Category Archives: web 2.0

Seeking: A Community Manager

After a meagre community organizer became President of United States, you would think every company out there would be looking for a community manager. Fire a CMO, hire a CM.

This blog post is heavily inspired by Micki Krimmel. So thank you Micki, from the community.

In the industrial age, if Monster.com was alive, I would probably see job postings for factory workers and if Craigslist was accessible in the agriculture era, I would probably be seeking another farmer, but this be the knowledge era and this be the knowledge era 2.0, when knowledge is increasingly social while remaining inherently personal, when masses go on the web and become communities, when pushing knowledge has given way to pulling knowledge. Yep it is definitely an interesting age to be alive. Beats being a factory worker in London in the 30s…I tell ya.

So in this new age when pull beats push, listening beats talking and the community already exists, you need someone to understand what is being pulled, why it is being pulled, how it is being pulled and who is pulling it? You also need someone who  listens before he talks… and you need someone who is managing (insert your favorite verb here: organize, engage, relate to… etc.) that already existent community. You need a community manager.

Who are community managers? They are “creators, empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers.” They are the ones that give your customers a hug when they need one and your company a conscience when it doesn’t have one. Now if AIG had a community manager… okay bad example.

He is the customer’s lawyer on your company’s board, he is your communication gateway to your customers and if your brand is Jesus than he is your Pat Robertson.

So how do you hire for this really important person? Rather, who do you hire? Hint: your company’s biggest fan will make for a pretty good community manager. Love is contagious….

So when you do hire this biggest fan of yours, make sure he has the autonomy and is able to move around the company and learn from/about every department. And definitely make sure that he has authority. Well at least more authority than the silly PR firm you hired, that you do not need.

And community managers: you are in a unique position because before you exercise that authority you have two questions to ask:

1. Is this good for the company?

2. Is this good for the community?

So anyways get working on that job posting for knowledge era 2.0 – Seeking a community manager.

Content to Context

So lot of interesting details at the Web 2.0 Conference this year. The general theme: from content to context.

What do I mean by that?

To measure content, you have to understand the context around it. Vague? Thought so… let me try and explain it this way:

To me as a content owner/provider it is important for me to measure the metrics (number of views) around the content, but to understand the true impact of the content, I will have to measure the context (user comments) around it.

To me as a viewer of that content it is important for me to see how many of my friends liked it, but it also becomes important for me (in order to get a “complete” perspective) to understand why they liked it.

Basically, how content when treated as an object, relates to the viewer/reader/listener is the context of that piece of content.

And that seemed to be the general theme of web 2.0 this year. Conversations were largely about the effect that web 2.0 technologies have had and how people (It’s the People, stupid!) are beginning to relate to those technologies.

The single biggest difference from the last time I attended the same conference: things are beginning to make sense. Business models are actually a lot more tangible than they once were. Web 2.0 is no more about: build it and they(users) will come. But it is about they(users/communities) are already there, how best can our business models relate(engage/organize) to them. And that is evolution.

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The question that was on my mind before the conference and sorta remained unanswered after was: how do you measure social? And then how do you scale it?

Answers are beginning to form… but we are not there yet.

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Interesting question someone asked someone: How can you tell a web 2.0 “dude” from a web 1.0 person?

Answer: A web 1.0 person will always talk to you about the internet, as if it was a network of computers… a web 2.0 dude will talk about the internet: as a network of people.

Even a CISCO talks about the human network.

Our next bubble might be the commodity market. But this new genre of social web entrepreneurs are for real. Believe you me, this is not the dot com bubble… the social web + green technology + biotech is where long term sustainable growth will come from.

Oh by the way, I suck at making predictions.

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A shout-out to Eric Ries. I sincerely believe in the work he is doing. It directly affects the way we are doing things @ Marcellus. He is a great thinker and a wonderful presenter.

Another shout-out to Clara Shih and her extremely relevant book: The Facebook Era. Great read.