To understand whether an interest based network was the right path to go down I began researching their key features and functions. Through researching Catmoji, Thumb and Foodspotting I began to understand the fundamentals of these social systems and the specific characteristics that attract users. For the aims of this project and analysis, the following definition will be used to define an Interest based network:
Jay Jamison (2013) states there are two categories of interest based networks:
1). Subject themed which create strong online communities for users who share one common interest.
2). Social networks that span a broad theme or range of topics but offer a different form of interaction than the standard social network, either through pin boards or questions and answers. Research suggests that although these networks are niche, they’re not small, a prime example being Pinterest, with 11.7 million visitors monthly. (Afetian, 2013)
“People are using social networks not just to socialise with friends and family, but to connect with people who share common interests.”
(Blaise Lucey 2013).
This statement implies the growing popularity of these websites is dependent on user’s ability to engage with content and individuals who share a common interest or goal. I aimed to incorporate this characteristic into my project in order to create a successful interest based network around the BFI’s contemporary film festival.