Archive for Social networks

Commercial options as “Co- Martial Arts”

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , on May 19, 2008 by Geir Stene

I’m playing with words, but still; I just thought of it. Commercials, isn’t really something people want, is it?
Still as consumers we do want and need things, when we want and need them, and most of us would love to get a great offer, just at the right time and place.


If my toaster broke down – or car. I’d be happy to get a solution to my problem. But it’s annoying to be bombarded with toaster or car repair ads when everything is just fine. As we have seen, advertisers have discovered this idea, like we can observe it at e.g.
What’s the clue? Amazon knows something about you! (and more than you might like to know) and Amazon guess what else they can offer you. At times we think of this as great, and at other times we think it sucks. It all depend on our needs and motivations when we are exposed to the suggestions they make. But all what they really do is to make a qualified guess.

This is getting far better/worse (depending on perspective) in the web 2.0 development as we speak about it. But no doubt, connecting user Profiles to Content and Ads. is increasing rapidly. This triangle has enormous possibilities. Up till now web communities have been able to get “filthy rich”, selling their “flat” databases with a very simple concept; ‘Set up a community – get loads of users – sell – Success!’ And the revenue stream is basically made out of very traditional wide spread advertisements – Throw adds over people! No segmentation, no thought what so ever – if this is something that pleases users or pisses them off. The buyer of the community doesn’t really care, if he has 1(or 10) mill. daily users in his database to sell to advertisers he’s happy chap. This trend will not last for long!

But what if ? What if we can create concepts that take full advantages over the holistic paradigm of Content, Adds and user Profiles and make use of the input/output from that? And we can ! Then we can provide a “Martial Art advertisement concept” for the user (and also for the advertisers BTW): The concept is to take the force from the opponent and use that energy to achieve our goal – or defend us towards unwanted attacks. We are able to give users a community where they have common interests in content and social networking,to give them control over what ads they want to be exposed to and by that increase the likeliness of being able to provide individuals with accurate advertisement, based upon the Content they choose, and their user profile on that site. Any one that doesn’t think this looks wonderful ? It also works the reversed way, where advertisers can segment perfectly, and know the user pattern and interessts of a user, and usergroups in detail, and automatically provide the correct ad at the correct time and place on the site.  – Oh, did I just give away a great business idea? *grin* I don’t think so. It’s like Martial Art, you need quite a lot of talent, knowledge and training to get it right !


I attended First Tuesday yesterday

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , on May 7, 2008 by Geir Stene

Web 2.0 and social networks had the focus of the speakers. It’s not just another “buzz word” just as I thought. There is a lot of interesting things happening at the moment and the future looks bright.

I know one of the speakers, Kjetil Manheim, and yesterdays post became a “friendly race” from my side to get my post out before I had heard what he had so say about social networking. 🙂 Lots of people came to network, and to discuss these, and other themes of the Internet business of today. I got to introduce a few new people of the company I own a part of, meetcon, and it just might develop into some interesting collaboration and web conference projects.

First Tuesday is always inspiring, and it’s always interesting to meet up with new people in the business and re- cap with people I know. You can read all about it at First Tuesday if you become a member !

From mass communication to communicaton between the masses.

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , on May 6, 2008 by Geir Stene

The paradigm shift from mass communication to communication between the masses is just at its beginning. We have seen some examples of how to make this a profitable business, but I believe that we only have seen the top of an ice berg.

There are so many implications to this that you will find whole book stores trying to cover the subject. The shift within the Internet industry has gone from sending out information, like documents presented as HTML text, toward broader one way communications, like commercials, PR, campaigns and so forth, further on to enabling the options for giving feedback, comments, newsgroups, dating services, chat, web conferencing etc. etc. It’s a wide field with a lot of phenomena working in parallel.

There is confusion, and there is chaos. But as the Zen Buddhists’ say: From chaos comes order. In a business perspective companies have struggled to find business models that fit the demands to interact via the web and via other channels as well. This is now changing rapidly. I think it can be interesting to divide the two way communication area into three main arena; Consumer power solutions, Democracy increasing possibilities and Social networks.

The reason for me not to define this as interactivity is that there is a difference between two way communication and interactivity, (not all two way communication is interactive) which can lead to even more confusion, so let’s stick to the broader definition; two way communication.

Consumer power or it could also be defined as commercial exploration of individuals on the market. This is two sides of the coin. Is all about how the customer want to deal with the seller, how to get products and services easier, faster and cheaper. For the seller, its all about how to get enough knowledge about the customer to streamline the sales process, and enable a larger sale, added sales opportunities, build loyalty. Cross sales, cross channels, mixed business models can be implemented with a great result for both customer, and provider. One the one hand the customer can get more “power” – and so it is also for the provider. Interactive options, in voting, polling, response options, chat, customer web conferencing as support etc. is putting two way communication into real life on the web, TV, mobile phone and in the car. The collection of customer base, the knowledge and behavior patterns all create fundamentally increased possibilities for increased profit.

Democracy increasing possibilities is all about enable us all in stating our opinions on the one hand, and gathers groups that provide and produce content on the other hand. As we see it can be used for non-profit purposes, but also commercially. Blogs, discussion boards, magazines where everyone can publish, net meetings, adding comments of articles are examples of how to work with this kind of two way communication. For individuals this is great opportunities to participate in the public discourse in, or to get tailor made service from the commercial arena.

Social networks meet a fundamental human wish/need – to belong to a group. Via the Internet (or cell phone or other channels for that matter, social networks has a direct appeal for everyone that can find some sort of group they can identify and belong to. For the participants there are a lot of benefits and “things to do” either private “entertainment” or as a professional network building outcome. The value and possibilities at hand when you have such a group, or have made a system where those kinds of “groupings” can happen in a large scale, there are many business models that work. Adds is one, selling services is another, selling behavior patterns of your member base are a third, and there are a lot of options combining models.

What’s happening at the moment is that these ideas and concepts are refined, and gets more advanced as the months goes by. The business models as well as the services provided. There is a lot of creativity, and the best part is that a lot of it is driven by the participants, so there is an effect of a collective product development rarely seen before. The most interesting part of what is happening at the moment is when ideas gets mixed and new concepts arrive. Some of the mix is within the areas I have written about in this posting, and the former post “ About transparency”, even more interesting is the mixes that have started to arise, with other concepts, established long ago for other purposes, that’s when two plus two becomes more than five.