Tag Archives: Community 2.0 Live

Track Presentation: Needs are the Seeds for B2B


Our next presentation during our afternoon’s track sessions is given by Pepper E. Roukas, Director, Content & Community Development, American Express Global Advertising and Brand Management.

She’s begun by posing the misconception that so many have about the importance of social media for small businesses. She pointed out about the recent column by Steve Strauss on USA Today. On April 13th, he basically came out against business use of Twitter, in effect, not worth effort. What resulted was an avalanche comments against his perspective and they next day he wrote a new column, his mea culpa, a reconsideration of the value of Twitter for business.

So here she discusses Amex’ B2B Community Pillars:

1) Service & People
2) Data & Insights
3) Global Reach
4) Best Products & Partners and Services

So focusing with their internal marketing communication process, looking at
Awareness }} Consideration }} Conversation }} Loyalty & Usage

Now the use of communities expands and improves this process to create greater value and opportunity to engage their customers. Amex has determined that small business are so quickly and in increasing numbers using social media


Case Study: OPEN Forum

It’s a community from Amex to provide content and community platform to help small business owners manage their businesses. It’s a tool to create conversion and build loyalty and engagement. It is also not a closed community, much of the content is syndicated to appropriate external sites. Because of this they have focused on a particular content strategy:

1) Best of the Business
2) Has to be Authentic
3) Has to be Relevant
4) Has to be Timely

She then offered this example of a video clip from the INC. 500 Conference with Seth Godin

Because of these efforts Amex has seen significant outcomes including increased brand relevancy, brand loyalty, and ultimately, increased purchase considerations and card applications as a result of this effort.

Now switching gears, Pepper is offering the case study of business travelers. She presents a case study on Business Travel Connexion, an industry-wide platform for corporate travel management community, available to corporate decision makers but also includes their competitors, the first effort to do so. It offers unique Web 2.0 elements, some designed specifically with their current clients, while other functionally is widely available. In turn they also partner with Facebook and LinkedIn to promote the site and incorporate participation on these larger communities.

The results has once again included increased brand relevancy and brand loyalty; and later this year efforts will be for more in-depth measurements which they fill will demonstrate definite increase in purchase considerations.

In looking at these case studies, we now are looking at how Amex utilizes partnerships in order to co-create value in order to meet their needs for new content – best of breed and expert quality for their communities, and technology – opportunities for integration.

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Panel Discussion: Don’t Just Survive, Thrive. Tips and Techniques for Sustaining Your Community

Moderator: Bill Johnston, Chief Community Officer, Forum One Networks
Peggy Duvette, Executive Director, Wiser Earth
Nick Koudas, CEO & CoFounder, Sysomos
Beth Murphy, Head of Marketing & Communications, Digg

Now we’re beginning our panel discussion to look at specific points and difficulties, each have come up with their specific ‘lessons learned’ these past 9 months during the recession so far:

From Bill, some initial points based on recent survey Forum One Networks recently captured, with the following responses:

  1. Community “more” valuable during recession – 60% of respondents
  2. Relationships matter – respondents said that support from peers and relationships with other CMs and SMEs

Now from Peggy, her lessons include:

  1. The purpose of what you do is more importan than the tool you choose
  2. Barriers of entry are very low in online media: Experiment, Measure, Adjust

Beth’s lessons include:

  1. Transparency & Responsiveness as guiding principles
  2. Community extends beyond the website
  3. Brand voice & personality should infuse everything

Finally, here are Nick’s lessons:

  1. Use Technology to Discover Your Community
  2. Use it to Understand Your Community, Who They Are and What They Are Saying
  3. Use it to Engage Your Community

First question, hardest decision to make in relation to your community in the past 9 months?

Peggy: A user who became heavily involved and active regularly and became disruptive to the overall community. Using guidelines they have in place, they publicly acknowledged the user and the issue created by their activity, but at the same time, they had no choice but to remove them from the community.

Beth: Recently launched the Digg Bar, and while there was overall initial positive responses, there were significant concerns expressed by publishers and users that resulted in significant changes to the initial functionality available in Digg Bar to satisfy those legitimate concerns. It was difficult to have to roll back capabilities they felt strongly about having in the Digg Bar, but the result was more positive to respond and react to the feedback.

Question: Who or what inspires to you improve and expand your community?

Peggy: To see that the community takes it upon itself to help the community survive since they are non-profit. One example, they took it upon themselves to generate a campaign to have new features developed on the community that her budget could not accommodate.

Nick: It’s really about helping people, getting the call from someone who needs assistance to learn how to learn about what is happening online. In working with these companies, the result has been to learn about unique niche communities that exist that often are not regularly known about.

