Forget The Buzzwords

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Marcus Goodyear presented this summary of online communities at the Texas Baptist Media Forum in 2009.

Transcript of Forget The Buzzwords

  • 1. Using online tools to build relationships, foster communities, and provide value.


  • Where have you experienced community?
  • What are some images of community?

3. Local community Community theater 4. comitatus communion 5.

  • Psuedocommunity
  • Chaos
  • Emptiness
  • Real Community


  • Everyone acts extremely pleasant and avoids all disagreement.
  • Link farms, glowing blog tour reviews, ridiculously complimentary comments, etc.
  • But community is not cheap. It demands individuals be allowed to speak openly.


  • When people speak openly, they offend each other. Chaos results.
  • People try to heal the disagreement by converting others to their own viewpoint, or adopting a condescending attitude and trying to heal others.


  • We heal and convert others because we dont want to really listen.
  • Instead, we listen to our own
    • Feelings
    • Assumptions
    • Ideas
    • Motives
  • Bloggers self-promote.
  • Brands seek traffic, fans, subscribers.


  • Let go of your own motives and feelings.
  • Take up your cross, and follow the boss.


  • Community building is an adventure, a going into the unknown. People are routinely terrified of the emptiness of the unknown.
  • Let go of the need to control.
  • We are no longer gatekeepers.

11. 12.

  • How many blogs does the world need? There is already blog gridlock.
  • Its a genuinely new literary form, which, at its best, combines the immediacy of talking with the reflectiveness of writing.
  • Kinsley, Michael. How Many Blogs Does the World Need?
  • Time.December 1, 2008.,9171,1860888,00.html


  • Every community has a purpose and a vision.
  • Communities do not exist for their own sake.
  • Get on with the business of the community.
  • But, dont forget:
  • Community building comes first, problem-solving comes second .


  • How do you listen to people in your community?
  • What are the tools of listening?


  • Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.(Prov. 19:20)
  • When we listen to others, we show that we value their words and ideas.
    • Eye contact, nonverbal cues, active listening, response.
  • Its not about what you have to say.
  • Its about listening to what others have to say through their user-generated content.


  • My staff was a little nervous about the idea [of sending a letter to the left-leaning blog Daily Kos] but I had come to appreciate the give-and-take that the blogs afforded, and in the days following the posting of my letter, in true democratic fashion, more than six hundred people posted their comments.
  • Obama, Barack.The Audacity of Hope . (2006).

17. Online discussion is a poor way to communicatewiththe average customer, because average customers dont participate. But it is a great way to communicatetothem, because average customers watch and listen. Loechner, Jack. The Fractured Web Community Impacts Marketing Focus.Media Post.November 6, 2008. 18.

  • The online context is social media, web 2.0.
  • These tools allow us to connect virtually, in anapproximationof community.
  • But really, all community is an approximation.
  • Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (1 Cor. 13:12)


  • Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2008


  • How do you listen to 1.5 million blogs every week?
  • Or even the 76,000 most influential blogs?
  • Isnt it just chaos?


  • Go to the ant , you sluggard;
  • consider its ways and be wise!
  • It has no commander,
  • no overseer or ruler,
  • yet it stores its provisions in summer
  • and gathers its food at harvest.
  • (Prov. 6:6-8)


  • Some twenty years ago I saw, or thought I saw, a synchronal or simultaneous flashing of fireflies. I could hardly believe my eyes, for such a thing to occur among insects is certainly contrary to all natural laws.
  • (Philip Laurent, 1917)
  • Qtd by Steven H. Storgatz in
  • SYNC: The emerging science
  • of spontaneous order . 2003.


  • After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, the Kohathites are to come to do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the Tent of Meeting.
  • (Num. 4:15)


  • How do people communicate in the communities we discussed earlier?


  • We found that the most significant variable [ in predicting albumsales] is blog chatter or the volume of blog posts on an album, with higher numbers of posts corresponding to higher sales.
  • Dhar, Vasant, and Elaine Chang. Does Chatter Matter?
  • NYU Faculty Digital Archive. October 24, 2007.


  • they hired an employee at $10 per hour to blog, create content, and in general work to drive traffic to a site.
  • Harnessing Social MediaWeb 2.0 Grows Up. June 2007.

27. Harnessing Social MediaWeb 2.0 Grows Up. June 2007. 28.

  • Too much noise.
  • Too little control.


  • the more freedom people have to answer a question or propose a solution to a problem, the greater the chances that any one of them will have success.
  • Mahoney, Matt. The Privilege of Being Wrong.Technology Review , December 2008.


  • On Wikipedia, truth is received truth: the consensus view of a subject.
  • Garfinkel, Simson L. Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth.Technology Review,December 2008.


  • User contribution systems challenge some of the basic tenets and beliefs about the role of managers, the role of experts, the role of quality control.
  • Cook, Scott. The Contribution Revolution.Harvard Business IdeaCast .November 24, 2008.


  • Moderate by encouragement.
  • Cook, Scott. The Contribution Revolution.Harvard Business IdeaCast.November 24, 2008.


  • Listen to others, but share your view.
  • Maintain quality control.
    • Truth is NOT just community consensus.
  • Create a moderation system that is scalable.
    • 300 member blogs
    • 450 posts per week on average
    • 250 words per post on average
    • 100,000 + words per week on average

34. 35. 36. 37.

  • The idea: see if we could promote Marys bookAuthentic Parentingand measure direct sales from July 15 Sept. 9.
  • Here are the numbers:
  • 4672 visitors total
  • 721 referrals (15%) from the blog tour (53 blogs)
  • 178 referrals to Marys landing page
  • 11 purchases
  • %0.2 of all traffic
  • %4.5 of landing page traffic

38. 39. 40. 41. 42.

  • 2 Concurrent, overlapping communities
    • Readers
      • Subscribers
      • Readers
      • Commenters
    • Writers
      • Post a badge
      • Part of our RSS feeds
      • Commit to blog, read, and comment
    • Leaders
      • Actively engage the community.
      • Commit to the vision of the community.
      • Contribute as an author to the site(s).