I am at the New Comm Forum in the beautiful city of Palo Alto, CA after a long and excruciating flight which took forever and which made me kinda miss my rental car pickup (it's worth another post, believe me). So I am here and its exciting to be around people who all have computers and have a Blogger and/or a Wordpress window open :)
We are waiting for the keynote speech to begin. The keynote is by Charlene Li, Principal Analyst from Foresster Research. She needs no introduction..
Jennifer McClure is giving an update on the events of the day. This is my first time to the NewCommForum and apparently this two year old forum has grown twice in audience (which is not surprising). Elizabeth intros Charlene.
Charlene Li: Tapping into Connected Customers
Consumers ignore firms. Social computing will bring a new balance. Processing moves to the edge of the network. Consumers have ample storage and processing in PCs and phones. Time and place become irrelevant - broadband and net-enabled phones. Cheap hardware offers power to the masses. Trust in peers trashes ads. Brand loyality is dropping
Social computing: A social structure in which technology puts power in communities, not institutions. US Cellular used blogs for market research. Used Umbria to track what demographics groups on blogs are saying. iStockPhoto, Burpee seeds RSS feed. Customized RSS feeds. Firms will offer experiences. Blogs give companies a human face. Fastlane Blog by GM. Charlene digs digg! Reuters Financial Glossary Wiki! Wow!
The risks of ceding control: "Employees and executives will say something bad". "We cant have negative opinions on our site"."We'll lose control of the brand". 11% of social computing crowd reads blogs. 6% use social networking site. 6% use RSS. 1% use podcasting. Numbers are for North American market.
Getting Started: Decide how involved you will be with social computing. At a minimum, listen to what is being said. Best practices: Focus on the relationships, not the technology. Start small and prove the business case. Recruitment blog, press release RSS feeds, earnings call podcast. Let your customers tell youwhat you are doing right/wrong. Admit when you've made a mistake. Measure engagement. What it means: Social computing will move into the enterprise. Consumers will demand do-it-yourself applications. Community based political candidates will emerge. Social computing will be like "air"?!
Summary: Successful social computing requires ceding control to build the relationship. Technologies will come and go, but relationships will always be there. Tap into the power of consumers by letting them drive your band and products.
New Media Case Studies
Neville Hobson, Jarah Euston of Fresno Famous, Jason Snell of Mac Publishing, Michael Tippett of NowPublic
- Blending CGM (Citizen Generation Media) & MSM
[I am back online... I am skipping my session which I'll blog later]
What happens after Listening?
Shel Isreal, Naked Conversations
Robert Scoble, MS Evangelist
Bloggers are obsessed with numbers. If you want to start a blog about kite flying, just start a blog with 3 of your kite flying buddies - dont care about how many people you get. Just go blog it as you would talk about it with a bunch of friends.
Blogging is an extension of word-of-mouth marketing from 1980s. Conversation Overload? Not if you love your product, your work.
Rest of the speech was devoted to questions from the audience. There were many interesting exchanges. It was very lively from an interesting mix of people.
Other liveblogs covering the event: