The Fourth Floor, A Social Network For Ravensbourne Students.

10.01.11

Get into groups which want to make either a forum, a wiki or a social network. We all choose the social network and start to think about the purpose of the site as a group. Initial thoughts are that the site should be aimed at a student body because it means that we have access to a body of people who could help us extend the site and that it should have a specific purpose like Linkedin, rather than an open discussion network like Facebook. We decide that the site should enable students to find internships and job placements after graduation. Everyone within the group signs up and makes a profile.

24.01.11

The only person who has posted anything is James. The post consists of a Lady Gaga video and some comments about how great she is. The group talks about how difficult it’s going to be to get people to post things that are on topic as the site is in it’s infancy. Collectively we decide that as we are making a student site we should make the topic general to avoid a flame war between members and moderators when the majority of content is social and not employment orientated.

14.02.11

Start to look into what is possible with all of the functions on the site and discuss what needs to be modified to make the site appealing to students. First of all we know that we have to write the terms and conditions or rules of the site and these need to take into consideration the users that are going to populate the site. For example we decide that we are not going to include mild obsenity within the list of banned activies on the site as all users will be over 18.

As a basis for our rules we refer back to the lectures and write them alongside the BBC’s terms and conditions for social media sites. Our version turns out as follows:

Users of the Fourth Floor must note that any views expressed in or on the Fourth Floor are not representative of Ravensbourne or it’s affiliates’ opinion.

All breaches of the rules will be dealt with accordingly. Breaching of these rules and conditions may result in official warnings, suspension or banning of your account. In the case of illegal activity appropriate legal action may be taken.

Fourth Floor Rules.

1. Respect other people. Comments should not be malicious or offensive in nature, and should not constitute a personal attack on a person’s character.

2. Don’t incite hatred or make defamatory on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality or sexuality or other personal characteristic.

3. Don’t break the law – This includes libel, condoning illegal activity and breaking copyright. These don’t constitute spamming.

4. Don’t advertise commercial products and services. You can mention relevant products and services as long as they support comment.

5. Don’t impersonate or falsely claim to represent a person or organisation. Don’t make more than on account per Ravensbourne email account.

6. Posts are in English, unfortunately we do not currently have the resource to moderate comments in other languages.

7. Don’t include hate speech or obscenity.

8. Don’t frequently repost the same message or article. No spamming.

At the same time we also write the introductory email:

Hi (username),
Welcome to The Fourth Floor

Why not tell your mates at Ravensbourne about the site? The more of your friends who register an account the quicker Fourth Floor will grow!

Your login email is: …..
Our URL is:
…..

Enjoy the site, and if you have any queries or problems with the site, don’t hesitate to contact us at m.ivens@students.rave.ac.uk or a.jackson-bruce@student.rave.ac.uk

Thanks again!
Fourth Floor Team

21.02.11

As a group we review the changes that have been made to the site and discuss things that might need to be modified. The site is still very open and potentially anyone with an email address can sign up so we need to make it clear that the site is meant for Ravensbourne students.

After discussing things we decide that the site should be private in that the you’ll need to be invited by emial before being able to sign up and login. At the same time i write a list of questions that it will be compulsory to answer before competing sign up that will be Ravensbourne specific.

1. Which course are you on? (choice of courses from a drop down box)

2. What year are you in? (drop down box)

3. What is your Ravensbourne email address? (open field for answer)

4. Are you interested in collaborating with other students? (drop box)

5. If so, what course are you mainly interested in working with? (drop box)

Everyone discusses the purpose of the site further and we all think of names for the site. We choose The Fourth Floor, the name of the level devoted as a place for students to socialise within the Ravensbourne building to try and give an instant impression of the sites focus. At the same time we also make a few other little asthetic changes like customising the footnote to say: Fourth Floor, a Social Network for Ravensbourne Students.

23-25.02.11

Time is running out before the formative assessment so we all split the research that is needed to make our first presentation. Mike and i spend a couple of days making the presentation. The site still has had very little activity, despite trying to stimulate some by posting video and photo content, so we are going to have to concentrate on some more theoretical analysis rather than site specific information.

28.02.11 – Formative Assessment

The formative assessment goes well but the most beneficial part is the feedback about improvement for the Summative. Manage to make a list of all the points for improvement which we’ll use to modify the presentation for summative.

