“World Domination Via Collaboration”

SXSWi 2007, Saturday, March 10, 10AM

Panelists: Lisa Stone (BlogHer), Betsy Aoki (Program Mgr, Microsoft), Jessica Hardwick (SwapThing), Jenna Woodul (Liveworld), Jory Des Jardins (BlogHer)

This was my favorite panel so far, and I took copious notes, so I want to share them with you. Lots of insight! These panelists are fabulous smart community-building hotshots… I have so much to learn from them.

Live-jotted notes…

“It turns out that our 9,000 members know a lot more about what they want than we do” –Lisa Stone

Need people to stand guard for trolls, people who want to ruin the community.

“There’s a tendency to think it’s about the technology. But it’s the people, stupid.” –Woodul

Dove Campaign: What is real beauty? People come to website to talk about it. Nobody talks about Dove. But the linkage works.

Aoki: wrote a blues song: “Don’t bring my servers down.” re: the microsoft .net community—if you have someone “there” to respond to complaints, you can hold onto your community even if your servers are crap.

Forgiveness is almost infinite if you get your users involved in solving the problem.

“If you can let the community help you, that’s the best advertising.” – aoki

Blogher: been very transparent about being in beta. got a lot of commmunity feedback. Relaunching March 26th. Anyone can post to site. Freetagging. Big change.

Hardwick: Maintain communication with community using blog. ask for help. discuss off-blog. put solution on-blog.

Woodul: “Whoever shows up, that’s your community. At the very beginning, you have to really know your people.”

Q: Advisory board community reps versus open discussion?

Woodul: depends on community. lot of success with both. keep it fresh.

Lisa: Ask, don’t tell.

Betsy: runs internal email list of microsoft bloggers. they’re even more fiesty on there than they are publicly.

Q: how do you let go of the control and let people talk about what they want without moderating?—people are afraid.—

Woodul: “you have a lot to gain from community. you need to know that people are talking about you and your brand ANYWAY, and you should listen in.”

—Marketing = conversation with customers. Break it down for people. Talk about ROI.

Check laws — liability? Kids also different.

Lisa on the Walmart blog: missed opportunity. good writers. if they hadn’t been paid, it would have been successful.

Betsy: if you make a mistake on a blog, edit, but note that you’ve edited. Internet gets cached. People know. (note to self: listen to this!)

Betsy: Created “Norbert” the talking cod, which speaks up often in corporate communications. customers love it. there’s no delusion that the persona is real.

Hardwick: partnered with a company so you own your own ebay reputation and can carry it with you.–average time for bad info on site is 12 minutes. users get it off.

Q: How to engage lurkers? Should you?

—community needs to be welcoming to new people. any off-putting comments will scare away lurkers

—put pullquotes on site. feature users.

—have immediate content to comment on that doesn’t look like a forum.

social anxiety means disliking room of strangers, but okay with direct questions.

Lisa: sportsfan bloggers are virtual tailgate parties. they respond to each other.

Q: anonymity in community? is anonymity kryptonite to a community? protected or abuse?

Lisa: “We know who our people are. We’re not building SpamHer or PornHer. We’re builing BlogHer.” (GO LISA!!!)

Slashdot allows an ‘anonymous coward’ login. Very successful: creates value in identity but still allows anonymity. cowards are less accountable.

Q: Do you compare online communities to cities? Do guidelines that work in one context work in another?

A: Sometimes. If location matters, then city rules apply. If not, then rules change a lot.

THE POINT: Pay attention to what your community needs.

If you like this post and would like to receive updates from this blog, please subscribe to the feed. Subscribe via RSS

Comments are closed.