Community 2.0 Conference Notes: Day 3

Community 2.0 Conference

Notes by Boe Miller

The most up to date version of day 3 notes are available on Google docs here.

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.Ā  I apologize if I have misrepresented anyones thoughts in any way.Ā  Sometimes we hear what we want to believe.

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

Conference Day 3

General Overview: Another information packed day. This was the first official day of the conference, so there were about twice as many people attending. Craig Newmark was a guest speak today — and he’s hillarious. More on that later.

Before Engaging a Community – Know what motivates the members to be there

by: Elizabeth Churchhill (a), Yahoo! Research & Shawn Gold (b), MySpace

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: How many people use myspace? (Almost everyone in the room raises their hands)

Elizabeth Churchhill: What was the first vision for myspace? Did it morph?

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: The vision is kind of unsexy. Friendster taking off. Lets copy it. They are doing stuff wrong. Lets do it better. Friendster SLOW! Audience improvements. Myspace listened to the audience. People got kicked off on friendster for having friends that were dogs, cats, bands, etc. They saw bands as a cultural hub. They created a toolset to execute small business on myspace. It was an empowering platform.

Elizabeth Churchhill: Changed indie music. Cultural shift.

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: Myspace had to master plan to change the music industry. Tom a musician. Myspace empowered the artist. It led them to success. Democratized access to talent. Music industry does A&R on myspace.

Elizabeth Churchhill: Authenticity — Myspace has authenticity. If you want to be successful is myspace an example?

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: You need to empower the user. Intersection with commerce and virtue. Empower the individual — path to great advertising revenue.

Elizabeth Churchhill: How have you managed ettiquette? What are examples of places where you’ve needed to corral behaviors? Moderation…

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: New ettiquette needs to be taught by parents. Safe behavior online. They have terms of service. They support them w/ people/technology & education. 6 million images uploaded every day. EVERY IMAGE VERIFIED! Users given the ability to flag “bad” content. Every video (40,000 per day) is reviewed. They take a 15 frame snapshot. They use technology that look for kids that are under age. About 5000 underage kinds kicked off every day. Only long term solution is education. Parents need to talk to kids. Every criminal case was put on national news — so it isn’t really fair. Myspace is relatively safe considering its size.

Elizabeth Churchhill: How do you judge your success? What is the metrics? How do you make money? What about the early days? How do people see a return?

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: Myspace profitable early on. Tools easy to build. Scaling has been really really difficult. There are 60 billion page views per merge. TONS OF MONEY ON ADS. Potential to make money is huge. eCommerce on myspace is in its infancy. Myspace really needs to scale it out. 165 million profiles on myspace. 230,000 new profiles are created per day!

Elizabeth Churchhill: Did the acquistion change a lot?

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: We expected it to be painful. Expected Newscorp to be slow. Peter Turning did not want to “screw it up”. Myspace needed newscorps systems to scale the platform. They are now in 8 countries — looking to be in 20 before the end of the year. Having Tom helps them be euntreprenurial. Lots of advertisers are other movie studios — most of the advertisers were worried. They are in a good place now.

Elizabeth Churchhill: What differences do you see in the uptake of myspace from people around the world?

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: The toolset is the same for a global basis. All about self expression / human connection. Self expression changes. The tools remain the same. The species ‘humans’ want to connect. People on the ground localize the site. Social causes are a HUGE issue in Japan. Youth cultures are bringing ’causes’ onto myspace. Causes not as big in the US. Australia — isolated from rest of the world — they LOVE global culture. Biggest difference is cultural differences.

Elizabeth Churchhill: Self expression: uptake of youth was because of self expression. Do you think youth…

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: Youth culture: every teenager creates their own identity. Tools offer an empowering toolset to do that. Kids use blogs, music, video — they get immediate feedback. The process is really efficient for evolution of self. Kids able to make meaningful connections with people: on how they think — now how they look. More meaningful connections …. controlled spaces: kids in really controlled spaces — safety and security. Myspace offers an officient way for them to conenct w/ friends. They can break the barriers.

Elizabeth Churchhill: Is myspace fueled by narcism….

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: Our self image is supported by a self newreal. If people think we are funny and attractive, we tend to like those people. Myspace takes that a lot further. Culture today: people are known for their well known-ness. Celebrity culture. Everyone wants to be famous for 15 minutes.

