Tagged: People

Cool News OTD: One of the best marketing resources you’ve probably never heard of

I’ve been subscribed to the Cool News of the Day newsletter (also available in convenient blog form) for several years. It’s the ONLY email newsletter that I read daily.

Cool News highlights innovation in marketing strategy and execution. A lot of the articles skew towards retail, but they  is always some gem of information in each of the articles.

As an aside, I’m pretty sure that Tim Manners, the editor, is going to join us on the Advisory Board for the Marketing & Online Communities conference.

Bloggers Code of Conduct

Cross-posted from the OC Report:

Tim O’Reilly has called for and drafted a Bloggers code of conduct, mostly in response to the over-the-top harassment that Kathy Sierra received a few weeks ago.

From the O’Reilly Radar blog:

We celebrate the blogosphere because it embraces frank and open conversation. But frankness does not have to mean lack of civility. We present this Blogger Code of Conduct in hopes that it helps create a culture that encourages both personal expression and constructive conversation.

1. We take responsibility for our own words and for the comments we allow on our blog.

2. We won’t say anything online that we wouldn’t say in person.

3. We connect privately before we respond publicly.

4. When we believe someone is unfairly attacking another, we take action.

5. We do not allow anonymous comments.

6. We ignore the trolls.

I think Tim’s request is well-intentioned. As someone who was on the receiving end of a very nasty round of harassment on a personal blog a few years ago, I can empathize with the emotions Kathy probably felt. I can also understand the motivation Tim has to address the “civility problem”, via the proposed code.

The reality is, the best written code in the world is not going to effect the behavior of mean-spirited people who wish to annoy and harass others online. This has been an issue, more or less, since humans started communicating with one another. We can put policy, laws, and technical barriers in place, but if someone wants to be a jerk, especially online, they will be a jerk.

I applaud Tim for starting the conversation, and I feel for Kathy, and folks like Kathy, who have the courage to speak their mind and honestly express their feelings regularly on their blogs. I’m just not sure a “code of conduct” is going to help anything when civility online is really a matter of basic common sense and human decency.

What do you think?

Online Community Report: 2 great interviews

Two interviews I recently conducted for the Online Community Report:

Shawn Morton from TechRepulic / Cnet
In addition to his “day job” as Product Manager for TechRepublic, Shawn is also behind Profilactic.com.

Steve Nelson from Clear Ink
Steve has a great point of view on the intersection of marketing and online community, and keen insite into Second Life.

Please check them out.

Wikipedia, Wikia & Wales

Sounds like a lawfirm, eh?

WikiaThe latest Biz 2.0 has an excellent article about Wikipedia, Wales new , for profit venture Wikia, and provides a good bit of insight into Wales himself.

One of the articles best quotes comes from Gil Penchia, CEO of Wikia, commenting on the company’s mission:

“We are a for-profit company, but our investors and employees are equally focused on the social mission,” Penchina says. “We hope to prove that you can build a sustainable business without copyrights, to serve our communities, and to enable advocacy on important topics like politics.”

The article also has a great sidebar called “The Wales Rules for Web 2.0”. There are 5:

1. Be Proactive

“I find the term ‘crowdsourcing’ incredibly irritating,” Wales says. “Any company that thinks it’s going to build a site by outsourcing all the work to its users not only disrespects the users but completely misunderstands what it should be doing. Your job is to provide a structure for your users to collaborate, and that takes a lot of work.”

2. Be Transparent

“When you build a social network, you’re asking people to use your facilities to build a community,” Wales says. “If you have a lot of secret mechanisms that regulate your site, people aren’t going to feel comfortable. It’s about building trust.”

3. Be Frugal

“You don’t build a community by just pouring money into it. It takes time. You have to grow it in a healthy way,” he (Wales) says.

4. Be True to Your Brand

“Really successful businesses and organizations build something so that people immediately know what they’re about,” Wales says. “You’re building a level of trust so that people know what they’re getting.”

5. Be Trusting

“Some sites have a lot of controls to prevent bad behavior,” Wales says. “But they end up preventing spontaneous good behavior.”

