Some little bloglets for you to munch on. Small, tasty and digestible. Enjoy!

Bloglet #1 From the Network Unbound, article by Anya Kamenetz
Then, on Tuesday, April 4, 24-year-old Sandi Thom signed a £1 million, five-album deal with RCA/Sony BMG out of her basement in London, live via Webcast. She had just finished 21 straight nights of live performances–also Webcast from her basement. By the end, Thom was pulling in a nightly audience of 100,000 listeners. In both cases, the “audience,” whether of pissed-off students or besotted roots-rock fans, was drawn together, at least in part, by word of mouth on social-networking sites such as MySpace, the two-and-a-half-year-old company with an unbelievable 72 million members.

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Bloglet #2 Interview with Mike Jones, CEO of Userplane – they make chat applications for social networking sites, including MySpace. So if you want to add chat channels to your Online Community go to this podcast/interview. Err caveat emptor, I’m not telling you to buy their product, just you know, have a look. :p

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Bloglet #3
If you want to know where most the groovy stuff comes from for online communities, go no further than a MMORPG site. Here’s a new thing from World Cyber Games. In the GameCloud Magazine.

The world’s largest computer and video game festival, World Cyber Games, today opens WCGZone.com (http://www.wcgzone.com/), a gamers’ paradise where worldwide gamers can play year-round online matches under the WCG title and access clans, as well as online community activities.

WCGZone.com consists of three main services – 1) year-round online matches for Starcraft: Brood War, and Warcraft III, 2) accessibility to players’ rankings/replay file service, and 3) online forums that are open to global gamers

Leaders, competition, rankings, forums, discussion, flame wars, unauthorised information sites (now called fan sites, or better yet, wiki info sites). yada yada. I particularly like the idea of this one, because unlike Stratics.com or MMORPG.com, it integrates offline and online. People come together for the conferences and conventions then kill each other online later. Good stuff.

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Bloglet #4 Know what your customer is saying online about you. Press Releases aint enough, its the blogs that make or break you. Basic advice here from Liane Bate:

When starting or involved with an internet marketing business, it is very important to join discussion forums, or online communities that talk about your website content and your business. It may even be a more valuable tool than what you read all over the internet, or the e-books you look at along the way. If you want to be successful in internet marketing, it is wise to surround yourself with people of the same mind-set, looking to achieve similar goals and dreams. To be successful, you want to know successful people. The forums are filled with these internet gurus, as well as people who are just getting started and learning along the way. It is an invaluable resource for you and your business and you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to grow and succeed by learning from the forums.

She goes on to talk about trading information and what that gains you – a non-zero based economy with peer to peer trading? I wish…

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Bloglet # I’ve forgotten. Alaska has discovered that *shock horror* online communities have criminals just like real ones. You know the real ones that have real people… not like, well, yes…

Detective Kevin Vandergriff, an online investigator with the Anchorage Police Department’s Crimes Against Children unit, said Alaska is the most wired state in the country, with more than 68 percent of residents having Internet access in their homes.

He said easy access to the Internet has created a society of young people who are comfortable accessing online communities and has attracted a host of online predators looking to exploit them

“We would go into chat rooms, go online and portray children and we found that adult males were inviting us to look at their Web cams on which they’d be masturbating. That wasn’t illegal in Alaska prior to the (electronic distribution of indecent material to minors) law being passed,” Vandergriff said.

Are your children safer at home or at the mall? How easy would it be to get them out of the house vs meeting them in the real world? How much harm can they come to while you are not monitoring them? Educate. Monitor.

Unless you are in Europe… regulating user-generated content versus censorship and protecting children debate. Another point of view.

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Bloglet # the above +1 Death and the tribe. Online communities need to form their own rituals and ceremonies or they don’t last. The death of a member is a big event and generates an outpouring of grief as well as vicarious thrills. A goodly part of the most active members of a large online community are often home all day due to illness (terminal or otherwise) so it’s a constant issue. So are the ‘fake’ deaths. Mourning in the Internet Age is an interesting read by Max Kalehoff. I’ll blog my experiences and management techniques another time.

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