In nearly every conference room across the business landscape it's inevitable that at some point the phrase "social media" enters the discussion. Marketers, PR and salespeople are among the first to engage in the discussions, trying to figure how networks can be leveraged to sell more stuff. But I'd like to propose another way to approach the topic. What if we looked at "social media" as a design problem? If you take a trip over to Wikipedia and enter the word "design" you'll see this at the very beginning of the entry:
"Design is the planning that lays the basis for the making of every object or system. It can be used both as a noun and as a verb and, in a broader way, it means applied arts and engineering. As a verb, "to design" refers to the process of originating and developing a plan for a product, structure, system, or component with intention."
Notice any key words in this small excerpt? There are a few, but the two that stand out for me are the words "planning" and "intention."
As someone who started a career as a designer (graphic design and user experience design) and is currently exploring business opportunities in social media â€" which I think of as social business design â€" I can't help but see the challenges and opportunities in this definition as it applies to social media.