Participation will no longer be optional.

I missed the blogpost „social media will be like air“ by Charlene Li in March. But before not mentioning it at all, I’ll rather blog about it late. The article is about the fact that social media, especially the communities/social networks that make up these media plattforms, will be be ubiquitous in a few years. The son of my boss once asked, how people managed to access the internet before computers were invented. A rather smart question, once you think about it.

In a few years kids will ask us, why we used so many different platforms to socially engage with one another online. (And why we used platforms in the first place). Similar to why they will ask us, why we needed stationary big machines with huge screens to access the internet.

So the article of Charlene Li is worth reading in any case, but there was one point that I particularly noticed:

4) A business model where social influence defines marketing value. Today’s advertising models don’t work on social networking sites – that’s because simply targeting better on profile or social graph details is still the same old media model of CPM and CPC pricing. What’s missing is marketing value based on how valuable I am in the context of my influence. For example, Steve Rubel is a highly influential person because he is an authority on social media, the people in his social graph tend to interested in his views, and they in turn have a great deal of authority as well. (Several people came up to me after the speech and said that this is similar to a „PageRank of people“, a very easy way to crystallize the idea.)

There are discussions about the future of your „typical target group“ already going on. The idea of establishing a „PageRank of people“ seems to be a viable solution. Discriminating it may be, but it provides a good indication of who to target – or should we rather call it: speak to?

In summary, Participation is no longer optional writes Steve Rubel, referencing Charlene Li’s post. And he ads:

The end result is that marketers will need to shift the way they approach communities. Static advertising is no longer viable. The solution is collaboration. Marketers will need to tap these emerging social operating systems to build meaningful connections through their sites and others before competitors do.

Engaging in „social networking“ with your brand/product advocates will be is a crucial part of the media mix. I just wonder, when this insight will have found its way into marketing plans of most companies?

Vote for marketing memes on the web

I should have known. The chances of having an idea first are really slim. So someone, Alister, to be precise, came up with the idea to block the URL for Marketing Meme first. A URL that could be the meme-tracker of the marketing world, just as techmeme is the meme-tracker of the technology world.

Not sure when he came up with this, of course, it doesn’t say on the site. All it says is: your vote and support is needed here. And the post behind that link was written in December of last year (so I am probably only 5 months too late – which is a decade in internet terms). Now he is asking us from the marketing community to help him to get the guys from techmeme to setup a special service for the marketing industry:

I’d be happy to see some nice ongoing volume of inbound links from SEM Search, but honestly, I’d really like to see Gabe Rivera over at create a ““, that removes SEM/SEO/SMO/PR/etc stuff out of techmeme and puts it under its own “engine”, building off, say, Lee Odden’s list, with some fuzzy logic around that, finding other on-topic blogs as well.

So if you’re interested in having such a service (I am, for sure!), go over to this site and put your vote in the comments!

4 types of communities

At the Church of the customer Blog, there is an approach of how to categorize communities, which I found quite interesting. The build a square, one axis being size, the other being devotion. Most communities can be aligned along these axes:

  • Little Devotion, little in size: Clique, like a small world. (Anyone who can invite me?)
  • Little in size, but high in devotion: Cult, like Maker’s Mark Ambassadors. (Never heard of them!)
  • Low in devotion but large in size: Network, like LinkedIn or Xing.
  • Large in size and high in devotion: Nation, like Netroots Nation. (Never heard of them either!)

So what does that tell us? Size and devotion are the two main things affecting any community. Question is, whether it is possible to increase both at the same time, or if it is better to focus on one at a time?

The three spheres of web strategy

Jeremiah Owyang posted an interesting thought-model of three essential elements of web strategy.

The three spheres, which are influencing each other, intersecting and overlaying are Business, Community and Technology:

The business sphere requires a strategist to understand the long term objective of a website and it’s goals.

The Community: The Web Strategist must understand (by using a variety of techniques and tactics) what users want. This is commonly known as User Experience Research which will create and craft a ‘mental model’.

Lastly, a Web Strategist needs to know how each and every tool and technology work, they’ll need to know the strengths, benefits, limitations and costs. This also applies to human capital, and timelines.

His viewpoint is that of a web strategist working within a company, being, for example, in charge of the corporate website. But it can also translate to digital planners in agencies, who need a similar profile.

Generation „C“ – the connected, creative community members

Another name for a „new“ generation – this time it’s all about „C“

Gen C is a generation of people defined not by age but by activity. The story of how I heard of it has involved two appropriate C-words already: Community; Connectedness.

There are more:

  • Creativity
  • Content
  • Control
  • Complexity

Gen C make their own content. Gen C form strong communities, and care about communication. They want to be connected. Gen C take on broadcast media on their own terms: They get involved, and are happy to make their own celebrities. Gen C control their own lives; they’re happy with complexity and continuous partial attention. Gen C work and live creativity: they work in creative industries, don’t look down on making and crafting, and want to adapt mass market products in acts of co-creation.

The article at Schulze & Webb (Pulse Laser) goes on about the empowerment, expectations and responses linked to this thought…