NIN “Year Zero”: Incredibly cool backstory for new album

Everyone loves a mystery, including Trent Reznor, apparently.

Nine Inch Nails, Year Zero, Trent ReznorA few weeks ago I read about a new NIN song being leaked by being left in a bathroom on a flash drive. I had no idea it was part of an elaborate backstory to the new Nine Inch Nail’s concept album “Year Zero”

From RS’s “Rock and Roll Daily”:

“It all started with a NIN tour T-shirt. An overeager fan realized that the bolded letters on the back formed a phrase: iamtryingtobelieve, which if you add a .com to the end of it, takes us to the first piece of the puzzle. Here, we learn about the drug Parepin, which has been added to the water supplies of Orlando as protection against similar acts of bio-terrorism against Los Angeles and Anaheim in 2009 (or -13 BA…try to keep up).”

The Echoing the sound site appears to be the nexus of the community springing up around the experience.

As someone who used to devour the liner notes of every cd I bought, and spend hours listening to music with my friends, I find this fascinating. Trent Reznor & co. have created a mythology and a community for the upcoming album, well before the release date.

The last 24 hours = awesome

I’ve have had the best last 24 hours…

Yesterday at 11am I participated with Matthew Lee and Patricia Seybold in a web conference about measuring value in online communities. You can see the event details and view an archive here.

This morning I sent out the NEW Online Community Report newsletter. I’m really proud of the format and the content, especially of the interview with my former collegue at TechRepublic, Shawn Morton.

CommunityNext: A report back

Cross-posted from the Online Community Report blog:

CommunityNext Conference I attended the CommunityNext conference at Stanford yesterday, hosted by the kinetic Noah Kagan. My only disappointment was that I never found out if Noah actually does still live with his Mother. And the fact that there was no wifi.

You can see a copy of the day’s agenda here, http://www.communitynext.com/schedule/

With 1 day conferences I usually expect to take away 2-3 interesting ideas, and if I walk away with anything beyond that I am pleasantly surprised. I got (at least) 7, and I will be mulling over the content and interactions for the next few days.

My Observations:

1. Online Community = Lot’s of buzz. We are quickly reaching the fever-pitch interest and attention level with “online community”. The term “community” is hitting buzzword status (again). The usual debates on definition, value, ethics and legitimacy have begun among the “community” of practitioners and proponents. That is a good thing (i think) as we all try to make sense of what it really means this time around.
2. Brand Utopia – Josh Spear and Aaron Dignan presented the “brand utopia”, a mystical state where companies engage and delight customers, have purpose beyond commerce, and generally make the world a better place.
3. Advertising & Community– Heather Luttrell of 3jane and indieclick showed how Advertisers and Communities are (sorta) living in harmony. The key is tailoring messages and ad products to the community, and community hosts working with advertisers and agencies to educate on the idiosyncracies of their communities.
4. skinnyCorp – Do what you love / love what you do. Awesomely. I was really prepared to tune these guys out before their presentation even started. I have to say, Jeffrey and Jake won me over quickly with their un-powerpoint approach. It’s obvious that these guys are serious about creating a killer product (never good enough), nurturing their community, and most importantly, having fun. And saying awesome.
5. Mobile is coming. I saw several m-community solutions demoed, the most impressive being Loopt.
6. Kiva is just incredible. This microlending service is an awesome example of the possible social good that can come from online community.
7. James Hong and Drew Curtis , of Hot or Not and Fark fame, are as funny as you would expect them to be.

Overall, the event was very fun. I ran in to several friends and acquaintances from the Online Community Roundtable, as well as a few folks that I haven’t seen for years. The sessions were fairly short (usually 45 minutes), so there wasn’t a lot of time for deep dives on topics, or for Q&A in most sessions. All in all, well worth the drive down to Palo Alto.

A lot of the attendees blogged or are blogging about their experiences. I found Rohit’s summary to be particularly good”

You can find other entries by searching Technorati with the tag communitynext.