Simple, then just incorporate subversion…

George Siemens points to an excellent article on the success of YouTube and MySpace which contains the rather wonderful sub header:

Point-and-click sites that don’t tell you what to do

Now I’m not going to say that I told you so, oh OK then I am, ‘cos I’ve got a name for this grand unifying theory… it’s called incorporating subversion :)

Seriously, simple principle beautifuly put… yes it’s gotta be easy, ridiculously easy, but more significantly:

MySpace isn’t that much easier to use than Friendster, or than other shared-user-content sites like Flickr (photo sharing), (bookmarks), or Digg (tech news). But it mixes multiple publishing models—blogs, photos, music, videos, friend networks—into one personal space. Most important, it doesn’t presume to know what your goals are. [emphasis me]

This is one of the reasons why WordPress and it’s evolution into a straightforward media publishing / website tool and Automattic with a first-line philosophy of ‘Blogging is too hard’ get me very very excited. Because combine that with David Squires advice that:

Designers should consider designing for subversive use, recognising that users fit the use of ICT environments into contextually tuned ‘situated’ learning environments

And forget, for one minute, the ‘learning’ bit and realise that he was talking about software, about the online and apply that to *real* people (i.e. not you or I… I’ve been saying for a looong time that blogging as we know it is not how this technology is gonna change the world) and it’s all starts to make a lot of sense:

The secret to success is to make everything one-button easy, then get out of the way.


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