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Keynote: Making Wuffie: Raising Social Capital to Win Online


Our next keynote this morning is by Tara Hunt, Co-Founder, The Citizen Agency, Author, “The Whuffie Factor”.

So Tara Hunt begins her discussion today explaining what is Whuffie that roughly is described as social capital, reputation, access to information, and information publicly available from you. Clearly, this concept is applicable today, it is how we recognize and engage and interact with each other in online communities today.

The sheer volume of users on social networking is growing so quickly and expanding at a rate that this social capital becomes important to manage the interconnections between individuals on this site. Now companies are faced with stepping into social networks and mistakenly use these traditional efforts and ultimately fail in their goals. Here she talks about her steps to making Whuffie in order to create the necessary reputation and authenticity vital to successful participation in social networks.

So here are her pillars in of Whuffies:

1) Turn the bullhorn inwards – traditional marketing has focused on one-way communication from companies to their customers. This results in negative responses from the public, and less likelihood of engaging in these communications. So the importance is to treat customers as partners, as unique individuals and to create a two way communication. Here are her rules for better commenting:
a) Get advice and input from experts but design for the broader community
b) Respond to all feedback, even when you respond by saying , “No thanks.”
c) Don’t take negative personally; remember that when people give feedback, they are doing so because they care and have taken the time to improve their experience
d) Be sure to acknowledge and recognize those whose ideas you use.
e) When you implement a new idea, make sure that you highlight it, and ask for feedback.
f)Make small, continuous changes rather than waiting to implement everything at once.
g) Don’t just wait for feedback to come to you, go out and find it; people are probably talking about your product elsewhere
h) No matter how many people like you, you will always have someone who doesn’t – mind the haters.

2)Become part of the community you serve: getting out of the office and actively meet and engage the people you serve. The hard part is where is this community? If you start with what problem you are trying to solve, then you can answer, who is my customer, and then you can consider where they are. But rather than as a marketer or sales person, participate like a common participate, rather than simply trying to sell your products or service.

3)Build amazing customer experience: Invoke powerful, basic emotions. Some simple steps to do this:
a) Dazzle in the details
b) Go above and beyond
c) Appeal to emotion
d) Inject a little fun
e) Make something mundane fashionable
f) Let people personalize
g) Use humor to share
h) Simplify
i) Make happiness your business model: increase autonomy, competence, and relatedness
j) Be a catalyst

#4) Controlling the message? No, embrace the chaos….benefits include being better prepared for the unexpected; join in the conversation is happening and ultimately welcomed for the effort; and create and opportunity for collaboration

#5) Finding your higher purpose: While businesses are based on the market economy and pursuing profits, whuffie is based on the gift economy. More whuffie given, more whuffie received. As you give more within your community, the more you will receive. So here are 5 gifts that give back to you:
a) Doing well by doing good
b) Think customer centrically
c) Help others go further
d) Spread love: help people become better people to other people
e) Value something better than yourself

Each of these pillars of whuffie result in better word of mouth, repeat sales, improved customer service, and improved bottom line.

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Keynote: How Micro Sharing Tools Make Enterprise Communication More Efficient


This next keynote is presented by David Sacks, Founder & CEO, Geni, Inc & Yammer, Inc, Producer of “Thank You For Smoking” and the Former COO of Paypal. For those of you unfamiliar with Yammer, it is a microblogging service launched in September 2008. Like Twitter, it allows users to post updates of their activities, follow others’ updates, tag content, and create memes. Unlike Twitter, Yammer focuses on businesses, and only individuals with the same email domain can join a given network.

David begins his presentation quickly discussing the development and launch of Yammer at TechCrunch 50 which they won last fall. Now he’s highlighting the importance of Software as a Service (SaaS). Now SaaS is something looked at often by the internal technology managers as they consider their enterprise software options. What has happened with the Web, is the Enterprise Software Providers move away from stand-alone versions but create a web-based application that updates and maintains itself through a web connection than an actual installation at the user’s desktop. Having worked with internal technology companies, this change in enterprise software offerings has been a monumental shift. Naturally, from a B2C perspective, this is the very nature of most web-based offerings and functionality.

Now David is looking at the concept of Channels vs Platforms. Channels are the mechanisms that information is shared, such as Email, IM and SMS, but using Channels means that the content is siloed and limited in reach. But using Platforms means that such information is an expanded distribution that reaches a broader user base, while making it easily available to other who did not receive it, but who can search for it and can then become and ongoing recipient of such information.

Now David is talking about some case studies around the use of Yammer in specific clients. One is Deloitte, where to develop a new marketing slogan the asked all of their employees to submit suggestions. Within 24 hours they collected over 1500 suggestions with one ultimately being selected.

