Social Networking Blog

Guy Clapperton on the evolving new media

Building online communities profitably

A community of interest gathers at Stonehenge,...
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A great blog post from the moblogsproblems blog points to areas that might explain why people don’t follow someone online, or why they don’t take part in communities. Since one of the issues is with not acknowledging helpful people I’ll start by thanking Shonali Burke for pointing it out, I don’t have a note of her website but she has an excellent blog and you can follow her on Twitter here.

The monetisation thing is something that interests me (funnily enough). I’ve only been plugging away at this particular site for just over a month (and took a week off last week) but it’s starting to get significant amounts of readers, particularly when I pick a fight with someone (again, funnily enough). The option to try to make it profitable somehow is probably premature but as I’ve just discovered WordPress deletes html code on my page by default (thanks, guys) don’t worry, you won’t be plagued with ads for a while just yet.

There are a lot of people, though, who want to engage with and build communities for the sake of it – clubs, fan circles whether of sports, favourite TV programmes, you know the sort of thing. I think a point that the original blogger has missed is picking an audience that’s ready to be engaged is vitally important. I get a fair bit of feedback on this site, but then it’s about social networking. I chose the subject to go with my book (must do a bit of work on that when I’m through blogging) but also because the people who were into social networking would also be into responding online. If I’d picked another subject close to my heart – say being a fortysomething father, which believe me is the most important thing in my life – then a lot of my target market would have needed the concept of blogging and responding explained to them before moving ahead with it.

So, address the audience but make sure the audience is ready first, would be my first advice to anyone wanting to set up a community. Second, be prepared to market to them – since the invention of the Internet there’s been an illusion that the audience will just turn up, somehow.

No doubt more will occur to me, spurred by other blog posts and articles – I’d be interested to hear anyone else’s perspectives.

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April 16, 2009 Posted by | Social media financing, social media trends | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Facebook sustainable?

A great post on Cnet (sourced from the New York Times) asks whether Facebook is growng too quickly for its own good. Read it here.

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Social media financing, Social networking providers | , , , , | Leave a comment

How Much Is A Suggested Slot On Twitter Worth? Jason Calacanis Offers $250,000.

How Much Is A Suggested Slot On Twitter Worth? Jason Calacanis Offers $250,000.

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March 12, 2009 Posted by | Social media financing, Unexpected things happen | 1 Comment

Time to pay the piper

In a way we should all have seen this row coming. On Monday, YouTube’s argument with the Performing Rights Society spilled into the public domain as they failed to reach a commercial agreement about how much the music industry’s content was worth. Music content in the UK is therefore being taken down from YouTube, while Spotify is weighing in with a plea for the industries to sort themselves out.

They will, of course. I’m concerned, though, as a jobbing journalist watching the value of original content eroding as the Web effectively trains people to expect it for nothing. Think about it a second. If I’d asked you what the front page headline of the Times was ten or 15 years ago you’d have gone to a newsagent to find out. If I ask you now you’ll simply go to The Times’ website and tell me the answer. The notion of spending any money has vanished from the equation somwehere along the line.

Likewise if I go to Spotify or Last.FM I expect to be entertained without doing anything as vulgar as handing over any cash. I expect – and get – access to friends’ playlists so I can marvel at apparently cool people being really into Val Doonican, or find that someone’s granny is a closet Iron Maiden fan. I don’t expect to pay.

And inevitably I get annoyed when I find people don’t expect to have to pay for my stuff either, particularly as opportunities to contribute to newspapers narrow in the recession and those same papers, bar the FT, won’t monetise their online readerships. My guess is that this will stop and that everyone’s going to have to assess whether they can start charging for content that’s of value. Of course, at that stage they’ll start to find out what the punters really value, and that could be a nasty shock.

March 11, 2009 Posted by | Social media financing | Leave a comment