Posted in online advertising, online community, web business

My notes from the CommunityNext Conference

All in all – I really enjoyed this conference.  Very targeted networking, emphasis on managing communities in addition to entrepreneurs and advertsing ideas.  Had a great time.

🙂  joi

Josh Spear – trend analyst
Aaron Dignan – Brand Play

brand utopia ™
– inserting values into the brand message
– do something worth talking about (push the envelope)
– be authentic
– let community create you (integrate not infiltrate)
– operate within the rules of the universe (what is the universe of brands your user lives in)
– change the world (new trend – was cool, not making diff)

– test the next big thing
– help create your mktg strategy
– feedback
Tara Reid – Citizen Agency
components of building a community (rules of engagement)

cluetrain manifesto
– marketplaces are full of conversations
– didn’t mean businesses should jump into convos
– rather should pay attention to convos
– learn from your customers

10 ways to shift your thinking
– become a comm evangelist (as a mgr, bring aud back to comp)
– shift your measures of success
– embrace the chaos
– find your higher purpose (oprah-tization of the web)
– understand who you are building the app for
– who do we serve?
– why would they give a damn?
– what are the next 10 steps to make sure they will give a damn?
– INreach, not outreach (not always acquiring, but foster/maintaining)
– design to delight
– be part of the community you serve
– marketing is not an afterthought
– have patience

Tools for creating, analyzing and marketing your own online comm
Hiten Shan – Crazyegg
Matt Roche – Offermatica, CEO
Mike Jone – Userplane, CEO + VP at AOL
Joe Hurd – VideoEgg, VP biz dev
Rohit Bhargava – Ogilvy, VP Interactive Mktg

Offermatica – democratize marketing
– massive overtaking of america by 8th graders 🙂
– just being linked is not enough
– when you dont have volume, how can you still measure

Userplane/AOL – tool to allow people to use tools
– key is giving them a genuine experience

How does someone decide whether they are ready for new tools or if they should build them theirself?
– viral marketing is a myth – it is spamming
– if you build it, they may not come
– meet the needs of your initial community
– have to have a dialogue with your community, does your audience want it
– speed is key
– you dont make your customers, they make you
– you find a community, you dont make it

what is the key to the most successful comms
– communities that make info easiest, those are the ones that win
– target the non- natural audience, the easy ones will find it on their own

– ads in videos, but spend lots of time talking to users about how
– pay or ads into rev share with publishers

target avg or super users?
– depends on stage for the ratio, smaller comm = higher super user focus
– work toward increasing the number of super users

how do you measure engagement
– duration
– find a way to get people deeper
– point values that the users can rate areas of site, etc

Mobile Social Networking

Nithyl Singhal, SayNow

connection brand (artists, etc) to their fans via mobile
Text, Call, Flash badge

Voice community feedback

Marl Jacobstein, loopt

– allow your content to be created by its community
– put your project in the hands of the community
– let your community grow itself
– reward the community that makes your project possible

– your project is not good enough

Community Ecology: Finding balance when working with communities
Big In Japan

Lego assimilated into existing ecosystems
Monetization vs. Support!!!!! – it’s a balance

– Redefine success
– not everything is about numbers/quantity
– Share a lot
– one big announcement isn’t as comm building as a pile of smaller ones
– Constantly adjust
– Skip the NDA
– they stop conversation
– used as a get out of jail free card
– Set and maintain expectations
– Train your colleagues
How to monetize with ads and not piss your audience off
Heather Luttrell, 3Jane and indieclick, president

– if you build it they will come
– members wont cost us anything (know member acquistion $)
– bandwidth is free and wont cost more as we grow
– we can add ad space to the design after we have built the audience
– our audience wont accept advertising
– ads will llook terrible – you can insist on nice looking
– in/direct sales will sell all our ads – must have your own sales force
– we need detailed data to do sales

– Create a forum on ad discussion
– Introducing ads encourages subscriptions
– Most clients do not want to moderate their community
– budget into cost as a consultant
– offer fans opportunity to moderate

– Designate a community manager
– seek advertisiers in your niche
– be willing to customize for advertiser
– IAB standard as units please!
– dont insist on the highest cpms – may not need to (regularaity is just as valuable)
– be flexible – timeframes may slip, creative implementation may be complicated and campaigns may be cancelled
– plan for a 60-120 day collection cycle
– Expect to have advertisers closely monitor traffic
– fresh content drives traffic
– newsletters allow you to drive traffic weekly
– you can fund a marketing campaign from ad revs

2007 trends
– tier one advertisers getting involved in niche site
– non-trad ads (custom implementation/sponsorship)
– featured content/video/editorial
– ugc and advertising
– rich media (expandable banners)
– video
– recommend videoegg
– pre roll pop with advertisers, not users. noone watches post roll

asking the users what kind of ads they want to see isn’t as effective as knowing your user and choosing appropriate companies to invite in for ads

recommend 2 million impressions a month before adding advertsing
– because the money you will make is not worth it.
Karen Kovacs North – USC
children now – children’s policy former statse assembly man
– national children in media movement
Sun Microsystems Startup program
– software discounts
– free guidance

– Develop participation guidelines
– Get community involvement in creation and revisions
– Post them everywhere
– enforce quickly and consistently
– like critical systems, your community must be monitored
– hire a community manager
– strive for 100% community uptime

passion-centric comm
– entertainment
– info
– sociality
– services

impact hoizon
– time frame in which decisions you make or projects you start have to have an impact on your business
– dont look out too far

– start your features with less rules, apply more as needed
– be evolutionary – get feedback often and implement it (developer, project team, internal team, plus members, community, final first version)
– skip version releases, favor small responsive iteratons
– be comfy with chaos
– talk to users

– sponsorships
– get first one
– you are never too small to get one
– sponsors provide growth capital
– sponsors dont scale
– direct ad buys
– remium mem
– virtual gifts
– bulk ads
– integrated brand campaigns
– be picky about ads
– build campaigns that bring the advertiser into community
– dont be deceptive
– campaigns should offer something special to users
– write your advertisers copy
– think beond banners, find the right place is to position their message



Joi Podgorny has spent the better part of the past 2 decades working on the bleeding edge of the technology and entertainment industries, from content/brand development and production to leading international support, moderation, community and social teams. Most recently, Joi founded Good People Collective, a consulting agency focused on helping companies and organizations establish, assess and pivot their internal and external cultures to help maximize their potential. She and her team are currently working on an exciting new software project, combining corporate training and virtual reality.

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