Category Archives: Online Community Business Forum

Liveblogging and the back channel move to Twitter

Cross-posted from the Online Community Report.

One of the more interesting things that happened at the Online Community Business Forum last week didn’t happen during a particular session, but rather, happened to several participants as the sessions of the first day went on. This is a real shift in behavior for these particular participants, as I generally see them using IRC as a back channel, and a few of them live blogging. Twitter was serving both purposes at the OCBF.

Both the conference back channel as well as the live-blogging mostly shifted to Twitter. You can check out the end result of the “Live Tweeting” here: http://twemes.com/ocbf2008

The main benefit I saw of using Twitter during the sessions was that it allowed (at least in a small way) lots of participants who weren’t at the conference to participate.

The main downside is that it’s really hard to pay attention, be present, and full process a conversation while cramming thoughts in to 140 characters per tweet.

In particular, Shara Karasic of Work.com did an awesome job of live tweeting (wow – did I just write live tweeting?) the event.

Thomas Kriese shares his thoughts about the live tweeting phenomenon here.

Do you Twitter? Follow me @billjohnston

Posted by Bill Johnston in Events at 00:41 |

Online Community Business Forum: Initial Report Back

Cross-posted from the Online Community Report.

First, apologies for the radio silence on the blog, folks. The Online Community Business Forum was a huge success, but also a massive undertaking, and I took a couple of days to unplug from the socialmediosphere.

The good news? There is a ton of great content about the event online. I’ll be posting highlights over the next few days, but I wanted to point folks to several great summaries of our opening sessions.

Two of the highlights of the conference for me were Alan Webber’s opening remarks, and Rohit Barghava’s session on “Thinking beyond your community site”. I’ve been a huge fan of Alan’s since becoming an avid reader of Fast Company in the late 90′s. Alan did a great job of setting the tone for the Business Forum with his inspirational remarks about founding Fast Company with Bill Taylor in the early 90s. Alan was followed by Rohit Bhargava, who provided perspective on thinking beyond “your” community site, and gave case studies of community building using an ecosystem approach, including one that covered the launch of his new book “Personality Not Included.”

Thomas Kriese of Omidyar Network did a fantastic job of capturing both sessions:

Alan Webber at Online Community Business Forum

Rohit Bhargava speaks at Online Community Business Forum

This was an exceptional two days of content, conversations and networking. Look for more content to follow as we get the presentations and notes added to the wiki. And I haven’t even mentioned all the Gorbie sightings!
Gorbie!

Online Community Business Forum: Final Agenda Set

We are just a few days away from the Online Community Business Forum in Santa Fe, and the final agenda is in place. You will find the speaker and topic lineup below. In addition to the awesome lineup of speakers, we are planning a 1/2 day of Open Space on Tuesday afternoon.

We will be posting highlights from both days on the Online Community Report.

Monday, April 14th

Opening Comments
Alan Webber – Co-founding Editor of Fast Company

Session 1 / Thinking Beyond The Community Website
Sometimes the best thing you can do is to build your community by focusing instead on the ecosystem around it. Using two interactive case studies as a framework, this session will kick off the day by challenging your perceptions about your online community, and getting you to think beyond your own sandbox.
Session Lead: Rohit Bhargava – Senior Vice President Digital Strategy & Marketing, Ogilvy

Session 2 / The Business of Community
Case studies on planning, managing and articulating value from two leading brands.
Session Lead: Rachael Makool – Senior Director, Ebay
Session Lead: Mark Williams – Manager, Support Communities, Apple

Session 3 / Community Metrics & Reporting
An overview of online community metrics models, methodologies and techniques.
Session Lead: Matthew Lees , VP – Patricia Seybold Group
Session Lead: Robert Dell’Imagine, Director of Communities – VMWare

Session 4 / Break Out Sessions -

Breakout: Influencers & Evangelists
Session Lead: Alan Crosby, Director of Global Community Relations – Sony Online Entertainment

Breakout: Community Management Best Practices
Session Lead: Scott Moore, Social Media Strategist
Session Lead: Gail Ann Williams, Director of Communities – Salon.com / The Well

Breakout: Getting Beyond Not “Getting It”
Session Lead: Shara Karasic, Community Manager – Work.com

Session 5 / Real Value from Virtual Worlds
Many organizations and finding real value in virtual worlds. Gain perspective and hear case studies from 2 experts dealing in the business of virtual worlds and virtual goods.
Session Lead: Robin Harper, VP of Marketing and Community Development – Linden Lab
Session Lead: Ravi Mehta, VP, Publishing – Viximo

Tuesday, April 15th

Session 6 / Community Value & Revenue Techniques
A leading VC, and a leading social media expert give perspectives on the dimensions of value of online communities, as well as specific examples of revenue techniques.
Session Lead: David Silver, Author, ‘Smart Start-ups’
Session Lead: Aaron Strout, VP Social Media, Mzinga

Session 7: On the Horizon – Panel Discussion
Moderator: Kellie Parker, Online Community Manager – PC World/Mac Publishing
Panelist : Mary Furlong, CEO – Furlong and Associates
Panelist : Jenna Woodul, Chief Community Officer – LiveWorld

As I mentioned before, we are also going to have a mini Unconference On Tuesday afternoon will likely have about 12 sessions.

Busy March and April: events I am hosting / attending

Lot’s of good online community events coming up, including:

Online Community Roundtable: Seattle
We will be on campus at Microsoft the evening of 3/12. Want to attend? Send me an email.

Mobile Communities Unconference: 3/20 in Palo Alto
Forum One Network’s next Unconference focuses on the possibilities (and challenges) of online community and social media experienced via wireless handsets.

What’s Next: Boomer Summit: 3/26 in DC
Our good friend Mary Furlong is hosting the Boomer Summit. I’m leading panels on “What’s Next in Technology” and Social Networking.