Elizabeth Churchhill: I am a packrat. Very sentimental. What will happen to all the stuff flowing onto myspace? Where will all this creativity go?

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: Who gets your property in your will? Who gets your personal database? Myspace just increased to 300 photos. Adding more and more tools. Users own content. Who knows what is next. They store it because it is part of the human connection. They share it.


How do you look at the gap between linkedin and MySpace?

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: We are focusing on consumer culture. We can’t build tools for everything. Execute 10% of ideas… There are clubs, DJ’s, restaurants on MySpace. SPAM is a huge issue on MySpace.

What are your weaknesses? What needs to be improved?

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: Six steps for evolution of platform. MUST EVOLVE PLATFORM. Everyone stopped evolving the platform — friendsters — geospace — they fail. THey’ve been really good at combining a lot of featuresets. Other blogging tools are much better than MySpace. Expand to mobile — improve IM. Need to improve content aggregation… EVERYONE IS A PRODUCER. EVERYONE IS A DISTRIBUTOR. Now we need to connect supply and demand. MySpace is creating channels. They are creating tools to organize information — and subscribe people to channels. They need to evolve their marketing tools. They need better CRM tools — where people live, how to market to them, etc. THey need to improve safety and education — they need the educate the young folks. Its like rock and roll — their is a learning curve. Newcorp has a lot of money to evolve the platform. THey need to improve the international platform. THey need to pick the right countries.

Building upon mobile — are you planning to replicate the internet experience? Do you need a different platform for mobile?

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: Yes, speed is not the same. Screen small. THey are restructuring the database to upstream only the most important features. Video/Photos are very important. In Asia and Europe — the mobile platform is much more mature. It is more of a competetive issue. It is a different platform with different constraints.

Do you build with free toools, or do you use an existing platform… What should we ask to determine if we build our own communities, or use existing communities?

Shawn GolBill Schreiner: It is difficult to compete with myspace. It is more efficient to tap into a community. There is opportunity in the space. Build niche market networks — geographic and niche behaviors. Like linkedin or second life.

The Importance of Consumer Generated Content in Community Management

by: Jeff Ubois, UC Berkeley (a)
Jay Bryant: TV Guide (b)
Max Kalehoff: Nielson BuzzMetrics (c)
Bill Schreiner: AOL (d)

Jeff Ubois: I am struck by how much people are talking about archiving at this conference.

Jay Bryant: (Showing a video of TV guide.) I am director of Products. My challenge is living with our legacy. We are known as an authoritative voice. They went through a complete site redesign. They now have call to action areas on the website. They’ve allowed their internal talent to interact with their audiences. Blogs have been a huge success at TV guide. They have someone who pulls web content into TV guide every day. They started JumpTheShark — which is a living wiki. People can give their opinions in near real time. THey are moving into video blogging. (Showing metrics for tv guide) 5 million page views per month last year — now at 18 million now that they are offering communities. More than a 3 fold growth.

Bill Schreiner: He runs traditional community products — message boards, chats, wikis, etc. He started a user generated movie site called uncut video. Opening a new marketplace for video.

Max Kalehoff: Help brands and media companies understand media expression. Communities one of the most disruptive things they’ve seen in marketing. They are working to udnerstand it, and help their customers understand it better. Advent of video in the last year is very important.

Jeff Ubois: Exciting to hear everyone talking about archiving. People are looking at federation — people want a distributed network of archiving.

Jeff Ubois: 50 years worth of data online?

Jay Bryant: TV guide is attempting to add the reference to the content. They associate the data with the structure that they have designed.

Bill Schreiner: Video search is still in the early stages. It is the metadata around the video that is the primary path for searching it. Video is much more challenging to search. AOL has made a big investment in video search. They own the largest video search available today. They’ve made it a distributed model so others can access it. Opening it has been key for AOL.

Max Kalehoff: Video expression is really signifiant. It is a whole new level of emotion / consumer expression. Video has a higher potential to be viral. Consumer generated video is really raising the eyebrowse of marketers.

Bill Schreiner: AOL stuck by passion of community with Dove campaign. The outcome was fame — that moment of “celebrity status”.

