Communications & Technology Research Symposium 2015

Join us on 22 May

12 May 2015

Friday 22 May 2015

Visiting Speaker: Dr. Tharon Howard, Clemson University

Creating Social Networks and Online Communities that Last

What can you do when designing an online community to maximize user experience? This presentation, based on two decades of managing successful online communities, will teach participants how to design sustainable online communities that attract and retain a devoted membership by providing them with "contexts for effective decision-making."

After differentiating between social networks and online communities, the bulk of this presentation will describe four elements necessary for the long-term success of online communities. Howard calls these the "RIBS" of online communities and social networks. "RIBS" stands for:

  • Remuneration,
  • Influence,
  • Belonging,
  • Significance.

The presentation provides an explanation of what these elements means, and approximately one-half to two-thirds of the time for each of the RIBS elements is dedicated to illustrating specific design techniques which participants can use in their own social networks or communities. Furthermore, each technique is exemplified with an actual example drawn from a social network or online community that the speaker has built or from a popular system with which participants are likely to be familiar. Attendees will be encouraged to share techniques which they have either used or experienced for each of the 4 RIBS elements

Questions? 780-492-1538

Biography of our Visiting Speaker

Dr. Tharon W. Howard directs Clemson's MA in Professional Communication program and teaches in the interdisciplinary doctoral program in Rhetoric(s), Communication, and Information Design. A nationally recognized leader in the field of usability testing research and user-experience design, he is Director of the Clemson University Usability Testing Facility and was awarded the Usability Professionals Association's first "Extraordinary Service Award." Howard also designed and directs Clemson's Multimedia Authoring Teaching and Research Facility where faculty and graduate students learn to develop fully interactive, multimedia productions and experiment with emerging social media, instructional technologies, and interface designs. One of the multimedia projects he managed won the STC's prestigious Best of Show Award in International Online Communication. Howard is also the recipient of the STC's J. R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication Howard's books include: Design to Thrive: Creating Social Networks and Online Communities that Last, A Rhetoric of Electronic Communities, co-author of Visual Communication: A Writer's Guide, co-editor of Electronic Networks: Crossing Boundaries and Creating Communities.