Tag Archives: Future trends for online communities

Create Infinity: First Look

As a social media professional, we wanted to give you a first look at our new online community — Create Infinity. Join other futurists, trend hunters, free thinkers and idea generators explore all things possible and transition the believers of ‘Infinity’. Where the intersection of personal and professional issues come together ‘ spanning disciplines, generations, industries and mindsets ‘ first in a virtual sense ‘ later in a physical one.

Will the community ask for an innovative look at the future of marketing or will the community seek a community based entirely around the future of social media?

As we continue our growth, we’ll keep you updated!

We’d love to have you join us! Create Infinity

New Report: Forrester Wave Report: The Leaders in Community Platforms for Marketers (Part 4/4)

The new Forrester Wave Report is out and we encourage you to check it out. Follow this link to learn more!

Check out their findings on:

  • Communities are a powerful way for businesses to grow
  • What you must do before you select a vendor
  • Over 100 vendors in this commodity market
  • Therefore brands seek solution partners’not technologists
  • Key findings of the 9 vendors
  • Customize the Wave report to your business needs

Forrester Wave Report

Where are blogs going?

What is the future of blogs? Jamshed Wadia recently explained in depth why blogs are hear to stay, because not only do they provide a face for a brand and an outlet for expressions, but they’re a key part to any social media strategy.

He listed several reasons why he believes they’re here to stay:

1. Personal expression
2. Stories not covered or ignored by mainstream media
3. Show case personal talent
4. Building Personal brands
5. Social Causes and non profit Fund Raising
6. Evangelistic blogs
7. Keeping in touch with customers

For a more in depth look at why he sees these as important factors, read here.

Social media diary 31/10/2008 – Amex

Amex to launch online community for travel managers

One of the best examples I know of a brand using information they have to add a social layer to their site is the Members Know site from American Express. On this site Amex use the data from spending using their cards to highlight restaurants and hotels in certain cities that are popular with their members. Once you’ve signed up you can share your thoughts on these establishments and exchange travel tips with other business traveller. Today, they are launching a new online community, and this time it isn’t aimed at the business travellers, but at the people who organise their travel for them.

Business Travel Connexion is aimed at corporate travel managers and will combine editorial from Amex and other suppliers with user-generated content. Amex hope to create a real-time resource for the members and also build a fairly homogeneous community of a group of people who would valuable to marketers. They will be able to share information and ideas with each other and also with Amex and other suppliers. The site includes a “Product Lab” area for feedback and co-creation.

So what can we learn from this?

Amex are a great example of how brands are adding social layers to their existing sites and products, delivering real value to people and making the most of the product and information they already have. With Members Know they took data that previously wasn’t used externally (data on spending in hotels and restaurants) and repackaged this in a way that was both useful for members and encouraged them to interact and upload their own content. In the same way, Business Travel Connection, links a set of individual customers who are isolated (often working with no peers in their organisation) but who share a strong common bond (they all deal with the same problems). That they can be linked through the Amex brand is even more powerful.

When thinking about ‘going social’ – building online communities or using social media – too many firms build approaches that don’t always address their unique position in the market or capitalise upon what they may have to offer. Amex have done things the right way. They’ve thought about their strategy and about why people would engage in an online community that they manage; and about what they have to offer that’s different. These are important stages and ones that we at FreshNetworks spend a lot of time on with clients. Working out why people will engage and why they will engage on your site is a critical first step to any online community

From the FreshNetworks Blog

Read all our Social Media Diary entries

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Is the End in Sight for Facebook

I came across this interesting article questioning the future viability of Facebook. As the article mentions top executives have left the company leaving some wondering if the end is in sight. Also, Facebook will be allowing employees to “cash out” their stocks beginning November 1st. As the articles states:

“In theory, Facebook could turn around and sell the former employee shares – and more – to outside investors. The trouble is, funding may not come easily in tough financial times.”

This previous post on our blog discussed the effect the economy could have on Community 2.0, and it will be interesting to see if it will take down the largest online social network.

Platforms for Creation of Online Communities

This article from ZDNet is an analysis of Dion Hinchcliffe’s point of view on regarding the ‘Ten leading platforms for creating online communities’. As he mentions, online communities no longer are thought of as simple tools for fun, they are now being viewed more as opportunities, and ways of ‘getting things done’. Without much further ado here are the top ten platforms that Hinchcliffe recommends:

2. Drupal
3. PHP-Nuke
4. zikula
5. Share-Point Community Portal
6. Lithium
7. dotnetnuke
8. Community Server
9. Kickapps
10. ClearSpace Community

Let me know if there are any others that you feel have been left off the list!

Predictions for Social Media

I was combing through the Internet in search of future trends for online communities when I came across this article. According to the author, Jim Tobin, social media is still in the early stages of development. While some may disagree with him, here are his views on where the evolution of social media could lead.

  1. Ratings will become an expectation
  2. Content aggregation will boom
  3. New tools will replace some of the first movers
  4. Social Networks become portable
  5. Virtual worlds gain traction

What are your opinions on which growth stage social media is in? Do you still believe that it is in its fledgling stage? Also what do you think are trends that will catch on for the future of this industry?