Jay Bryant: People want to connect with others with similar issues. TV is something most people share in common.

Max Kalehoff: Their is a fundamental need for human expression.

Jeff Ubois: How do you verify quality of data?

Max Kalehoff: Online communities police themselves very well.

Jay Bryant: I agree — our communities do a very good job of policing themselves.

Jeff Ubois: How do you navigate between corporate requirements, and user requirements?

Jay Bryant: We are there for our users — we bring in our users and work with them. We don’t police what our users say just because our advertisers don’t like it. What our users say is gold.

Bill Schreiner: Marketing side and legal side get VERY WORRIED. It is a new society — they have to learn to live in the new market.

Jeff Ubois: How do you measure a community?

Max Kalehoff: What is the perception of the market? Online communities are making in an undeniable fact — what you see is really what you have. Reality is that communities allow companies to passively observe what is driving the consumer. Unprompted insites are HUGE. Accountability frameworks are driven by attention.

Bill Schreiner: Mentions Something that marketers probably hate — but is a huge success!

Max Kalehoff: Customer service is becoming the new marketing department. Who are the most influential customers? All of that data can be gathered from your website. USE THE DATA!

Bill Schreiner: They have globalized user generated site. THey are *not* going to China first. There are way to many barriers in China. Video is really hard to localize.


TVGuide: What platforms are you using for message boards etc?

Jay Bryant: They use liveword. THey don’t have expertise, and liveworld really had the technology.

How do you encourage participation if fame isn’t associated?

Bill Schreiner: Give people great tools. The desire to share is not new. Build it, and people will share. The real issue is get people to do it around a campaign. Great tools have something to do with getting it started.

Anyone dealt with who own generated content?

Bill Schreiner: Great question — we have no idea who owns it.

If you could boil it down, what was the secret to success?

Jay Bryant: We launched out the gate w/ 60 blogs. IT WAS AN AMAZING SUCCESS. Our community wanted to hear what we had to say. People *want* to talk about TV. TV is how people connect. We had the audience — so they added the tools — and BAMM!

I’m technology overloaded. I am a marketer. What do I do?

Jay Bryant: Learn. Figure out what the tools are. Learn how to use the tools. You don’t have to build all the communities. They are there. Use them.

Bill Schreiner: COmmunities are individuals. You need to get crisp about identifying the benefits. If you could put your finger on the benefits, then you can start asking yourself if someone is doing it better. You can start changing the benefit, and scoping it. The community will drive the development. Community is about tools — the community will bastardize the tools. Don’t try to control — the community will drive.

The New Frontier of Community Solutions

Rob Leavitt: ITSMA (a)
Dianne Divets: Webex (b)
Aaron Fulkerson: MindTouch, Inc. (c)
David Hersh: Jive Software (d)
Jenna Woodul: Live World (e)

a: He is demonstrating topics that we might want to cover. What are tools that we might want to use? What are some of the management issues? What are the success factors in communities? From a vendor selection, what makes a good client? We will now do panel introductions…

d: CEO of Jive Software. Been in business since 2001. Just launched ClearSpace <– a new product. The new frontier is organic intellegince. The community systems need to develop with the communities. MUST HAVE TAGS AND RSS. Find ways to make communities really smart. Make it work for occassional users. Incentive systems are absolutely #1…. MUST HAVE THEM. 4 fold improvement for people that implement them.

b: THey are a platform provider. They intergrate live interaction w/ customers as well as written interaction. They want to drop sessions into ipod videos, and wrap it w/ discussion boards. Right now podcasts are HOT. THey are interesting. If you can get something down to 5-7 minutes, then it is a really cool thing. CIO today’s learn by downloading to their ipods, and listen to it when they are running, excercising, etc.

c: Co-Founder on mindtouch. He works w/ engineers. Community software based on wikis. They offer enterprise solutions. Our approach is a presentation tools to aggregate content. They’ve engineered it so each page is its own XML webservice. Being able to enable media companies to take programming content and weave it into static content is next. People will have distributed social networks across the Internet.

e: Chief community officer of liveworld. Lots of big companies doing different things. They develop on top of Jive. You have to take a cultural perspective on the social venue. Lots of customers coming … we have fantastic boards — should we add social networking? If we do, what will happen? What will the difference in the usage pattern be? You go from content to community … content from community. You should be interacting with the community, and not even know it. Video and mobile are HUGE! HUGE! That is going to be big.

a: (Opening to audience for questions)

— If someone has contributed to a wiki, and then they want to publish a book — someone is going to make money. How will that be resolved?

c: People will have to re-think copyright.

