An Event Apart: Whuffie-Rich Design

by Luke Wroblewski May 6, 2009

Tara Hunt's Whuffie-Rich Design presentation at An Event Apart Seattle outlined how social capital can help create Web sites that people want to tell everyone about.

  • Whuffie is social capital –reputation, connections, influence, favors added up (reciprocity). As described by Cory Doctrow, a high score of whuffie is a good reputation but it also allows you to buy stuff.
  • People join online communities to create connections and trust. Trust creates Whuffie. Whuffie is way to utilize your reputation to build trust with users and customers.
  • To grow your Whuffie... Turn the bullhorn around. People do not want to be treated like a number, they want to feel special. You need to be a beacon for constant feedback & listen.
  • Focus on individuals, not mass the market. Get advice from experts, but designs for the needs of the novice.
  • Respond to all feedback, even if you need to say, no thanks. Don’t take negative feedback personally. Feedback means people care.
  • Give credit to those whose ideas you utilize.
  • Point out and explain changes as you make them. Make small, continuous improvements
  • You need to become part of the community you serve. Collaborate and share. Make what your customers love, what you love.
  • Automagicness: make something so seamless that is feels like magic. Example: Liligram automagic sign-up, sharing, data extraction. Exmaple: Quicken on iPhone: automagic information from your bank account. Example: Tripit automatically creates itineraries from emails
  • Throwing sheep: lightweight ways to engage people. Examples: facebook poking & I like this, Dopplr’s velocity metric, karma points, virtual gifts.
  • Lighten up: the ability to inject fun into the most serious & professional interactions. Examples: 404 pages, email auto responders
  • Embrace the chaos. Don’t try to control the message. We need to balance the need for security with a need for openness. You’ll be better prepared for the unexpected. You’ll join the conversation.
  • We create our own rat traps in our success. Once we are there, we can no longer do the stuff that initially made us successful.
  • Find your higher purpose. Is what you are doing born out of passion? Are you fighting the good fight?
  • 5 gifts to give back. Do good; think customer-centrically; help others go further, spread love; value you something bigger than yourself.
  • If you do these things, you will raise your whuffie, and ultimately get more customers, better sales, etc.