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Thread: Web 2.0 communities and value trades.

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Web 2.0 communities and value trades.

    Being a member of the admin team on a number of forum sites, there is one particular problem I see on a fairly regular basis. Essentially, it comes from failing to respect the reason why these sites exist.

    Web 2.0 communities are all about User Generated Content (UGC), and quite often participation is free. However, just because you do not have to haul out your credit card, it does not mean that there is no exchange of value taking place.

    The value exchange may not be obvious, and at times quite complex, but know with some certainty an exchange of value is taking place.

    With many of the well-known UGC websites, it is all about entertainment value. The entertainment value brings traffic, which in turn produces advertising revenue. This can make things a bit tricky when trying to promote your business via an entertainment value Web 2.0 web site. But I am not convinced that we should be spending too much time going that way anyway.

    If you are going to use Web 2.0 for business, you should be looking for more business oriented sites. Meeting people at parties is great. Handing out a few business cards might be okay. Doing business at parties? Maybe not such a good idea. And there are lots of good Web 2.0 business community websites available. The Forum SA is one of them.

    These business websites seem to fall into two major categories, one where you need to pay a subscription and the other where participation is free. Let’s focus on free websites for a moment because this is where the value proposition is most commonly misunderstood.

    What the Web site owner is looking for here is content that will attract traffic and in turn generate advertising revenue. Now I don't know about you, but I certainly do not visit a website regularly just to look at adverts. So if you go to a Web 2.0 business web site and all you do is post adverts, you will be irritating the regular visitors and working against the value flow. The answer is to give content that includes an element of self-promotion. Not blatant self-promotion perhaps, but ideally with some connection to your business that someone can follow if they are interested.

    A savvy website owner will also realise that in you putting up content, you are adding value to the website and will give you opportunity to realise a value in return. We do this a number of ways at The Forum SA, one of the more powerful being through signatures. This let’s you participate without having to constantly weave in a trail back to your commercial interest. It is all handled automatically for you in a tasteful and effective way. You can find out more about signatures here.

    Don't be disappointed if you don't get the crowd straightaway. What you are looking for is hot leads; cold leads are notoriously difficult to convert. And if the content is any good (or at least not particularly offensive), it will stay there and keep generating hot leads from time to time.

    Ultimately, my message is that if you take a moment to understand the value trades that are taking place and lean into them, your Web 2.0 efforts will be far more rewarding.
    Seeing opportunity changes nothing. Seizing opportunity and running with it changes lives.

  2. Thank given for this post:

    derekjay (16-Aug-10), duncan drennan (02-Aug-08), tonyflanigan (16-Aug-10)

  3. #2
    New Member
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    Aug 2010
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    Will check it out. Looks very interesting.

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