— Any tools that have value to members, that would make them move to a premium level?

d: A lot of people are doing that. For media companies, you give access to people behind the curtains. The trend is for people to monetize on community features.

b: Some of our webex communities will require special id’s, and may be pay. Some people will have access to private info.

— Special guidelines on healthcare — are there any forms of medical communities out there today?

e: A lot of companies are talking — but the toolset is limited. You can do ‘condition’ based chats, etc. A lot of people are linking on common symptoms. Professional organizations are looking at the linking of doctors.

— Wanting to move R&D outside. How do you segment that?

b: Discussion forums are great. You could let anyone participate. You could have a trusted group of people to engage. A wiki is a great idea for R&D. They have a fabulous roll, and great for developing whitepapers.

c: Wikis can stimulate ideas — very collaborative.

— Fear in choosing a solution is being locked into a solution. Do you license code and schema? Which open source offering is most competetive.

c: Launched open source community last year. Last 7 months, they’ve had significant contribution. If mind touch was gone tomorrow, the code will live on. Open source is the way to go for open standards.

d: It is a fair question — do an escrow agreement. Make sure they do XML output.

— We have a lot fo content generated on … have any of you seen examples of really good integration of community and static content?

e: Searching across content is a smart way to go. You could help pinpoint the right door to go into.

c: Talk to MSR about XML maps … get your data in order!

d: A lot of customers are implementing workflow — this has worked well for enterprise companies.

— Self-service: How can you have an organization collaborate around an issue?

d: We’ve done a lot of escalation type jobs. Reward on time — is very visionary.

c: <– good community site.

— Mentioned rating systems — wisdom of the self selected few — people safisticated at hacking rating systems — is there math behind trying to prevent people from hacking the ratings?

d: This happens a lot in really large communities. COmmunities are really self policing. You need to put tools out there to let the community police the system. Once you have incentives — people try really hard to abuse the system.

— Moderation tools: Live humans look through 6 million photos on myspace! How do you manage this stuff? Are there new tools to help moderate this stuff?

e: People who want to make trouble — will. Make tools available to escalate content up to review. Some companies do 24/7 moderation. The question of tools becomes a question of expense. You need tools that allow your moderators to work FAST! You need an optimized interface for your moderators.

— What do you look for in a client?

e: WE WANT COMITMENT. You have a mountain in front of you, and a teaspoon in hand. GET GOING!

c: We want to potential for page views. They charge by page views. It is based on page views.

b: Strong appreciation for fact that we can’t do this SUPER FAST! You can’t get a solution tomorrow. Comes down to individual company — can you put things together yourself? Do you really even need a vendor?

d: We look for intelligence and passion. We want people that will help us develop the product.

Report from the Trenches – Discussions on Community Best Practices


Lee LeFever: Common Craft

David Churbuck: Lenovo

George Jaquette: Intuit

Michael Prosceno, SAP


David: If our customers take the time to find us, then we respond. It has created moral in the service organization.

? Can you comment on policy to respond on blogs?

David: Don’t do anything that affects the stock price. Tracking 50 internal blogs. They manage it through corporate communications group. They are really careful about what they say carefully.

Michael: I wrote our blog policy. Conversations are technical — and the policy just sets basic guidelines.

How many people in the room have blogs? (Most everyone raises hands) How many are connected to the company you work for? (25% raises hands)

Michael: It is about finding the authentic voices in the company — and letting that content boil up. Let them be spokes people for the company.

George: All of the executives are afraid of what the employees are going to say. You have to trust the employees that want to talk to the customers. You should trust the people that pick up the phone and talk to customers, to also blog.

? How do you decide what to respond to, and what not to respond to?

George: We still have PR department, a designated spokes person — they are the official ‘piniatta’. šŸ™‚

David: If you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything. Don’t let stuff sit unanswered for to long. They are watching stuff happen on communities external to Lenovo.

