Community 2.0 Conference Notes: Day 1

Community 2.0 Conference

Notes by Boe Miller

http://www.community2-0con.com/

The most up to date version of Day 1 notes are available onGoogle docs here.

Conference information and details will be streamed to http://www.futureofcommunities.com. Conference participants are encouraged to blog, tag and links content materials. Please use the tag ‘community2.0’, and the content will be aggregated.

WARNING: This is a summary of the content presented at the Community 2.0 conference held in Las Vegas, and the information was filtered through my ears, into my brain, and then out through my fingers to my keyboard.  I apologize if I have misrepresented anyones thoughts in any way.  Sometimes we hear what we want to believe.

Conference Day 1

General Overview: This conference has been absolutely eye opening. I am delighted an amazed to see everything that is going on in near real-time at this conference. This has been the most engaging conference that I’ve ever attended to date, and I am blown away by the potential I see with Community2.0. I have prepared these notes, first for myself, and secondly, for others who care to have an overview for what went on during day 1. I encourage anyone reading over this material to look at the links, and also to review the materials associated with the tag ‘community2.0’. The potential here is vast, and I will be writing more opinion peices regarding this content in the near future.

C2.0 Bootcamp: An overview of the business, social and technology infrastructure needed to manage successful communities

Participants:

  • Kathleen Gilroy: Otter Group
  • Tara Hunt: Citizen Agency
  • Deborah Schultz: Social Media Strategist

Group Activity: Define Community

The first activity of the day was to divide up into groups — and brainstorm about communities, and to write down all the qualities that make up a community.

Our group came up with some of the following core concepts:

  • Commonality
  • Interaction: must be easy
  • Sharing: knowledge / dynamic collaboration
  • Knowledge transfer / creative knowledge
  • FUN

After analysis and reviewing contributions as a whole, we determined that communities are made up of the following:

  • Collaborative sharing
  • Common shared purpose
  • Interaction, participation
  • Self organization
  • Common goals / membership
  • Emergant behaviors
  • Authenticity – intimacy
  • a shared passion

Communities are:

  • Messy
  • Different
  • Organic
  • Utility
  • Emerging
  • Changing
  • Every day is a new start

Communities are never about the tools, but about the passion and the shared interest between the participants. A successful community is first and foremost about a passion — tools are only a means to communicate amongst a virtual space. You can have all the tools in the world, but without passion you don’t have a community.

Communities are not about increasing sales. An organization that looks at communities as strictly a means to increase ROI, ROS or ROA are not likely to find success.

Presentation – Building Communities with Web 2.0 by Kathleen Gilroy http://ottergroup.com

Kathleen’s presentation is made available online: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathleengilroy/sets/72157594582263827

Building a community is about enabling an existing community (whether physical or virtual) to make content.

Kathleen presented http://Technorati.com <– a tool that allows one to search the blogsphere.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture by John Battelle.

Kathleen makes mention of a new paradigm in publishing and syndication.

Definition of Web 2.0: The web is the platform — but the value is driven by user generated content. (USERS NOT PRODUCERS!) The goal is network effects created by an architecture of participation. More people in the network means more people drawn into the network.

Instead of a client/server model of yesterday, the web is going to a web services model which allows for syndication of content to anywhere. In this new web services model, the community determines what is important, and syndicates that content out for others to read/see.

Kathleen talks extensively about a project where she took 50 librarians and set them up with the capabilities to create podcasts, and gave each of them blogs. Within no time, most all of the librarians had created ‘digital identities’, by putting custom banners on their blogs. This differentiated them from one another. Each of the librarians started with a shared vision that was given to them. The vision appealed to the librarians, and therefore they were passionate about the project.

An aggregator was created that pulled the best of the best from the blogs — and dumped the content into a blog pool.

The librarians quickly ‘bucked the system’ and went out on their own and began discovering new technologies (such as blog platforms, photo publishing sites, etc) — and using them to syndicate information. This really threw the Otter Group off, because they wanted to control the technology, but the librarians wanted to organically grow the community — and each began to use tools that were most satifying to them. What is really cool is that in Web 2.0, all of these new technologies “talk”, and so therefore it is not necessary to have everyone all on the same platform. If it supports syndication (RSS/ATOMZ, etc), then the information can be pushed anywhere. The possibilities are endless.

Kathleen makes mention of RSS, and points out a couple of wonderful products:

  • Google Reader: Allows users to pull together syndicated content, and begin to create a web experience that is their own.
  • Adobe Connect: A wonderful tool that allows companies to communicate w/ a large audience across many distribution channels including video.

Kathleen feels that all the following attributes are vital for a thriving community 2.0 environment:

  • Provide documentation and support. Teach people how to use the plethora of tools that are available.
  • Create training podcasts that show users what cool things can be done.
  • Offer consistent evaluation
  • Create a badge for members — so that when they learn how to become better community participants, they can show off their badge/certificate.

Kathleen strongly suggested ‘creating certified community members’. This is powerful, because this gives you the ability to teach others how to use existing resources to build really strong social networks. This empowers users to teach others, and gives them a sense of identity.

A 2.0 community facilitates discovery and connection with others. All of the following are vital for a community 2.0 website:

  • Start page should facilitate discovery
  • Private communities should ‘authenticate’.
  • You absolutely have to have tag clouds and directories

Kathleen makes mention of Web/Community 2.0 Enterprise solutions. Some of the providers she mentions are:

Wonderful example of a Community 2.0 website: My.BarackObama.com

Getting into the community shouldn’t take much. It should have a ‘low cost of entry’.

A Community 2.0 website should have RSS/syndication for EVERYTHING. No syndication –> then not Community 2.0.
On a Community 2.0 website, you should be able to personalize EVERYTHING

YOU MUST GET OTHER PEOPLE TO TAKE OVER YOUR DISTRIBUTION! Distributing your content on your website alone is anti-2.0. The Internet is a web — content is everywhere — nothing has a “home” anymore.

Communities are made up of different people with diverse skills, and if we all do what we are good at, then collectively we can achieve great things. this new website capitalizes on that idea: http://www.cambrianhouse.com

How does a company measure their community success?

  • Don’t lock in predefined community notions
  • Engage, engage, engage customers.
  • You exist FOR the community.
  • Throw out the API to let other people develop stuff. Don’t dare try to do all this yourself. YOU WILL BE SQUASHED!

Presentation – Community 2.0 Tools by Tara Hunt http://horsepigcow.com

This presentation was late in the afternoon, and Tara was *incredibly* pressed for time. She gave her presentation in lighting speed, and honestly there was so much information that I didn’t even write notes. I have emailed Tara and requested a link to her presentation slides, which were incredibly rich and full of content.

Tara’s presentation was incredibly impressive and completely opened my eyes to a new world of opportunity. Tara threw out dozens and dozens of links during her presentation, and I did start a delicious link list.

You can visit it here: http://del.icio.us/boemiller/community2.0

One of the most fascinating new developments was the concept of micro-blogging, or “blogging on crack”. Check out twitter.com for more info.

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