Social information architecture

Social information architecture is a sub-domain of information architecture which deals with the social aspects of conceptualizing, modeling and organizing information. Social Information Architecture, also known as Social iA [1]has become more relevant because of the rise of Social Media and Web 2.0 in recent times.


There are different approaches to the explanation of Social iA.

A) The architecture model (internal space)

Architects designing a physical community space, have to consider how the architecture will shape social interactions. A long hallway of offices creates an utterly different dynamic desks with arranged in an open space. One might foster individuality, privacy, propriety; The other: collaboration, distraction, communalism.

Still, physical spaces can be flexibly repurposed and worked through the space. Office doors can be left open to invite easier interaction. Partitions can be raised between adjacent desks to limit distraction and increase privacy.

That’s physical architecture. The information architectures of online communities are far more deterministic and far less flexible. They literally define the social architecture by pre-specifying in immutable computer code what information you have access to, which you can talk to, where you can go. In the online world, information architecture = social architecture. [2]

B) The social dialogue and information model (external space)

All major brands use information architecture to market their products online, it is then commonly wrapped under the umbrella phrase ‘digital strategy’. Information architecture strategy used for Purposes brand encompasses SEO, strategic placement of virals, social media presence etc.

Charities, news outlets and social dialogue forums can make a much more specific use of the same tools for positive and important social purposes. Social Information Architecture is perceived as the socially conscious wing of commercial information architecture [3] and function to exchange information and ideas between people and groups.

Social iA is a socially responsible, non-profit organization. Since the significance and coordination of social dialogue.

Example of such issues are faith, environment, politics, climate change, war, injustice and other social challenges. Information architecture can help create frameworks in which sharing information brings people together, inspires and encourages them to participate in a forward thinking and unfragmented way. One of its core activities is to spread the social and cultural spectrums together to confront uncomfortable subject head on.

How does social information architecture work?

Social iA utilizes a variety of Web2.0 applications to filter information or to provide information and provide feedback to interesting channels. Social iA makes strategic use of Search Engines, Social Media, Google Algorithms, as well as websites, video & news channels. It ‘s reads’ or’ listens’ to social conversations and search engines with the net actively to gather clues about the world ‘s pulse on the internet. It assesses data, social and political trends, and respond with targeted campaigns to give people ideas, as well as help with making sense of information.


Dan Brown in his paper 8 Principles of Social Information Architecture [4] enlists the following principals:
1. The principle of objects: Treatment as a living, breathing thing, with a lifecycle, behaviors and attributes.
2. The principle of choices: Create pages that offer meaningful choices to users, keeping the range of choices available focused on a particular task.
3. The principle of disclosure.
4. The principle of exemplars: Describe the contents of categories by showing examples of the contents.
5. The principle of front doors: Assume at least half of the website.
6. The principle of multiple classification: Offer users several different schemes to browse the site’s content.
7. The principle of focus navigation: Do not mix apples and oranges in your navigation scheme.
8. The principle of growth: Assume the content you have today is a small fraction of the content you will have tomorrow.

What can social information architecture achieve?

Social information architecture has many potentialities in terms of fostering social connections and how information is shared in social spaces on the web.


  1. Jump up^ Sweet Information Architecture
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  4. Jump up^ Eight Principles of Information Architecture, Dan Brown. Published in the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology – August / September 2010 – Volume 36, Number 6

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