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.