With the horrible events of last week in Paris, Beirut, Israel and Kenya on my mind as we start the work week, I want to encourage everyone to think of ways to use connected technologies to bring us together instead of pulling us apart (as the extreme elements want). I wish you all a peaceful and productive week.
See something we missed? Email us, we’d love to hear from you.
3 Reads To Start Your Week
- The Blurring of Public & Private Markets – Fred Wilson
- Where Do Good Ideas Go to Die?: The Problem with Your Old Idea Program – Rob Hoehn
- Technology Is the Great Amplifier of Our Humanity – Interview w/Emilia Lahti
The Best of Last Week
1. “Is the Sharing Economy a Retail Disruptor?” via eMarketer – “The sharing economy has emerged over the past decade to revolutionize travel and transportation. Is a similar disruption coming to retail?” – http://goo.gl/yrmGl0
2. “Zipcar’s Co-Founder Weighs In on the Sharing Economy” via Bloomberg Business- “I think it’s one sub set of a much larger movement of platforms and people that are really reinventing the way we build businesses.” – http://goo.gl/q4lJZ6
3. “Future of the Global Workplace: The Growth of the Sharing Economy” via Radius – “Simple in concept, the sharing economy is also disruptive and has the potential to change the nature of work and careers.” – http://goo.gl/XZNt43
4. “We Need a Social Economy, Not a Hyper-Financialized Plantation Economy” via Charles Hugh Smith – “What we need is a social economy, an economy that recognizes purposes and values beyond maximizing private gains by any means necessary, which is the sole goal of hyper-financialized economies.” – http://goo.gl/8H0G4z
5. “Be Your Own Boss” via Industry Leaders – “This economy isn’t a trend; it’s a new way of working.” – http://goo.gl/soUVsZ
6. “Airbnb is trying to resuscitate its image as the ‘nice guys’ of the sharing economy” via Fusion – “Airbnb, the company pledged, would share anonymized data on hosts and guests with cities, take steps to prevent illegal hotels from existing on the platform, and pay its ‘fair share’ of hotel and tourist taxes in cities that require it to.” – http://goo.gl/MtFZHU
7. “The sharing economy is people fueled and cloud powered” via Dell – “While many companies within the sharing economy—also called the collaborative economy—are just coming into their own, they’re actually not new.” – https://goo.gl/qrwxan
8. “Why I’m All For The Sharing Economy” via Odyssey – “The most profoundly positive aspect that the sharing economy has is its benefits for consumers.” – http://goo.gl/RNDpdS
9. “How the Sharing Economy Can Create Value from Waste” via The World Post – “We as a global society are beginning to pause and question before discarding something that might be of value to someone, no matter how remote or disconnected.” – http://goo.gl/NA62cd
10. “Secrets of the Sharing Economy” via BusinessMatters – “New research suggests that far from being the preserve of the millennial, the Sharing Economy is being more readily embraced by older consumers, with 35-44 year-olds emerging as its most vocal supporters.” – http://goo.gl/C44UM3
Don’t forget to register for our Collaborative Economy Kickstart Workshop. Space is limited, so get your tickets today: https://goo.gl/js28NG
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We are just beginning the mad rush of the fall and winter conference season, and I wanted to highlight a few events that I am participating in.
Online Community Roundtable: October 2 – San Jose, CA
The Online Community Roundtable series is a free netowrking event that I have been hosting since 2005. The Roundtables are designed to allow community managers and strategists to come together in person to network, share experiences and get feedback in a safe and respectful environment. The next Roundtable will be held on the Cisco campus in San Jose on October 2nd. For more information, and to request an invite, please join the Online Community Roundtable group on Facebook.
Online Community Summit: October 9-10 – Sonoma, CA
The Online Community Summit will be held in Sonoma, CA October 9-10. This is Forum One’s premier online community event that brings together senior online community staff from leading commercial and non-profit organizations.
Community Exchange Summit: October 14-15 – San Jose, CA
This is the inaugural year of the Community Exchange Summit, and I will be keynoting the event.