Ultimately the concept is that a tool such as Yammer, creates the easy to use experience, recognizable and accessible to an internal enterprise’s employees, and yet maintains the necessary security and controls for the company.

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Keynote: How Technology is Changing Politics Democracy & Civic Life

Our first keynote of the morning is given by Andrew Rasiej, Futurist, Social Entrepreneur, Founder of Personal Democracy, and co-founder of the award-winning blog, TechPresident.com. He writes a bi weekly column for http://www.politico.com/ and he appears as an expert on the Internet and politics on major media channels including CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, FOX, BBC, SKY News, the Daily Show, and is quoted regularly on this subject by major newspapers internationally including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, La Monde, The Financial Times, etc, and major magazines including The Economist, Wired, Time, Newsweek, Fast Company, and Popular Science among others.

He begins talking about his early career as a concert promoter in NYC, and from reaching out to his neighbors about his concerts is he began to promote his concerts online. In time he began involved with a community board associated to a local school district.

Talks about these early community efforts, working with creating computer labs within local NYC schools. One of the first issues faced in the late 90s was the lack of internal resources to support technologies within the school. In 1997 only 1 network administrator supporting New School School board.

These early programs he involved and worked with led him to work with political groups, and his first efforts with Tom Daschle to educate the Democrats in Congress about the Internet. Suffice it to say, confusion was rampant.

In time he went to work with the 2004 Howard Dean presidential campaign, and he began the earliest political forays online. Andrew stresses one major issue with his campaign…he thought these online efforts revolved around him as an individual, and never fully understood that the it was a community coming together around him, sharing common interests, but still diverse and with unique expectations.

Now as he looks back at the Barack Obama presidential campaign, and he describes it as a surfer riding a tsunami of user generated political content. However, he expresses the concern that the individuals who do not understand the nature of social media, are unfortunately the majority of our elected officials.

Andrew then made his own attempt to run as Public Advocate in 2005. During this campaign, he advocated that NYC develop a city-wide WIFI network. Unfortunately, he came repeatedly into contact with MSM and traditional politicians who simply didn’t understand the value and importance of making such technology available.

Now Andrew is turning to the Obama administration, who he likens as our first ‘true tech president’, however, the federal bureaucracy is simply so slow to change and unfamiliar with the nature of social media it is unable to innovate fast enough.

Now he’s highlighting the sheer difficulty of meeting with so many public leaders who simply do not understand how much the world has changed, and continue to oppose public policy that increases transparency. He cites the following: U.S. Senate continues to collect donor information digitally, converts it to paper and submits to the Federal Election Commission, who then spends 6 months converting it back digitally. Every attempt to change this law requiring the conversion has been voted down by the Senate.

Once again he returns to the issue of technology in our schools. He pointed out that today in NYC schools, students receive 1 hour of classroom time with a computer. He highlights how many political leaders continue to stress the traditional needs of student learning that revolves around non-technology efforts.

Now for some questions:

You cite Obama as the first tech president, but has ramped down his social networking efforts, do you believe he will ramp up those efforts?

Andrew agrees that this has been an issue but clearly it is primarily an infrastructure issue. Issues with the website infrastructure, internal personnel resources (during his campaign he had far more individuals working just on social media), but clearly Obama is interested in improving the technology in order to expand the collaborative tools such as commenting on their sites. Unfortunately this will require experimentation and time to launch these efforts. But Andrew does believe that Obama will launch these efforts and new policy initiatives to expand availability of technology.

Do you see specific to government that the innovation will be launched around them or will they ultimately learn to accept the nature of social media and begin to develop new policy that maximizes its use?

Andrew first clarifies his point that first that this technology is new, and there is still so much to learn about how best to use this technology and what changes may result. He cites the example of Wikipedia and crowdsourcing, how expertise and reputations impact the quality of content available. In time such a notion may be applicable in politics as we use this technology to impact who we select to make decisions on our behalf.
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Follow Updates Live Now

EarthTimesPR: Joe Cothrel of Lithium Technologies to Present at the Community 2.0 Conference http://tinyurl.com/odpp4l (expand)

  • jasonjharrison: At Community 2.0 in SF – amazing stuff from Andrew Rasiej about tech in Govt – elected officials generally clueless. Wow.

  • mlees: Andrew Rasiej of Personal Democracy Forum giving keynote at Community 2.0. Eye-opening take on politics, education, technology. (#C20)

  • gregtjoy: #C20 At Community 2.0 Andrew Rasiej is keynote discussing social media in politics. My take? we need a new group or representatives

  • JacquelineSacks: At the community 2.0 conference in San Fran. David is about to speak.