The Business of Community

Tom Foremski has started a discussion on how big bad business is trying to cash in on online communities:
It reminded me of my dislike for the term “community” because it is charged with an almost sacrosanct cultural meaning, to such an extent that it defies and discourages challenge. It is a revered word/term/concept and it is one that has become broadly appropriated by commercial interests, and deliberately so.

I rambled on in a response but afterwards I started wondering if I agreed with myself!:
Once business catches on to letting the evangelists (hyper -users) within the community user-generate ads and utilise peer2peer marketing for relevancy, you may find your tender sensibilities regarding exploiting online communities abates. :p In the meantime, let the commercial world play catch-up – the users are already so far ahead when it comes to building, maintaining, advertising/marketing, generating content, colloborative communications and growing their communities, that its really is going to be an amusing ride.
The problem? I think there are roles for agencies and marketing maestros. Do you ever find yourself taking a contrary position in blogs just to amuse yourself? to try out a different view? to be ornery? Beware me hearties, there be trolls at the bridge.

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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