The DIY future: what happens when everyone designs social media? Practical suggestions for handling new ethical dilemmas


Joe Lamantia


Broad cultural and technological shifts are rapidly erasing the distinctions that separate the creators and users of social media. In this DIY future, when everyone is a designer, greater ethical challenges arise for all involved.

These ethical dilemmas come increasingly from three directions. First, from conflicts between ever larger and more diverse groups of social media stakeholders. Second, from new hybrids of product, service, and information blended into new forms such as smart objects and the SPIME, constructs which bridge the physical and virtual environments into transmedia contexts for creation and use. Third, the from the emergence of broadly available DIY (Do It Yourself) tools, infrastructure, and methods which hint at changes in the basic economic and production models underlying the origins of social media, software, and content.

In addition to throwing open the gates of the design citadel, these shifts change the role of designers from authors of point solutions to the creators of broad systems and frameworks used by others for their own expressive and functional goals. Both traditional design professionals, and the growing ranks of DIY designers, must be prepared to address the increased ethical complexity of the integrated experiences of the future.

This presentation will share practical suggestions for supporting the design and architecture of ethically sound social media by using familiar experience design methods and techniques.