Michael: Each topic has a different threshold. If it affects corporate reputation, it is escalated. Sometimes it is the external community answering it for you.

? How do you encourage positive feedback, without damaging authenticity?

George: The community is generally self correcting. The community polices itself.

David: People sometimes complain off topic. They will generally help that person. Generally it takes a lot of effort. “Will you go back and leave positive feedback if we help you?”

? How do you reward people to be productive?

George: People that are most visible, generally get jobs cause they are seen as experts. Intuit doesn’t monetize it directly. Everyone is a volunteer on the site.

David: They do not offer forums. They feel committed users are your best ‘promotion’ targets. Perhaps they give them a status upgrade, etc. Sometimes they bring people into the design lab. it drives passion.

Michael: Offer badges, t-shirts — it goes a long ways. They comp some registrations.

? Services and support forums… is there an issue about compliance – if they post something, and something bad happens, who is responsible?

David: Not something I have analyzed. Probably covered by terms of service.

George: Haven’t found any danger from it.

? Conflict within the community, how do you manage it? How do you deal with bad behavior….

George: When you register –> you click terms of service. When people are ugly — they are banned. The community will shout them down. The community will self police. “Take out the trash, and take down the billboards.”

David: There are nightmares that keep us awake. Most blog comments they just don’t answer, cause then it just gives them attention. Most topics will die on their own. Sometimes they just give the money back when something goes really bad. Can’t please everyone 100%.

Michael: When someone has a problem, sometimes it is a valid problem. Participate — learn — use your communities wisely. The community often knows more about what is going on than people in the company. Learn from the perspective.

? How defensive does a comment have to be before it is pulled down?

George: It takes profanity. Personal attacks must go. People will generally calm down. Show them you care, and they will calm down.

? What about posts that are off topic?

George: Move the post.

? How much thought went into the buildup of leadership.

David: They monitor using BuzzLogic. They read LOTS of RSS. They put people into formal product reform. They do elevate certain voices. They have people with threatening blogs — and they don’t respond well.

George: We don’t give cash or trincates.

? How is direct communication changing public communications. Do you need as many people?

Michael: He focuses on blogger relations. He seeks out those that are influencial in the market. The landscape absolutely is changing.

? Where do communities report to in organzations?

Michael: Reports to product management. It reduces support costs. It is not used for marketing. It doesn’t slash over to corporate PR.

David: Driven out of marketing — it is a gorilla effort. Marketing started it. It may be a corporate communications job. In the long run, community will affect every department. Every org will have to manage their community communications.

George: The community will establish itself. It is multi-faceted.

Michael: It often is *NOT* marketing.

? How do you recruit community managers?

David: We recruit journalists. We want people who can get into the heads of our customers. We want controlled passion.

? How can you be more successful.

Michael: Dive in, learn from your customers.

David: beg for forgiveness, don’t ask for permission.

George: Conversations are happening. Don’t ignore. DO!

Community Customer “Self” Service


Patricia Seybold: Patricia Seybold Group
Paul Dholakia: Rice University
Scott Wilder: Intuit

Scott: 7 million businesses using the product. Online team trying to found resources from a mountain of data.

Can you create self service communities?

Scott: Yes, in fact, we’ve done it.

Patricia: What is the sense of volume. How many questions/users/etc.

Scott: 5 million page views a month. 500,000 unique users.

? What is the ratio of online versus people calling in.

Scott: Less than 10% of customers calling call center. Intuit has well more than 1% of community contributing.

? What kind of staff do you have?

Scott: Less than 10 moderators. Intuit only has 1 develop. WebCrossing does the development work on their site.

? Where in the org are the less than 10 people?

Scott: Customer Service or marketing group. They wanted them to be in the product group. That didn’t happen. The 10 people actually sit amongst the devlopers.

Patricia: Do developers participate?

Scott: Product managers participate w/ users. They also lurk and see what users are saying. Let users know they are interacting with an Intuit employee.

Scott: We don’t offer any incentives to use site. Instead, Intuit extracts information and publishes it. This gives users a sense of purpose.

? Can you get users involved in your new product development process?

Scott: Yes, we do. When we do, we show the users how we did it.

