinated Participation

  1. Lambton-Howard D
  2. Olivier P
  3. Vlachokyriakos V
  4. Celina H
  5. Kharrufa A

2020CHI '20: Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems