Archive for Social Media

$ocial Media

Posted in Brand, Internet with tags , , on July 9, 2008 by manuscrypts

This is why I love the conversational web. It provides an excellent means to connect ideas, and er, write a post. I saw a tweet from @jowyang which was about a company looking for community managers. No, it wasn’t the job per se that interested me, but more the fact that companies are finally getting into conversations and hiring community managers. Before you harangue me about web companies having had community managers for ages, this one is a grocery review community. Well, at least happens in the US. 😐

And then, I also happened to read a post that spoke about a wiki for brands that is created and maintained by the users. Thats already happening a bit on the Facebook fan pages, but I’m guessing the brand would have to have its official spokesperson acting as a moderator at least in the initial stages, that’s like a community manager.

And lastly, i read a post by Chris Brogan that talked about social media not being a replacement for marketing strategy. (I wholeheartedly agree) The takeaways he has mentioned towards the end not only provide a direction on how social media can finally pull its weight in getting revenue (possibly a beginning to answering this, a thought on everyone’s mind), but also roughly defines what a community manager’s role would be. It would not only be the basic answering of community queries and using conversations with them to evolve the product/service, it would also include identifying evangelists, nurturing them, helping a sales team to categorise potential customers. I am sure there are a lot of add ons possible to these brand communities.

Meanwhile, it might also help social media tools like twitter to figure out revenue models. For at the very base of it all, a Twitter is perhaps like a Hotmail, the difference being in community and the speed of conversations, but in essence a tool for communication. And like email, there are usages to be figured out – for example, what role they play in the brand communities discussed above. These usages will drive revenue models. And hopefully, that’ll make one happy world… until the next revolution. 😉

until next time, tweet dreams

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Social Evolution

Posted in Brand, Internet with tags , , , on July 3, 2008 by manuscrypts

The issue has been doing the rounds in my head for sometime now, it started with a question on LinkedIn about companies using CSR only for PR purposes, and I thought now was a good time to share my thoughts, at the risk of it sounding like an attempt at gyan. 😉

There was a very interesting topic tossed up last week here, on the role of social media, not in general, but in addressing the world’s problems. Whether all the coding gurus sitting down and making cool apps that generate thrills from a devouring audience are just doing it for its own sake rather than making a difference. While that question can be posed to just about anyone, and would elicit ‘no’ for an answer unless you were talking to an NGO or someone who works on CSR projects, it seems pertinent because well, its er, social media, and at its core, its about connecting people (sorry Nokia!). And it only seems fair that when the medium obviously has so much potential to change the world by the sheer amount of information it has, and the conversations it spawns, the humans that are so connected and the ones who are making the different levels and types of connections possible should also help out in bailing out those who are not privileged as themselves.

No, its not intended to be a moral debating session on career choices, although that’s welcome too. On the day i saw the (linked) post, by sheer coincidence I also came upon a few links which provided a start to answering the question. One was a presentation (via Chris Brogan) another, a site that holds immense potential. And yes, corporates can play roles that fit into their overall strategic objective and fulfill their business needs, check this by Motorola. (I’m beginning to have a healthy respect for this brand). Back home, this is worth a look, and I would like to see this Idea develop a bit more before I comment on it.

But while all these are definite concrete efforts towards making the world a better place, my belief is that the underlying philosophy of social media – sharing, collaborating, and most importantly transparency, is more fundamental and will itself cause quite a few groundbreaking things to happen in the way we develop as a society. With one single service like twitter, the flow of information is such that I am exposed to a multitude of new people, new websites, new thoughts, some of which make a profound impact on me, and on the way i think. As more and more people get hooked on to social media, think of the number of change agents it would create.

And it is vital for the change agents to absorb the inherent goodness that social media possesses. In an age when shortcuts to anything from file sharing to making money are eagerly lapped up, without a thought on its impact on others’ lives, and tech provides the means to do it and distribute it easily, it is important to ingrain a philosophy that would make developers and users think a little about common good when they engage themselves in social media, a thought that would at least discourage them from doing harm.

until next time, evolve