Musings from George


Community2.0
March 14, 2007, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Community2.0

I spent the last two days in Las Vegas at the Community2.0 conference, another paradox of in-person discusion about virtual community. What is it like to meet your avatar?

John Hagel continues to impress me with his ability to synthesize a great many things into a digestable format (or framework). He was the keynote speaker, and his insights are as relevant today as they were in Net Gain ten years ago (yes, Virginia, online community has been morphing into something more and more relevant for much longer than ten years). Alexandra Samuel has captured the essence of his presentation here:

http://www.socialsignal.com/blog/alexandra-samuel/john-hagel-on-expanding-markets-through-virtual-communities

My takeaways from the conference:

  1. typical corporate measurements of return on investment fail to capture the real impact of online community, and the typical corporate approach to customers does not lend itself to real-time interaction at the grass roots level.
  2. a lot of people are getting involved in online communities. Reminds me a little bit of 1998, when everyone had to “get a website”. I hope that the false promises being made today do not stain the reputation of virtual community, and that we all continue to learn together.
  3. Technology has come a long way from threaded bulletin boards. Tools that are available for free (yes, sign up for WordPress!! I love it) or platforms that are available relatively cheap really deliver some great functionality
  4. Sylvia Marino talked about motivation (why people contribute to online communities), and I’ll credit her with the first time I have heard the term “digital credibility” — which is that online version of what I know as “street cred” in the open source world, or a reputation you earn by delivering cool s__t almost anonymously. Craig Newmark is one of those people (and yes, he was at the conference too).

I had a really good time at the conference, met some cool people, got a free (good) book from Lois Kelly (Beyond Buzz), and even won at the blackjack table. Maybe I really am lucky? or is it karma?

George

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