? Did you develop everything yourself? Did WebCrossing provide it?

Scott: We’ve done a lot of customization on the Web Crossing platform. We wanted flexibility — and we built that in. This enables us to be as flexible as possible.

Scott: Helping accountants can add content to the site.

? Do you have single sign on?

Scott: Absolutely. We have SSO across all of the components of our sites.

? What about video?

Scott: We are a little late to get into video. Our users are further behind — so therefore we made a strategic decision not to use video. You need to match the technology w/ the users. Our users are most comfortable with message boards.

? Do we have any info on whether users go to call center or to sites first?

Scott: We did survey — users said, yes we go to the website. They did the survey online — and of coarse they use the website. Now they are questioning their call center folks.

Scott: Moderators do look at what is going on in other websites, such as yahoo groups, etc. In terms of google, the traffic from google is very high. We maximized traffic.

? Does our search crawl the KB.

Scott: No it doesn’t. That is something we are working on. Nirvana: get in product search integrated with community, integrated with knowledge base.

? Do you have any way to tie into call center metrics? Are calls going down due to online offering?

Scott: We know the common topics and volumes — but we can’t quantitatively analyze the time issue. We tried to hire people who moderate. This is specialized, so therefore they had to hire in. They hired people with lots of customer service/product people.

? Is call center staff using the communities?

Scott: Answer is yes. You can have private forums, and the call center folks do that.

Patricia: Does customer service have a better relationship with product development?

Scott: I sit with them all, it is a good relationship… but I really don’t know. You have to figure out how to quantify the information. You have so much information, and it is just really hard to manage it all.

? How quickly can we react to something when we have a cust service issue?

Scott: Everyone sits together, so things happen SUPER fast. If you have a major change it takes time.

Scott: We are no longer attempting to push sales through our website. We are the highest cost provider of our software. We want people to purchase it through our channels.

? Do you see communities evolving into user group conferences?

Scott: Mentions company “MeetUp”. We are using website to facilitate user groups. Take feed, and mash it up with google maps, and then you can see who is meeting near you.

? Assisted help channels: How is communities layering in?

Scott: It is really hard to quantify. They do lots of online surveys. Work with beta testers, etc. They are encouraging users to do user groups.

? Is there a workflow between these models? Can you go from forums to call center… through self workflow.

Scott: On commerce, yes. With other products, no.

Trying to understand users. Trying to figure out how to get bookkeepers accounts, developers involved. Don’t develop anything in a vacuum. All features are ran by all-star users.

How do you get users involved in product development?

Change mindset — “Their contributions are valuable”
Have a structured approach
Recruit users to be part of team
Co-author requirements and share user-case scenarios

37Signals – develops software for small businesses. They have developed add-ons for quickbooks. Untuit will give them a platform to show their products.

? Are you finding community helps you deal with more complex issues?

Scott: Yes! We use info from our community to improve our documentation. We did this by setting people next to one another. There is a completely different discussion to have about organization structure.

Partnered with a company called Simple Feed for RSS syndication.

Lessons Learned from We are Smarter than Me


Barry Libert: Shared Insights
Tim Moore: Pearson & Jon Spector

Me”>We > Me

Book: The Wisdom of Crowds

Book about ‘we are smarter than me’. Had an idea — lets have a crowd write a book. (Wikipedia has tried this, and it didn’t work)

They started an experiment to allow a community to write a book. Plans…
TOPIC: How to leverage the power of communities. (the crowd would be the beneficiary)
Platform: “Wiki plus…” <– social networking / forums / wikis / and other tools.
Business: Traditional mode, but authors share royalties. (Eventually, this book would be published.)
Why: To see what happens!

No agenda, but to realize what could be learned from the process. Wanted to prove if crowds could do something collectively.
The journey itself is more exciting than what happens.
The Dean of Morton and MIT loved it, but wanted to risk NOTHING.

3000+ members
130+ unique contributors to the wiki
650+ individual wiki contributors
650+ posts to the discussion forums

Tim: Why did we do this? 3-4 reasons. If in content business, then you want to understand content trends. 80% Pearson comes from Tech books. Computer books were a lot larger in 2001. It is now 50% smaller. There were new incentives to innovate. It seemed like a fun thing to do. If you do something to have fun, it is generally pretty cool. Perhaps you could be closer to your customers with ‘community’. The entire business is down to Amazon, Borders and B&N. Consolidation happening around the world. There is now a desire to get closer to customers, and perhaps, sell directly to them.