Online Community Business Summit: 4/14-15 in Santa Fe
Forum One Network’s gathering of industry leaders to discuss the business of online community. Who’s coming? Linden Lab, Apple, Cisco, VMWare, Sony and Microsoft to name a few. Want an inviation? Send me an email.

May and June? Even busier :) More good stuff to highlight and announce soon.

Forum One – Online Community Events for 2008

Online Communiteers – Breaking news: we have finalized our event series for 2008. I wanted to give the OC Report readers a sneak peek, as well as to let you know that we have opened registration and have a special “super early bird” rate for our OCU East and Mobile Communities Unconferences.

Our events series for 2008 includes:

Online Community Unconference East 2008
(Registration Open Now!)
http://www.forumone.com/ocue2008
February 21, 2008 in New York
The Online Community Unconference East is the east coast of location of our Unconference series. The event is an Open Space gathering of online community practitioners – managers, developers, business people, tool providers, investors – to discuss experience and strategies in the development and growth of online communities.

Mobile Communities Unconference (Registration Open Now!)
http://www.forumone.com/mcu2008
March 20, 2008 in Palo Alto
The Mobile Communities Unconference focuses on social experiences on the brings together strategists, community hosts, device manufacturers, service providers, and content developers to discuss the emerging opportunities and challenges that mobile communities present.

Online Community Business Forum 2008

http://www.forumone.com/ocfb2008
April 14 – 15, 2008 in Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Online Community Business Forum is an invitation-based event for online executives to gather and discuss the intersection of business strategy and online community, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Online Community Unconference 2008

http://www.forumone.com/ocu2008
June 18, 2008 in Mountain View, CA
The Online Community Unconference is our west coast gathering of online community practitioners – managers, developers, business people, tool providers, investors – to discuss experience and strategies in the development and growth of online communities.

Online Community Summit 2008
http://www.forumone.com/ocs2008
October 9 – 10, 2008 in Sonoma, CA
The Online Community Summit, in it’s 8th year, is the exclusive gathering for thought leaders in online collaboration gather to discuss best ideas for the future, in Sonoma, California.

Marketing & Online Communities 2008
November 3-4, NYC (dates and details to be confirmed in January 08)
The Marketing & Online Communities conference will explore current practice and innovative case studies that focus on the intersection of marketing and online communities.

If you have any questions about any of the events, or are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please let me know.

Online Community ROI

At the recent Online Community Business Forum, Joe Cothrel and I presented on Online Community ROI.

Specifically, we proposed the notion that there was enough publicly available data and likely enough data internally that most companies could put together a model that describes the ROI of its’ Online Community Investments.

Session 3: Online Community ROI
Publicly available stats (compiled by Joe)

- Community users remain customers 50% longer than non-community users. (AT&T, 2002)
- 43% of support forums visits are in lieu of opening up a support case. (Cisco, 2004).
- Community users spend 54% more than non-community users (EBay, 2006)
- In customer support, live interaction costs 87% more per transaction on average than forums and other web self-service options. (ASP, 2002)
- Cost per interaction in customers support averages $12 via the contact center versus $0.25 via self-service options. (Forrester, 2006)
- Community users visit nine times more often than non-community users (McKInsey, 2000).
- Community users have four times as many page views as non-community users (McKInsey, 2000).
- 56% percent of online community members log in once a day or more (Annenberg, 2007)
- Customers report good experiences in forums more than twice as often as they do via calls or mail. (Jupiter, 2006)

From the Forum One OC ROI Survey (April 2007):
- Only 22% of respondents had clear ROI Model
- 42% had staff of 1-5 people
- 49% Report Monthly to Mgmt
- Establishing ROI Model was a priority for most respondents in the near term

Full powerpoint deck here.

OC Business Forum Starts today in Sonoma

We will be adding blog posts, flickr feeds and maybe even a tweet or two throughout the day.

OC Business Forum

Cross-posted from the OC Report:

OC Business Forum: Coming Together Nicely!

Thursday, March 29. 2007

The Online Community Business Forum is coming together nicely. We are hosting the invitation-based event May 3 – 4 in Sonoma.

Sorry, but I have to drop a few names here: we have attendees from Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, IBM, eBay, Sun, Autodesk, Cisco, TV Guide, and Consumer Reports.

The draft agenda is set, and Jim and I are working on refining it based on the attendees. The cool thing about doing a relatively small and invitation-based conference like this is that we can really tailor the content to the attendees.

The working agenda, as it stands:

Thursday May 3rd
1:00 – 1:30: Registration at Saddles
1:30 – 2:30: Session 1 / Introductions and Welcome
2:30 – 3:15: Session 2 / The State of Online Community
3:30 – 4:00: Break
4:00 – 5:00: Session 3 / Business Models
5:00 – 5:30: Wine Tasting
7:00 – 8:30: Wine, Hors Doeuvres – El Dorado Kitchen

Friday May 4th
8:30 – 9:30: Registration / Breakfast
8:30 – 9:30: Community and Good Ideas Demos (open podium)
9:30 – 10:00: Introductions
10:00 – 11:00: Session 4 / Subscriber Income
11:00 – 11:30: Break
11:30 – 12:30: Advertising & Marketing Panel
12:30 – 1:30: Lunch
1:30 – 2:30: Break Out Sessions – Community ROI, Support Communities, Developer Communities
2:30 – 3:00: Break
3:00 – 4:00: Session 6: On the Horizon: Future Online Community Business Models
4:00 – 5:00: Wine and Snack
Evening: No host dinners at Café LaHaye, Saddles, elsewhere (optional)

The other really cool think about hosting an event in Sonoma is that we have ready access to the world’s best wines -)