Workshop 3: Designing a new social media platform

In this blogpost series, we discuss our 3 participatory design workshops about social media. The first instalment of the series provides an overview of the research activity. The second instalment is dedicated to workshop 1. The third blogpost is about workshop 2. This fourth one discusses our third and final workshop.  Workshop 1 was mostly about theContinue reading “Workshop 3: Designing a new social media platform”

Workshop 2: Desirable social media futures

In this blogpost series, we discuss our 3 participatory design workshops about social media. The first instalment of the series provides an overview of the workshops. The second instalment talks about workshop 1. In this third post in the series, we will tell you about workshop 2.   While workshop 1 was mostly about the present ofContinue reading “Workshop 2: Desirable social media futures”

Workshop 1: The present of social media

In our previous blogpost, we introduced our 3 participatory design workshops about social media. In this blogpost, we will tell you about our first workshop, which was dedicated to the present of social media.   Our first workshop had 2 main goals: Getting to know each other, and  Becoming familiar with the existing data  GettingContinue reading “Workshop 1: The present of social media”

Reinventing social media

Between January and early May 2022 we were busy organising and running participatory design workshops about social media.  Participatory design is a movement that aims to democratise the process of making technology. Participatory designers believe that all of us should have a say in what technology does and how it behaves. Therefore the objective of our workshopsContinue reading “Reinventing social media”


If there is a common pattern to be found among most, if not all, social media profiles it is one persona that emerges: we are all PR managers. For a large section, this kind of depiction is deeply distasteful – perhaps even a slur. Regardless of the platform though, it is hard to overlook how each of us, more obviously for business and organisation channels, seek to cultivate a certain image in a light we want others to perceive us.


So, I had this huge long article planned and drafted. Word salad, all of it really as it’s pretty simple.
I came to Twitter looking for information at the beginning of the pandemic, having a husband who we thought was “vulnerable”. Having almost lost him in January 2018 to a combination of flu, pneumonia and a chest infection, I didn’t want to go through all that again.


I am 38. I find technology overwhelming and there’s a limit to what I would keep, and what I would like to never have been invented. I didn’t grow up with friends around me to gradually learn about and adopt advances in technology and I didn’t anticipate it’d become so central to everything in life.


Growing up, I’d always compared myself to my friends. As a child, I was painfully aware of the differences between myself and my classmates – socially, I struggled to make friends, but academically I was performing well above my age group. I preferred reading about archaeology in a quiet corner of the classroom instead of playing make-believe games in the playground.