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Ancient History


Social Networks predate Web 2.0. In fact they predate the web completely: Compuserve started up in the late ’60s and had a consumer division in the ’70s. We paid like, 100 bucks an minute for it, but it was there.

So while I get sucked into Web 2.0 and Social Media presentations at the moment, I’ll still be here in social networks once the Social Web train has rattled and rolled on through, just as I was before. *toots the horn* Jeff from Habbo said something lovely to me last week – that if there was no PR angle and no marketing angle, I’d still be here in social networks but many others wouldn’t. He’s soooo right. But I’m not the only one – there’s plenty out there in the mob who will set up little niche social networks with no thought to monetising them, or exit strategies or any of the other things we are supposed to bring to businesses. But that’s because the money is not following what we value – communication, passion, commitment.

N.B. Not saying online communities can’t be monetised (I have listed a bunch of revenue models here) but that money isn’t the primary motive for creating them, for many people. It’s a bit like playing netball for fun and getting creeped out by people who insist you should be “professional” about it. Why? A forum and friends who like the same things, posting up pictures and videos and meeting offline is a hobby, no? So what if you accidentally get 100,000 members? Ooops? Just be careful of the vigilante marketeer with his/her guerrilla tactics virally infiltrating your community. You’d be amazed what some cowboy marketeers get up to once in a social network. Like, zero ethics.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

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