In this paper we explore the possibility of using Web 2.0 technology to build a social networking tool, where users are the main participants during the design and implementation phases. Although Web 2.0-related research has gained momentum in recent years, much of the research focuses solely on studies where users only use the system instead of playing an integral part in the design process as well. Our study relies on both users’ input and usage patterns to drive each step of the design and implementation cycles. Hence, we employ both Soft System Methodology and Action Research to diagnose, evaluate, and provide guidelines and research instruments to examine various types of Web 2.0 technologies and services. We present a prototype, the purpose of which is to help users accomplish networking within a small group. We also discuss lessons learned from the project’s life cycle from the perspectives of both the system’s users and its designers.
Ractham, Peter and Firpo, Daniel, "Designing a Social Networking Prototype: An Action Research Approach in Building a User-Centric Web 2.0 System" (2009). ICEB 2009 Proceedings. 52.