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The common use and variety of social software services has rapidly increased over the past years. The big success of established services like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube accelerates the transformation of the whole Web. Next generation services are characterized by strong social interaction and collaboration tools. Significantly affected by this movement, conventional commerce platforms and online shops are gradually substituted by social shopping communities. Social commerce allows consumers to collaborate online, to exchange information about products and to get advice from trusted individuals. This paper introduces a scalable social software service model for an online shopping community built under consideration of existing best practice services. The model combines features of social networking, online shopping and social commerce sites. We present comparative analyses of these three service categories, significant showcases as well as the creation process of the model itself. The designed framework serves as basis for both service developers and researchers.
Date of Conference: 5-8 Jan. 2009