It might be an old stove that triggers visitors to share memories of their grandmother’s kitchen, or an interactive building station that encourages people to play cooperatively.
It could be an art piece with a subtle surprise that visitors point out to each other in delight, or an unsettling historical image people feel compelled to discuss.
Social objects are the engines of socially networked experiences, the content around which conversation happens. Social objects allow people to focus their attention on a third thing rather than on each other, making interpersonal engagement more comfortable. In 2005, engineer and sociologist Jyri Engeström used the term “social objects” and the related phrase “object-centered sociality” to address the distinct role of objects in online social networks. Engeström argued that discrete objects, not general content or interpersonal relationships, form the basis for the most successful social networks.
People can connect with strangers when they have a shared interest in specific objects. For example, on Flickr you don’t socialize generally about photography or pictures, as you might on a photography-focused listserv.
Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos.