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Friday Fun: New Blogger Story Chapters

04/27/2007

Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

"A little piece of history in the making"  is what Lois Kelly, one of the newest story tellers calls Blogger Stories.

Books_old Blogger Stories is a special blog that I launched to tell the stories of how people have been touched by blogs, podcasts, vlogs and other online interactions. The virtual library is almost at 90 "chapters" that have been contributed by bloggers from all over the world.

The little website with the odd name is influencing lives more than one might imagine. For the three new blogger story tellers blogs renewed interest and gave new meaning to their career directions.

Sherry Heyl, What a Concept! Sherry's Blogger Story
Mark Goren, Transmission Content + Creative Mark's Blogger Story
Lois Kelly, The Foghound Bloghound Lois' Blogger Story

The next time you're on a boring conference call .. don't doodle. Read a Blogger Story! Want to tell your Blogger Story? Drop a comment and I'll send you the details.

In keeping with stories, it's been a media kinda day for me. I was quoted about blogs and social media in articles about two different industries, financial and food/restaurants, that are stepping into the world of people talking to people communication.

Restaurant News, Restaurants wade into social media to hook virtual customers written by Liza Berger. Unfortunately a subscription is need to access content on the site. Thanks to BBF Stephan Spencer for the introduction to Liza.

Growing up in Boston made my interview with Jesse Noyes, of the Boston Herald, a special treat. Jess wanted to understand why and how organizations are tapping into bloggers for his story - Wainwright Bank plans a meeting with liberal bloggers.  Very interesting that a financial institution is developing a program that solicits bloggers' feedback. However, in more "banking culture" than "bloggy culture" the bank is not revealing much about its strategy.

Jesse reported that Wainwright Bank "wouldn’t divulge many details about the planned meeting with liberal bloggers."  "This is all exploratory,” said Steve Young, senior vice president at Wainwright Bank. “There are certain people who are invited to meet us.”

Josh Ourisman, who writes the On The Other Hand blog, was asked to the party. He was also asked to extend the invitation to join Wainwright Bank's bloggy talk to Boston/Cambridge/Somerville progressive bloggers. I'm not sure what progressive blogger means. However, I can't help but wonder if Wainwright Bank is also developing relationships with bloggers in their target market which might include business owners, homeowners (there is a village in the blogosphere that focuses on home ownership not to mention a lively real estate community) and non profits.

Since Wainwright Bank is monitoring the social media buzz I'd like to extend an invitation to Steve Young, or any of the bank's folks to drop by and give us a few lessons learned about their blogger relations program and if they launch a social media initiative I'd love to know that too. Pink_boa In the  meantime toss of  a pink  boa to an innovative financial instituion.

One more thought to ponder. This post is an example of how a story can go from a traditional main stream media source, a la the Boston Herald or Restaurant News, to a blog where the information is further extended and virally pass along. Hmmm, girlfriend, can't help but wonder how many of MSM (main stream media) are building blogger relations programs. Perhaps they should take their cue from a traditional industry like banking (wink).  And so dear divas and divos the media lines continue to blur.

Unilever Lux Neon Girl Next Lonely Girl?

04/24/2007

OK girlfriend, so I'm drinking my am coffee (from a cool Marketing Profs mug. Note to Ann Handley: really need Daily Fix Blog mugs.) while browsing Ad Age's email. This catches my attention: Another Soap Success Story for Unilever Tale of the Neon Girl Is Cannes Grand Prix Material Bob Garfield's Ad Review. I take a sip of coffee and click to read the story.
Sidebar: Free registration may be needed to access the story.

Now, I'm a big fan of Bob Garfield. Great wit that can zing at times. He LOVES this traditional TV - 60 second spot campaign about Lux soap - that was developed by Santo, Buenos Aires. The concept sure does sounds like a soap opera (ouch). Girl has a bad day. Takes a bath. Meets love of her life. But Bob is singing its praises ..

This film, so clever and incandescent, positively lights up the brand. It's not illuminating in the sense of teaching us anything about the product. But it surely sheds light on how a single 60-second ad can make us feel good about the experience, and about an ordinary, inexpensive, mass-merchandised bar of soap.

So I really want to see that ad. I really Need to see that ad. What do I do? Do I search for Lux? Do I go to the Unilever website? Nope. I head for YouTube and sure enough here it is! It's a must watch. Oh and the Unilever Lux site? Good I didn't head that way, my coffee would have turned cold looking for any mention of the campaign. Anyone for integrated marketing?

Questions To Ponder

Does a marketing campaign have to be "social" to be successful?

Is traditional advertising dead?

Is there room in the proverbial marketing mix for the good old 60 second TV spot?

Diva Marketing Thoughts
Marketing 101 tells us to hang where our customers hang. For some the "tube" means television and for others it means YouTube. And for many people it means Both

While there were quite a few Neon Girl videos on YouTube, I didn't notice a Unilever Neo Girl YouTube Channel. Unilever you missed an opportunity. Actually you missed several. Never too late to get into the game. Would be a good idea to consider especially if a sequel is in the works. Work it right and you might have the next Lonely Girl.

Conversations About Conversations

04/22/2007

People are talking.Age_of_conversation And Drew McLallan and Gavin Heaton are giving the world something to talk about --  I'm honored to join over 100 of the most innovative and caring bloggers, in our industry, who are contributing a chapter to an eBook project appropriately titled, The Age of Conversations.

This project is from the heart on three accounts. One - it will provide a treasure of information about social media from people who are passionate about this emerging industry. Two - it is dedicated in memory to my BBF CK's mom. Three - The monies will be donated to Variety, The Children's Charity.   Contributors
Gavin Heaton
Drew McLellan
CK
Valeria Maltoni
Emily Reed
Katie Chatfield
Greg Verdino
Mack Collier
Lewis Green
Sacrum
Ann Handley
Mike Sansone
Paul McEnany
Roger von Oech
Anna Farmery
David Armano
Bob Glaza
Mark Goren
Matt Dickman
Scott Monty
Richard Huntington
Cam Beck
David Reich
Mindblob (Luc)
Sean Howard
Tim Jackson
Patrick Schaber
Roberta Rosenberg
Uwe Hook
Tony D. Clark
Todd Andrlik
Toby Bloomberg
Steve Woodruff
Steve Bannister
Steve Roesler
Stanley Johnson
Spike Jones
Nathan Snell
Simon Payn
Ryan Rasmussen
Ron Shevlin
Roger Anderson
Bob Hruzek
Rishi Desai
Phil Gerbyshak
Peter Corbett
Pete Deutschman
Nick Rice
Nick Wright
Mitch Joel
Michael Morton
Mark Earls
Mark Blair
Mario Vellandi
Lori Magno
Kristin Gorski
Krishna De
Kris Hoet
Kofl Annan
Kimberly Dawn Wells
Karl Long
Julie Fleischer
Jordan Behan
John La Grou
Joe Raasch
Jim Kukral
Jessica Hagy
Janet Green
Jamey Shiels
Dr. Graham Hill
Gia Facchini
Geert Desager
Gaurav Mishra
Gary Schoeniger
Gareth Kay
Faris Yakob
Emily Clasper
Ed Cotton
Dustin Jacobsen
Tom Clifford
David Pollinchock
David Koopmans
David Brazeal
David Berkowitz
Carolyn Manning
Craig Wilson
Cord Silverstein
Connie Reece
Colin McKay
Chris Newlan
Chris Corrigan
Cedric Giorgi
Brian Reich
Becky Carroll
Arun Rajagopal
Andy Nulman
Amy Jussel
AJ James
Kim Klaver
Sandy Renshaw
Susan Bird
Ryan Barrett
Troy Worman

A funny little website called a blog just might turn out to be a business women's new best friend. - Blogs: A Business Women's New Best Friend

In the meantime, if you want to know more about the business aspects of blogs, you might enjoy the article I wrote,We_magazine_2 for WE Magazine For Women, an online publication from WECAI. I talk about how blogs can build trusted relationships leveraging the 3 Connecting Cs of New World Business Success: Collaboration, Communication, Cordiality.  Pages 15-16. Blogs: A Business Women's New Best Friend,

Thanks to Heidi Richards, founder of WECAI an amazing internet learning experience, for the opportunity.

Update: Blogs: A Business Woman's New Best Friend
Download blogs_a_business_womans_new_best_friend__1.pdf 
Download blog_a_womans_new_best_friend_2.pdf

Friday Fun: The Brands Are Coming! The Brands Are Coming!

04/20/2007

Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Girlfriend, consumer brands continue to step into the blogosphere. A few are actually joining in on the conversation and some even have comments open. Two of my new favs are Marriott On The Move and John Heald Carnival Freedom's Cruise Director.

Marriott on the Move is authored by the CEO of Marriott Hotels, Bill Marriott. Mr. Marriott is going to be one of the best CEO bloggers. When I read Bill Marriott's posts I have the sense that he's talking to me. I hear the rhythm of his style. He's not afraid to take on hard topics. I sense the humanity of the man and believe what he is writing about is real to him .. and I like that a lot.

Not only does Carnival's Cruise Director John Heald give us a real life look at life on a cruise ship but he is really funny.

I am very sorry that I could post my blog thingy over the weekend so I hope you have not all lost interest and have found a better blog to read like Watchingpaintdry.com or even worse another Cruise Directors blog. I learnt today that an esteemed colleague of mine on another line that will remain nameless has started one. I wish him the best of luck and hope it is very successful (no, I don’t, I hope nobody reads it, get your own idea).

Again, a real person emerges from John's posts. A guy you'd like to hang out with on deck sipping a few drinks with cute umbrellas with while waiting for the next shore tour. John, if you need a few bloggers to join you on a Carnival Cruise - my hand is raised high!

Congrats! to BBF Eric Kintz who writes the thought provoking HP blog Marketing Excellence. Eric was Selected by Brandweek as one of the 2007 Top 10 Next Generation Marketers.

For Birthday_cupcakeMaxie's person

 

Astrology business astrology for fun -
from The Astro Divas Paula Dare & Donna Page

The Sun moves into Taurus today, the time of year that brings whispers of joy into the ears of entrepreneurs. Taurus wants us all to be prosperous and revel in the material pleasures the world offers. Taurus says there is more than enough to go around; look and see how you can create products out of what you already have. Where are you not using the resources at your disposal? What is in front of your eyes that with your imagination you could create a new product or service?

The moon in Cancer is void of course all day Monday, it is time to go with the flow and not be married to an agenda. Instead listen to your intuition on what to do and who to call. Tuesday and Wednesday the moon in Leo is a good time to toot your own horn, brag about your services, and be generous in your offerings. Thursday and Friday much work can be accomplished with the moon traveling thorough meticulous Virgo.

Crisis Management In The Year 2007 And Beyond0.

04/18/2007

My heart 18virgi2600_2 goes out to Virginia Tech's extended family .. students, parents, facility, staff and beyond.

There will be many who analyze the situation and review the hows and whys and what shouldas. In her post,  Virginia Tech: Social Media in Crisis Planning, Marianne Richmond takes a different view. Based on how students in the year 2007 communicate ..

Students at Virginia Tech used mobile phones, digital cameras, social networks such as Flickr,  Facebook and MySpace, blogs and video to communicate with each other and to document the tragedy in real time.

Marianne offers a simple but brilliant solution that every school should include in their crisis management strategy: Twitter. Create Twitter groups to relay important information during disasters.

Sidebar: Twitter is a mobile text messaging systems that allows groups to be formed without regard to provider. The history of the content is retained on a web page which can be public or private. 

If I were a betting kinda diva, I'd say that the majority of college students have cell phones. Those who don't have cells phones would learn about the situation through friends, as well as from the buzz happening on campus. Faster, more effiecient than email or blog posts.

Last week I spoke at the Center for Disease Control and Preventaion about promoting public health through blogging. After the panel discussion some of the CDC's EMarekting team and I explored how Twitter could be used as a crisis communication tool.  They immediately saw application in using this type of simple technology in remote areas during a disaster or disease out break. Overlay Google Maps and you have a visual Free alert system.

Crisis management in the year 2007 and beyond must incorporate processes and systems that reach people in ways in which they communcate. And then make it easy for those who have the information to extend it to those who do not. What would have been the result if Virginia Tech had a Twitter Group in place this week?

I encourage, no I challenge marketers involved in healthcare, education and the non profit sectors to step out of your comfort zone and present these types of new solutions to your clients. Not only will you appear innovative but you may just help to save lives.

Pink_boa Toss of a pink boa to Marianne!

Blogging In Public Health

04/16/2007

"Slower," said the guard. "The camera has to photograph the underside of your car." I eased off the gas. "Now open all of your doors and pop your trunk; then step out of your car and open your hood." Of course I couldn't find the hood latch. However, the guards at the Center For Disease Control and Prevention must be use to that because they patiently pointed out where it might be.

Cdc_logo I was honored to be invited to participate in the internal seminar series Health Marketing eCDC sponsored by the CDC's E-Health Marketing Divison.  If that wasn't  enough I had the privilege of working with  R. Craig Lefebvre, PhD, On Social Marketing and Social Change, Susan Promislo, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Marianne Richmond, Resonance Partnership.

Craig kept us on task moderating the conversation. Our session focused on How To Promote Public Health Through Blogs. He set the stage (the state of the art auditorium was a speaker's dream) with his opening remark that explained blogs "Reaching through people is the best way to reach people."  The session was intended to be a high level overview and was transmitted to multiple campuses through out the organization.

As you might imagine leveraging social media, in the scientific world of medicine, comes with its own set of challenges. However, as all of the speakers pointed out, the internet is now a series of interconnected social networks, where even healthcare information can no longer be controlled.

Susan added a case study element, sharing her experiences from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's multiple author blog  Pioneering Ideas. The blog has been running for about 6-months, and although there have been commentors who respectfully disagreed with a post, none of the Foundation's concerns regarding inflammatory comments have occured. The Foundation did a great job in developing Guidelines or Terms of Use.

The CDC is no stranger when it comes to social media. In fact, they are far more innovative and willing to step out of their comfort zone than many for profits. Social media tactics include:A blog authored by Jay M. Bernhardt, Director of the National Center for Health Marketing. An innovative blogger relations program that educated and promoted the importance of flu shots. Cdc_second_lifePerhaps the most surprising is an island in Second Life. Great interview, by Nedra Weinreich, with John Anderton who is responsible for the virtual experience. And not the least are great internal education programs.

So what are some of the benefits of developing a social media strategy to promote public healthcare? Glad you asked! Following is from my presentation. You'll notice that benefits are similar to that of Any organization .. non profit, for profit, business-to-business and business-to-consumer.

10 Benefits of A Social Media / Blogging Initiative

  1. Tell stories from the heart
  2. Humanizes a complex agency
  3. Tell your story in your voice/s – no media filter
  4. Create relationship with millions of people
  5. More people hear your story – search engines, viral marketing
  6. Many voices help tell your story – bloggers linking
  7. Tell your story when you want – instant, easy publishing [audio (podcast), video (vlog)]
  8. Feedback and conversation – increased value and additional information
  9. Online information travels offline
  10. Mainstream media is turning to blogs for story ideas

It was a wonderful experience and the Royal Campus is humbling, as are the people who work at the CDC. But the icing on the cake was this email -

Hope you're aware that you and the panel were speaking to and potentially influencing many more than just those in the auditorium. Many thanks from a silent attendee (with internet connection and a set of headphones) in a cubicle 7 miles away!

Many thanks to Erin Ederton and Janice Nail for the opportunity. And to Alejandra Miranda for coordinating the deails. Let's do it again soon!

Friday Fun: Civility.Kindness.Politeness In The Blogosphere

04/13/2007

Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Today's Friday Fun is a beat off the silly and more to the serious side.  Girlfriend, sometimes it's good to have an intellectual conversation while sipping a Cognac or perhaps a cappuccino.

Ethics_2 This week I had the pleasure of talking with Mark Boslet, a journalist for the San Jose Mercury News, who was working on a story about blogging ethics and civility. Got to thinking .. Civility within the blogosphere. Kindness within the blogosphere. Politeness within the blogoshere. Do you consider those oxymorons?

I don't.

Visit this post on CK's Blog if you want to see bloggers with hearts are big as the world wide web.

For the greater good .. three blogs that focus on ethics and doing good.

Ethics Crisis - The focus is on global business ethics. You are encouraged to anonymously confess the most unethical business thing you've ever done and to rate confessions from "always acceptable" to "never acceptable." BL Ochman is the author.

Zaadz - Is about inspiring and empowering people to reach their full potentional and while do so .. do good. Zaadz Team Blog

Honesty Blog - Honors people who have done good deeds. Joël A. Núñez A. Núñez invites you to tell your story of how someone helped you.  Stories are definately a feel good from the heart.
Sidebar: Bloggy transparency .. I've helped Joël a bit with his company.

Civility. Kindness. Politeness. In The Blogosphere.
What do you think? Oxymorons? Or Not?

Astrology_15

 

business astrology for fun -
from The Astro Divas Paula Dare & Donna Page

Friday the 13th may have a reputation of being unlucky but the planets are indicating more of a dreamy, I wish I was anywhere but here vibe. It can be a good day to visualize your ideal life, but in if you don’t finish what you had planned to do or heaven forbid you space out too much while driving and neglect to see the cop ready to pull any infraction over then indeed it will be unlucky.

The new moon on Tuesday in Aries is about beginning something new that you need extra courage and strength for. Where have you been hiding in life and playing it safe? Use the strength of the new moon to reevaluate your goals and take an action that stretches your comfort zone.

Be bold in your business plan, Aries wants to be first, where in your business can you position your company as the first to offer something?  If you're are in the middle of the pack make a plan to be able to be positioned someplace as #1 or the first to offer or provide something by the time the Sun journeys back into Aries next year.
 

Building Community With Online Communities - Part Two

04/12/2007

For part two of this mini series about online communities, I thought it would be fun to find out what behind launching an online community. Simon Schnieders generously shares his experiences with his new bebe ... Babychums.

Babychums_3 Simon Schnieders: Babychums.com, the place to show off your little star, Social networking for new and expectant mothers.
Founder of Babychums, moderator, programmer, SEO guy, the marketeer and the tea maker. Web design is the only thing that Babychums outsources.

Toby/Diva Marketing: So Simon what's a guy doing in the world of new and expectant moms? Give us the back-story of Babychums.

Simon Schnieders: Babychums.com was an idea born without focusing on commercial drive but what the market needs, the gap and embracing current technologies. From the outset my aim was to have a site that enabled a community in common welfare but also met the search engines need for content, lots of it and unique content at that.

Natural, (Organic) search engine optimization is at the core of a site launch with only a small marketing budget. Babychums was launched in early 2006 and relaunched in 2007 after being released from what is known as the Google sandbox. The sandbox is a search engine marketeers term for a period of containment for new domains, like a child playing in the sandbox before being allowed to play with the big kids. There are exceptions to this rule however.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Seems like an obvious question but who is your target audience?

Simon Schnieders: The community's target audience is the newly mothering female.18-45 with little or no experience of social networking. It's a gentle introduction to social networking, blogging and new media which is why we focus on offering "Free Baby Websites."

Toby/Diva Marketing: How do you define community online?

Simon Schnieders: Community online, I beleive is a common peril, such as mothering, owning a West Highland Terrier or perhaps seeking a relationship. Joking aside, it is the most important aspect of the internet today as we move from real social networks into cyber social networks. I'm not particularly pleased that we've evolved into this but our social needs must be met with our ever changing lifestyles.
Sidebar
: Thanks for the reference to Diva Marketer's mascot, my Westie Max.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What makes your community successful?

Simon Schnieders:  Faith. Without faith it wouldn't exist. Why the community works and indeed supports itself with very little administrator interaction is that it's simple. Functionality is something I spent a long time getting right and tested it with friends of all computing levels.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What are your plans as you move forward to continue to engage your members?

Simon Schnieders: That is something I will continue to ask the members. They drive the community not me, but fear not, it won't be arcade games or bingo. The site is about community welfare. I do however keep a close eye on other social networking sites.

Read Building Community With Online Communities - Part One 
Interview with the Community Diva Nancy White,Full Circle

More Diva Marketing Interviews with people who are building online communities -
Elisa Camahort, BlogHer,Part One, Part Two
Rebecca Weeks, DivineCaroline

Building Community With Online Communities - Part One

04/11/2007

I'm intrigued by how online communities can actually create "community" among members. For four years I was the chair of the American Marketing Association's member only nine online SIGs (Shared Interest Groups). The AMA SIGs began life as a listserv and now have some additional online functionality. I've also moderated the AMA Internet Marketing SIG for about six years.

Building community has become one of the goals of so many social media strategies. I wondered what the people who are launching, what I fondly call Web 2.0+ mash-up communities, are doing to create success online.

The Diva of Community has to be Nancy White. Nancy knows more about online communities than anyone I've ever met. She graciously agreed to share her insights. But what Nancy gives us, in this mini interview, goes beyond a few ideas. She provides a primer on community best practices.  Thank you Nancy .. birds of a feather do indeed flock together!

Nancy_white Nancy White:  Full Circle, Full Circle Blog
I help people do purposeful stuff together online. How's that for simple. (And yet not simple at all!)

Toby/Diva Marketing: To set the stage for Diva Marketer's readers how about a  bit of background on how you got involved in online communities?

Nancy White: I fell down the online rabbit hole in 1996 when I joined Howard Rheingold's "Electric Minds" community as it launched in November, 1996. I was immediately taken by the high level of discourse. It was like the graduate seminar I dreamed of, but never had time to take as a working mom. For the first few months I simply read and soaked it in. Then I had the courage to speak up and became involved in a conversation I shall never forget about how to raise the quality of conversation on the net.

Jay Rosen, Ran Avrahami, Heather Duggan, Craig Maudlin and many others were part of that magical circle. Months passed. In Spring of 1997, Howard got the bad news that his funders were pulling out (Softbank). There was a hue and cry "save the community." Howard pointed towards two of us and said "lead." What an adventure.

I was an old hand at F2F community organizing and building so I thought I had a shot at being useful. Well, it turned out to be a disaster. How could anything with the highs of our previous conversations degrade to something so fraught with misunderstanding and dysfunction? That triggered what has turned into my work passion: understanding how we can most usefully interact with each other online.

Sometimes it is called online facilitation, but it is much broader. It is at once about design, technology, facilitation, change and human communication. There is so much to learn. Since then I have worked and played in focused task communities, communities of practice and social communities.

I'm still fascinated 10 years later. When the 90's dot com bust happened, community became a dirty word to some, but I still kept the flame burning in my work. It has been fun to see it surge brightly again, but I think there are significant differences. The main difference is I'm not sure we are talking about community exclusively any more. The role of networks has boomed and the landscape of tools that support our interactions have evolved. So it is still a VERY interesting space.

Toby/Diva Marketing: How do you define community online?

Nancy White: First, it is important to distinguish between community as an overall descriptor and online community. Sometimes we mean we use online tools to support a community that may have many other aspects offline. Other times we mean groups of people that almost only connect online. For the latter, i define online community as a group of people with some shared interest who connect and interact with each other over time. Relationship of some sort is implied.

Compared to networks, communities have an "in and an out." Membership has some defining element - a login, a place where you have to join. A way where your membership is made visible. Networks are often the containers for communities -- where a node grows dense with connections.

I think today we talk about them interchangeably which is sometimes useful, but not always. What I also see is that the line between community and network is fuzzy. Which makes that space very interesting and pregnant with possibility.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What makes a community successful?

Nancy White: This is highly context dependent. The one thing that seems to show up is some sort of shared purpose. But other than that, the variables are huge.

Small communities may be successful because of the depth of relationships, while large communities are successful for their breadth of relationships. Diversity can be the life pulse of one, and tear apart another. Like our offline communities, success is a complex interaction of factors, circumstances and sometimes just plain luck and timing.

If you ask the question from a commercial perspective, or from the perspective of someone trying to convene a community, I think we can think of factors that impact success:

  • Is the purpose clear? Shared?
  • Is there the useful level of identity for members? (Sometimes anonymity is the key, sometimes it is not, for example)
  • Is the means of interaction, the technology, appropriate to the community's desired activities and technology inclinations? Techie communities may look technologically very different from communities that serve second wave adopters.
  • Is there the right level of organization and facilitation? Different groups embrace more or less emergence or order. When I bake, I need a recipe so the cake rises and I follow it carefully. When I cook soup, it is taste, experiment and adjust. Communities need the same range.
  • Is there the right balance of interaction and content. Content draws us and helps focus our attention. Interaction engages us, creates bonds that strengthen interaction.
  • Is there the right level of trust? The recent situation with Kathy Sierra shows us that in our open, unbounded networks, we often don't know enough to clearly figure out what is going on and that can be threatening or liberating.
  • Are there enough bridge builders and connectors to weave the community together? These are really important actors in communities.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What should community "builders" the people behind the scenes do to engage  members?

