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When we think about the relationship between the web and society, I am pretty sure for most of us, one of the first things to come to mind are social networking sites. While this is true, the effect the web has had on our society goes far beyond that of simple social networking. For designers and their clients, for example it has created a relationship of collaboration, which should bring many benefits to their intended audience, and for the audience it should bring an experience, and an improvement to the way they, the audience, do things. This at least, is definitely the case when the designer and the client work together throughout the entire process of the project, from its concept, to its execution. The article “The battlefield of Design: Designers vs Clients” explains the importance of this relationship. The designer knows the aesthetics, and the client knows what his market/goal is (usually); the end result therefore, becomes something useful and pleasing in use. If such is the case, then the execution is a true success, which is also the reason for my previous post in which I disagreed with the mentality that “the best websites are useful and ugly.”

While the design and client relationship is the smaller scale relationship created by the web, there is a huge social change created by the finished product. The finished product creates a relationship between the company and its audience, which can be a major deciding factor to their loyalty for the brand. This loyalty is perhaps the most powerful marketing tool on the web. In the case of social networking sites like twitter, facebook and myspace, this loyalty brings yet another level of social interaction. With a huge loyal following, these social networking sites become portals of communication between their audiences, and the audiences of other companies, which when you think about it, that’s about everyone. In twitter for example as explained in “information beats sentiment”, users can ask and receive information, should they not simply decide to type a status about what they are doing. The simplicity of communication, in these social websites also encourages more honest and balanced opinions on any aspect of any topic, from the positive to the negative. When communication on the web was more complicated people would only write to seek help, or criticize on their frustration with a product’s cons (for example: “my product keeps freezing”). Better communication on the web, therefore means we now get to see more honest and balanced opinions on the topics discussed by the user-base. With modern phones, and better web design this outcome is no surprise as they add yet another level of ease in communicating online. This is a positive thing for communication, and even allows companies to receive a well balanced customer feedback, that way they don’t only know what to improve, but also what they have been doing right.

The social networking websites are interesting as they all seem to appeal to different age groups as explained in this article. The article also mentions that the age differences between the different social networks seem to be diminishing lately, and offers various possible reasons. Going back to the ease of communications, it seems to me that part of this age grouping is the result of advertising. Companies want to market through the young, which creates less age differences between the social networks. It seems everyone is benefiting from the growth of the web. After all, the web is one of those things we have always been most optimistic about, since its birth.

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One response

Esther

Your tactics in this article contain genuinely helped, thanks

February 4, 2010 7:48 am

Comment now!
















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