Three simple thoughts on … community

Recently, I’ve seen some fairly savvy organisations do some not so savvy things when it comes to community so I thought I would jot down a few very simple thoughts on the topic.

  1. Remember you are not building a community you are facilitating an existing one. If your goal is to “build/grow” community around your brand/organisation, make sure you take a person (better still more than one person) who you think is an existing member of your community and work through what they need or what facilities an online community could provide this person.  Make sure there is going to be something in it for them individually as members of the community.
  2. As a brand/organisation you are not the community. Think about it like a party,  you (the brand/organisation) are akin to the room where the event is being held and the person facilitating the event. Remember this at all times.
  3. Continuing with that analogy from point 2, as the facilitator you need to help to get conversation started (no one likes a party where the only person talking and contributing is the facilitator/host). Entertain your community (a party without some amusement would be pretty boring, why would anyone turn up?). Finally, if you think you’re going to have a fairly boisterous community, treat it like a boisterous party – lay down some rules, reward good behaviour and eject the trouble makers who are just ruining the party for everyone else.

If you have any other simple suggestions, please share in the comments below.

Internet cited as a cause in LA Times cuts

Yesterday it was announced the LA Times is to cut 250, the majority of these are editorial positions.

Today, AFP reported that the newspaper’s editor, Russ Stanton said the cuts reflected the paradox of the Internet revolution.

AFP reported that the Stanton memo said:

Thanks to the Internet, we have more readers for our great journalism than at any time in our history. But also thanks to the Internet, our advertisers have more choices, and we have less money.

Read the full story here

Long term impact of VNRs

I have just read this blog written by Rob about VNRs and the thing that struck me is how shortsighted TV stations are being.

I’m sure these ad packages are bringing in a lot of money, but what about their long-term affect on viewers?

This type of advertising, which is not flagged, violates the trust a news programme might have with its viewer.

With ads being crafted to look like any other news package the responsibility is on the station to alert the viewer to the distinction.

Not only does it violate the trust the viewer has in the programme, it also on some level insults their intelligence.

Selling and broadcasting this type of advertising has even greater effects in the long run.

If we lose the viewer’s trust they will stop turning
On news programmes and find another sources.

The ratings numbers will go down and the advertising revenue will decline too.

In that scenario no one wins – not even the advertiser.

News organisations need to safeguard the viewer’s trust and not squander it for short term gain.