- Escalation plan. Visualise and explain in more detail.
- User profiles of Fourth Floor explained (photo, likes dislikes)
- Talk about sign up questions
- User profiles of example sites explained.
- Talk more about example sites!!
- Look and feel.
- Stickiness and conversion rate – explain steps taken for stickiness, most to least effective.
- Example content posted to generate activity.
- Events/promotion outside of website?
- How users might become bored, what steps we’ll take to combat these in both moderation and interesting content.

05.03.11

Looking at the social networking site and think about trying to add a chat funtion in order to make it more appealing for students. Search for plugins for Jcow and manage to find a few things that could be really interesting for the sites development. The chatbar, mobile app and groups and pages would be the most beneficial for site stickiness and our conversion rate if we decide to take the site to the wider university. Unfortunately they are all priced at around $100.

07.03.11

Talk to the group about discovering the plugins and we all speak to James. This actually works out a lot better than expected and he agrees to buy the plugins for the site. Set to work straight away with the group and page for Analogue Society hoping that we can add some really interesting content before opening up the site outside of the class.

21.03.11

Area’s that i’ve developed for Summative:

Stickiness and Conversion Rate – Alfie and I go through all of the fuctions that the site has that will increase our chances of visitors signing up or staying on the site. These are the most important feature that i can think of, in conjunction with interesting content being posted to the site.

• Mobile app – People can access site when on the move.
• Rss feeds – People drawn back into site by aggregated info.
• Facebook connect easy sign up – good for conversion rates.
• We facilitate user run sub groups and communitites.
• Have sent student union email about involvement
• Events – live events point back to the site

Conversion Rate – planning to open the site up to the wider Ravensbourne community so that our target market is much larger than just the class. This could be done in conjunction with live promotional events ahead of the launch date to add an air of intrigue to the sites launch in the hope of increasing the conversion rate, which, to date has been quite bad even within the class. ( Just a little over 50% within the class studying this unit)

Competitor Analysis:

Linkedin.

Linkedin is a closed social network marketed as a site where people establish trusted connections within the business world and then use them to further extend their reach. For this reason, linked in has a more relaxed approach to the availability of users information and profiles, although new introductions remain only possible through an established link. Once you have registered and added your business associates the site then builds a web of connections that are easy for all involved to navigate. These have three categories:

1. connections – direct
2. second degree connections – connection of connections
3. third degree connections – connection of connection of connection

Users can then view others connection webs to ask for introductions to a connections secondary connection.

Stickiness:

This is extensive, in that you can perform a wide range of business activies without leaving the site:
1. finding a job, person or business opportunity which existing contacts can intriduce to to
2. Job seekers can search hiring managers profiles, organize an introdction before interview, highlighting common contacts.
3. Post photo’s for easy recognition at conferences and workshops
4. Can follow interesting companies and watch for job openings.
5. See stats on companies and assess your interest in working for or with them
6. Can make new connections by joining or making professionally related groups.

Also Linkedin works as an application platform where people can feed in external information like reading lists from Amazon, WordPress blogs or Type pad (last blog post posted to profile).

Growth:

Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection. Thus the site has an inbuilt outreach though existing members to find new recruits.

Limitations:

Although largely seen as a positive, and way of connecting users to a greater degree, the integration of applications like wordpress and type pad have not always been beneficial for members who have forgotten that all business associated will see latest blog posts. Reputations have been damaged and jobs lost.

_________________
28.03.11

Finish making the presentation section on the Stickiness of the site with Alfie. Also brainstorm all of the idea’s for the escalation plan with Rob and help him work out how to arrange the flow charts of the different actions.

As we are running a student site we want to make our escalation plans relevant to the people who are going to be using the sight. As all of our users are going to be students, we are not going to punish or delete posts with obsenity, instead we will phocus on malicious behaviour to other users, racist remarks, illegal activity, spamming and advertising.

When making the plans we spoke about each of the rules set out in the terms and conditions and tried to weigh up the severity of breaking each one and produce a separate plan for different degree of urgency. We eventually settled on three different plans for action:

Impersonation (eg setting up an account in someone else’s name or with a faulse identity)

Breaking the law on the site

Advertising / spamming the site

The Final Presentation:

 

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