Marketing & Online Communities: November 5, New York City
The Marketing & Online Communities conference will explore the intersection of marketing and online communities, including how communities and social media are changing traditional marketing practices, and how marketing teams are evolving to meet new challenges and communicate more effectively and appropriately.
The Green Enterprise Unconference: December 3, Mountain View, CA
Forum One Communications (parent to Forum One Networks) has a rich history of focusing on initiatives that have positive social impact. We decided to take our growing expertise with the Unconference format and apply to an important and emergent sector: Enterprise Green initiatives. We expect 150-200 people coming together to discuss the opportunities and challenges with going green in the enterprise.
If you have questions about any of these events, please feel free to drop me a line.
The wiki for the Online Community Unconference 2008 is now open to all for reading / commenting. Of particular value are the session notes.
The wiki can be found here:
Selected session notes include:
Worst Case Scenerios – What to do when things go terribly wrong
There were over 40 sessions, and most have some level of documentation on the wiki.
I had the pleasure of participating in a webinar yesterday with George Jaquette of Intuit and Aaron Strout of Shared Insights.
Aaron just posted the webinar archive and transcript on the Wearesmarter.com site.
Additionally, I wanted to post my notes from the event, which more or less sum up what I said (or meant to say: ) ).
Question 1: How do I create a value-driven community strategy?
It is important to remember that value is relative to your organization and also to your community. As an organization, you need to do some research (and soul searching) on why you want to host a community, what value you need to get out of the activity, and most importantly, what value YOU can bring to the table.
Hint: making your customers happy is generally a path to growth.
Question 2: Which metrics should I be measuring? (Measuring value in traditional and non-traditional ways)
The short answer? It depends on your community goals. It should be a mix of quantitative and qualitative.
Traditional Web Metrics ( a few examples)
Page views, time on site, referring sites, referring search engines, referring search terms
New Community / Social Media Metrics ( a few examples)
Member engagement: activity and “investment” in community
Member Loyalty & Satisfaction
Membership Growth and Attrition
Member referrals (also a sign of engagement),
Quality of content and exchange: For instance, resolution time, days thread was active, ratio of validated responses. Support communities are leading the way on best practices and reporting.
Tracking the brand through the “Community ecosystem”: Tracking brands and community members as they travel through the larger community ecosystem that spans sites, technologies and devices.
Impact of the community on revenue: Particular attention is being paid to the value of members, both to the host communities’ revenue, and the organization’s sales or fundraising.
Mobile interactions with the community: including views and posts from mobiles.
This question is explored more thoroughly in our Online Community Metrics 2007 report, which can be downloaded for free here.
Question 3: How do I manage my community, and how can I enlist my community to help?
First, you don’t “manage” a community. You host. If your intention in engaging in community building activities is to manipulate the community in some way, don’t bother. Members will run away in droves.
With that said, there is a role in every community for a manager or moderator that ensures that the community is a “clean, well lit place”, or at least keeps to the culture and values expressed in the community policies. Policies and norms of expected behavior should be clearly articulated and easily accessible. This leaves the community moderator / manager to more interesting activities than deleting all the posts with “f@ck” in them, like actually participating in the community.
Give your community the tools to help manage the community , including the ability to rate and flag content, escalate issues to the moderator, and provide feedback on the user experience.
Find your influences and evangelists (typically, the most active (and positive) members), and put them on a pedestal. Sean O’Driscoll of MS has a lot of great things to say about the topic of engaging influencers.
Question 4: How do I grow my community without losing intimacy?
I’ll be honest, I didn’t exactly get this question. If you design a community UX poorly, event one with 100 members will feel anonymous.
My feedback was to basically grow from your base, and stick to your values and culture. Give members the ability to create subgroups, and allow members to create rich profiles.
Question 5: Within our company, who should blog and who shouldn’t?
Those with a point of view, subject matter expertise and a PERSONALITY should be blogging. I made the point that good blogging candidates in a company are likely already blogging outside of the company. Good corporate blogging often times feels like corporate “reality TV”, providing access inside the corporate membrane in an informal, interesting and (hopefully) lighthearted way.
There were great questions via the phone, and a great back channel chat happening during the call. Again, the transcript can be found here.