1. Disparity in work and benefit. Groupware
applications often require additional work
from individuals who do not perceive a
direct benefit from the use of the application.
2. Critical mass and the Prisoner’s dilemma
problems. Groupware may not enlist the
“critical” mass of users required to be
useful, or can fail because it is never to
anyone individual’s advantage to use it.
3. Disruption of social processes.
Groupware can lead to activity that
violates social taboos, threatens
existing political structures, or otherwise
demotivates users crucial to its success.
4. Exception handling. Groupware may
not accommodate the wide range of
exception handling and improvisation
that characterizes much group activity.
5. unobtrusive accessibility. Features
that support group processes are
used relatively infrequently, requiring
unobtrusive accessibility and integration
with more heavily used features.
6. Difficulty of evaluation. The
almost insurmountable obstacles to
meaningful, generalizable analysis
and evaluation of groupware prevents
us from learning from experience.
7. Failure of intuition. Intuitions in
product development environments are
especially poor multi-user applications
resulting in bad management decisions
and error-prone design process.
8. the adoption process. Groupware
requires more careful implementation
(introduction) into the workplace than
product developers have confronted.
ducted in this mode. Secondary
experience is a rational process
in every sense possible. But it
should not be thought that we
are even conscious of the distinction between primary and
secondary experience. The transition from primary to secondary is simply a matter of coming
to be conscious of, and comprehending the experience at hand.
This secondary mode of existence is really just our everyday
sense of what it means to think
about something. People who
study social networks from
within—the believers of human
sociality as network sociality—sometimes can’t see what
is really going on because they
are invested in seeing things
as a network. Knowing how
someone socializes in your
network application is knowing
only how they socialize in your
network. It is not knowing them
as a social being. The view of
technical designers, developers,
geeks, computer scientists, and
graph theorists differs from that
of users. Users are primarily
primary, and the technorati are
The idea that we need to
critically interrogate and shift
the way we think about social
technologies in development
or emergence is not new. In
1994 Jonathan Grudin wrote a
paper entitled “Groupware and
Social Dynamics,” published in
Communications of the ACM [ 2]. It
begins with, “Computer support
has focused on organizations
and individuals. Groups are dif-
ferent.” Grudin goes on to say
“repeated extensive groupware
failures result from not meet-
ing the challenges in design and
evaluation that arise from these
Here is a paraphrase of
Grudin’s opening lines as I think
about social networking sites: