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'Community' Category

Telling the Truth To Your Online Community

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Telling the truth to your community is very, very important. Otherwise, something like this will happen:

Goodbybe JPG Magazine

Why did I delete my JPG Magazine account? Cofounders Derek Powazek and Heather Champ have been booted out because they didn’t want to lie.

In one evening, Paul removed issues 1-6 from the JPG website, removed Heather from the About page, and deleted the “Letter from the Editors” that had lived on the site since day one. Paul informed me that we were inventing a new story about how JPG came to be that was all about 8020. He told me not to speak of that walk in Buena Vista, my wife, or anything that came before 8020.

Here’s where the whole “not lying” thing comes in. I just could not agree to this new story. It didn’t, and still doesn’t, make any business sense to me. Good publishing companies embrace their founding editors and community, not erase them. Besides, we’d published six issues with participation from thousands of people. There’s no good reason to be anything but proud of that.

JPG Magazine has now lost its reputation, its much loved cofounders and people are starting to leave and be public about it. Think about that the next time you’re tempted to tell a lie to your community.

Online Community Success and ROI

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

The questions I hear most from business about online community are where is the ROI, and how do we measure success? Finally, my colleagues Joe Cothrel and Bill Johnston have gathered public data about online community ROI that helps answer both.

  • Community users remain customers 50% longer than non-community users. (AT&T, 2002)
  • 43% of support forums visits are in lieu of opening up a support case. (Cisco, 2004).
  • Community users spend 54% more than non-community users (EBay, 2006)
  • In customer support, live interaction costs 87% more per transaction on average than forums and other web self-service options. (ASP, 2002)
  • Cost per interaction in customers support averages $12 via the contact center versus $0.25 via self-service options. (Forrester, 2006)
  • Community users visit nine times more often than non-community users (McKInsey, 2000).
  • Community users have four times as many page views as non-community users (McKInsey, 2000).
  • 56% percent of online community members log in once a day or more (Annenberg, 2007)
  • Customers report good experiences in forums more than twice as often as they do via calls or mail. (Jupiter, 2006)

Jeremiah Owyang says I’m a top Community Advocate

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

Web strategist extrodinaire Jeremiah Owyang put me in a list of his top community advocates in the technology industry, right beside other people I have tremendous respect and love for. What an honor!

Will Pate, Community Ambassador, Flock/Rockstar
Out of all the evangelists out there, I’m likely to be the most jealous of Will Pate. Not because of his dashing good looks, (or so my wife tells me) or that he’s constantly surrounded by the ladies, or stylish garb, it’s because he makes it look so easy. I recently caught up with Will at the Community Next conference in Palo Alto and he described his role at Flock to be part community advocate, and part company evangelists. He helped to bring the requirements together, connect them, and build a better product. Today, Will can be found in Toronto, and he’s switched to a part time role at Flock, what’s next for Will? Greatness I’m sure.

If I make it look easy Jeremy, it’s only because being the community guy fits my personality so well. I’ve tried a lot of roles in the tech industry, and the “community guy” one just sings for me, personally and professionally. :)

As for what’s next for me, well I’ve got cool news coming on that very soon.

Market Share is Trust Materialized

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

I love when a high placed, respected marketing person comes along and validates what I’ve told hundreds of companies over the last few few years. When they boil it down into a simple, inarguable point, it’s all the better. James Stengel, Global Marketing Officer at Procter and Gamble, recently said this brilliant little quote.

Market share is trust materialized.

This is something a lot of companies frankly are not prepared for. Earning and keeping people’s trust is not an easy job. You can’t do it with glossy marketing and a token Corporate Social Responsibility rep, it takes company-wide commitment to deserving people’s trust. Having a community manager or ambassador is just the start, they’re a membrane – not a magical antibody that creates a healthy organism.

The Best Facebook Apps

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

In ony six months Facebook has quickly matured their Facebook Platform to 1.0 status. Developers are responding by creating a catalog of dozens and dozens of neat add on applications for Facebook. The Facebook Platform allows them to create their applications and remix data about profiles, friendship connections, photos and events.

Here are the best of the breed of the earliest Facebook applications. Only web-based apps are included here, no desktop apps. You will need to be logged into facebook to use all of these. Kudos to all the developers that made these apps!


Facebook Birthday Calendar Generator – Generate a birthday calendar of your Facebook friends and import it into Outlook, Google Calendar, iCal, etc.


Facebook Photos plugin for WordPress – photos you upload to Facebook will be visible in a “Photos” tab in the WordPress blog post composition window.

Google Gadgets

Facebook Google Gadget – A little dashboard for your Facebook account that can sit on your Google personalized homepage, or your desktop if you have Google Desktop. Would be nice if it updated when you got new messages/pokes, etc


Your Hottest Friend – Ratings of your friends plus a leader board. Oh boy, let the games begin.


Friend mapper – See a map of where your friends are from. You might be surpised at how far people live from their hometowns these days.


FBTF – Takes pictures you upload to Facebook and copies them to Flickr. Now, if only there was a way to do it the other way around…

Update: flickurbook allows you to copy sets of photos from Flickr to Facebook.

Product Recommendations

favrats – What are your friends watching, listening and reading? Not the prettiest, but fast and handy.


Your True Self – See how your friends map across the political spectrum. Very interesting to see how your network of friends skews toward a certain type of political thought.

If you want to find out more about how to get started developing applications for Facebook, check out Facebook Developers.

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