Nancy White: There is a lot of good advice out there already. Interestingly, I don't think it has changed much in the 10 years I've been involved. That would be an interesting retrospective study! Here are a few of the golden oldies.

  • Listen to them! Build from where they start and where they want to go. This is the spark for the fire. If you ask for feedback, use it as much as you can otherwise you won't get any more feedback and the community will disappear.
  • Create just enough structure to create just enough comfort and navigability - don't over build, over legislate or over formalize, especially at the start. It's like making a wind break to get the fire going. You need a little wind, not a gale.
  • Use the power of invitation - questions that beg answers, ideas that stimulate our interest and imagination. For communities where people come to get and offer expertise, don't YOU tell them everything they need, create the space where they can invite and engage each other. Think of this is nice, dry kindling.
  • When the embers are burning bright, get out of the way. Sit back and enjoy your s'more. You can kill a community by overdoing it.
  • Role model the behavior you want to see. Take the high road.
  • Don't assume you understand what is going on - ask and learn more. Get multiple perspectives before you take action or make changes.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Where do you see the future of online communities heading?

Nancy White: Some of the changes I see are:

  • Less concern about changing tools and platforms than before. People are getting more agile. Likewise, they are leaving faster. So fast adoption may also mean fast desertion. Maybe we need to think of community life cycles as something shorter and more ephemeral.
  • The challenge of multi-membership - at some point, how many networks and communities can we belong to? This is both a social and technical question. Single ID's, portable identity tools kick in on the tech side. But seriously, at some point one can only meaningfully participate in a set number of communities. So we'll see some fallout.
  • Multilingual communities (is this just in my dreams) where we can engage across cultures and languages in new ways. This is probably the optimist in me.
  • The dark side of community will show up again and again. Community is not a value neutral word.

Building Community With Online Communities - Part Two
Simon Schnieders, Babychums.com

Friday Fun: Three For Three From The Blogoshere

04/06/2007

Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Today's Friday Fun is Three For Three. Girlfriend, so much fun and so little time!

One for One - Blogs and social media can help rebuild the corner grocery store relationship. But what happens when a supermarket tries to be Web 2.0 compliant?

Check out this Supermarket_20_4 video about an Israeli supermarket where user generated content is produced by the customers from "the cheese to the cleaning materials." Comments are posted on the products and eggs have RSS feeds. A must watch for anyone who has sipped the proverbial blog or social media kool aid.

Heard it from: Community Mobilization

Two for TwoScrapblog is a new entree into social media photo sharing. It's very intuitive .. even for a non geek person like moi. Scapeblog_maxThere's nice intro video. I'd like to see more options for the fun decorating thingys. The only glitch I had was inserting a YouTube video of Max. But that might have been my system and not the program. And no messy glue .. just clickable fun!

Heard it from: Shel Israel, Writer. Consultant. Nice Guy. Scrapblog is one of his clients and I had the opportunity to play around with it pre launch.

Three For Three - The winds of the blogosphere blow many interesting people into our lives. Tonight, just as I was about to post Friday Fun, up popped a comment on a previous Diva post from Atlanta artist Johanna Crider.

Not only is Johanna a talented artist .. Love her work! ..  Johanna_crider_little_miss_shopper but her story is touching. She is using her gift of painting to raise money for the homeless. She knows that story too well because she too was once homeless. This is her way to give back. The proceeds will go to the Calvary Refuge Center of Jonesboro, GA.
Sidebar: This very Diva work is titled Little Miss Shopper

Tomorrow, Saturday April 7th, Johanna will be in Little Five Points - Finley Square at Euclid and Moreland. Nothing is more than $10. Johnnacrider__open_heart_2 If you miss the show check out her work online.
Sidebar: This work is lovely .. titled Open Heart.

Astrology_15

 

business astrology for fun -
from The Astro Divas Paula Dare & Donna Page

The Astro Divas are on spring break. They'll be back next week.