Barry: Intellectual property is a big deal. Modified intellectual property copyright law.


Couldn’t negotiate contract with Pearson. They took the risk, because they believed in the community. Pearson found a solution – they said … community — go communitize. From the community, you will create a manuscript — therefore we won’t have the legal issues.

Problems with engagement: When they invited authors to party — 0 authors showed up. why? By giving away their knowledge, it would give away their power at the University. The were threatened that students might know more than professors. Also, their identity is wrapped up in the belief that they are experts. They were frightened. They already have a name brand, so they don’t need to participate. This might break down their barrier. They relish the idea of an open community. People will disagree with them — this scares the crap out of them. It was clear the faculty was worried of getting in debates. They are okay with communities in their peers. They think the rest of us don’t know anything.

They went outside of the university to find contributors, and they started to get participants. Soon, they had 3000+ contributors.

They started getting calls from Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, etc.


  • Touch people’s core passion
  • Define what’s in it for them
  • Its about self-improvement
  • Brand matters
  • Be sure you have all the skills
  • Surrender control

The community began to gain control. The engineer went out of his way to re-write the entire wiki platform. They didn’t know how to deal with the fact that the community was gaining momentum and control. The community desperately desperately desperately wanted people out of their way on the project.

They went into the project knowing they needed to surrender control, but it became a different story once they became passionate about it. Eventually they let go… by the time they let go, they lost momentum.

Should I post a blog, should I post a wiki? NOT WITHOUT BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE! You need intelligence to measure the momentum.

Key Lesson: Once they let go — passion began to rise again, and it started to grow. Momentum returned. Collaboration on a website — is best done when the goals are kept short. The result wasn’t really that cohesive.

Eventually — they will make a narrative of the information.


? How much real collaboration has there been versus aggregation?

— The bulk of collaboration was happening through discussion boards. Contributions to wiki were much smaller. They began “chunking” the info, so they could get more collaboration around a specific topic.

Audience Panel – What Have We Learned So Far?


Atendees of the conference

Discuss the bits and nuggets of information that is floating around the conference.

? What are the things that surprised you about this conference?

It wasn’t surprising, but reaffirming. How do we make this thing work? This isn’t just about padding the bottom line. I am encouraged by the experience.

Wish I had brought more people from the audience. In product development we always say the product is important. We always say it is about the customer, but this conference has shown me that this isn’t necessarily true for our organization. We need to connect with our customers better.

I’ve been living and breathing communities — there are 600 people in my division working on communities. There are a lot of people of there talking about communities, and just getting started. We need to think more about best practices.

I was really suprised to see Microsoft talk about communities šŸ™‚ I have gotten more value out of talking to everyone at the conference. I think we all agree the communities are cool.

I think the conference has been fabulous and thought provoking. Couple of tensions came out…. “It is all about them, and not about us.” <– that can’t be 100% true for business. There is this tension between altruism. We aren’t doing this for free …. There is live and virtual. Most conversation about virtual. There is a lot of work to be done to invigorate and enrich a physical world. There is the old and the new — this is the new way. You can’t just stop everything you’ve been doing. Therefore, how do you change your companies practices? How do we balance and make the transition?

Microsoft Speaking: We see what is happening with the open source community — and we are playing catchup. We are beginning to see what is happening with communities, and we are developing on that. There is a new thing called “MindCamps” — this is the future of the conference. You have to think carefully about the business side of communities. We understand how we measure that — but we are in the community for the people. We think the community members should get something from it.

It is all about them and not about us. <– this is just a test — a way to think about it. It is a way to augment new ways into your organization.

Craig Newmark comment: we are community servants. this says it all.

There aren’t a lot of tools out there unless you want to spend tons of money. <– Audience: USE OPEN SOURCE

Microsoft uses Community Server for all of its outside facing blogs. They host approximately 2,500 outside facing blogs.




One Response to “Community 2.0 Conference Notes: Day 3”

  1. Melina Says:

    very interesting. i’m adding in RSS Reader

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