I just found this image interesting and did not know what to make of it.
O'Reilly Tools of Change For Publishing (Part 2)
The second part of the conference I attended was a talk by Francois Gossieaux called Building Community Around Content The Tribalization of Business. The title of the conference session reminded me of Cory Doctorow's Eastern Standard Tribe. Cory Doctorow was at the session sitting not far from me which was rather interesting and in a way perplexing.
This session was about getting people involved in content. It was essentially about creating community online. We were told to break up into different groups, five groups of publishers, one group of magazine publishers, and one group of other people. I guess I am an other person belonging to a unique tribe. The group I was with was very interesting, there was a writer from Galleycat, a person from Writer's Mama, an Australian writer, a newspaper person from the Boston Globe, someone from Moody's Analytics, R.R. Bowker, and a Technology Editor from School Library Journal.
The session was about monetizing communities, but I don't think I really learned much about making money from online communities. The focus was that you should focus on the social aspects of community and the money would follow.
Francois Gossieaux delivered a variety of maxims in his French accent. It had a pleasant ring to it. The more content you have the more users you will have. The more users you will have the more content you will have. The better you match content and members together, the more users you will get. If it is easy to do more transactions you will get more people. Get people seems to be the mantra of the day.
Of course because this was a business oriented session everything had to be broken down into numbers. You should have metrics to check how many people are using your site, how many people are viewing your site, and where they are coming from. I use Sitemeter on my blog to do this.
The numbers also showed people were not spending much money on blogs. 58% of companies spent less than $50,000 per year on their blogs. I spend nothing on building this site except my time. Still this was rather surprising.
For the majority of companies, they have 34% (a single parti-timer) or 17% 1 person working on a blog. This means 51% of companies only have one person working on their blog. Not too promising if you are seeking a job as a blogger. I am not.
There were wonderful promises about what would happen if you started a blog for your business. I did not find it that fascinating. I did find the idea that 50% of people want to be able to use their cell phone to find information interesting. I am not that fond of cell phones, however the Iphone looks intriguing because of Brightkite and the Stanza reader software. The prospect of tiny text is intriguing.
More than anything they reminded us that content is what matters, not technology. "Content Is King!" A beautiful site does not matter that much either. Having gripping content and interesting people is what people want when they visit a social networking site.
We spent some time discussing online communities in our group. I learned of a bunch of different social networking sites for literature, Authonomy, Arxiv, litminds, booksprouts and others. This was pretty interesting. I find literature social networking sites very interesting.
The most interesting reminder I got was from Cory Doctorow, social networks grow and die. There is a life cycle for social networks. Of course I am in denial and this blog will be immortal. If your site dies as a small independent site it is gone forever. However, if you are part of a giant site like blogspot, facebook, or blogcatalog, you can just start it over and try again.
The session was interesting and informative. I got to perplex one of my favorite writers so it must have been good. Cory Doctorow makes me think.