Branded Community Success Factors. Excellent guidance from Econsultancy on how communities based on brands can best succeed. Focus. “brands should identify how they relate to the lives of their customers. With that, they can focus in on building communities around subjects that are relevant to both their brands and their customers’ lives.” Branding. “The brand can’t be the experience; it has to be integrated into the experience.” Functionality. “To win, brands have to build functionality relevant to the community’s focus that differentiates the community and gives members a good reason to keep coming back on a regular basis.” Participation and Moderation. Creativity. “Brands often have incredible assets that can be used to create compelling community experiences. Contests, exclusive content, special events and rewards programs can all be employed in creative ways to entice consumers to join and participate.”
More Photo Resources. I may be needing a lot of photos for an app I’m thinking about doing and will be checking out these 12 Amazing and Free Stock Photo Resources. I use iStockphoto pretty much exclusively, but for a whole lotta pics even $1 per photo would be cost prohibitive. I’ll be happy to provide attribution, so this Creative Commons Flickr search service might become my photo resource buddy.
To Twitter Tolerance and Beyond. I’m going through a stage where I find Twitter to be damned annoying. It’s fun to interact with long-time cyberbuds and the cool Twitteratti I’ve met through Twitter, but the noise is becoming deafening. I am now using Twitter as more of a human-mediated RSS service and outbound as a marketing tool. Yet there are indeed smart uses for Twitter, 10 in this post that include interacting with customers, employees and the competition, organize tweetups, run special deals and promotions, look for leads and share expertise to build credibility.
Rubel Cubed. Steve Rubel in an info-rich video interview on the future of social media with several interesting concepts like “shared mutual gain,” a social media approach so that both you and your community members benefit. “RSS still works pretty well,” he says. Agreed. Uses Instapaper on his iPhone. “The world is moving toward an age of streams.” “There’s no universal standard for Social Media measurement. Think about vectors of reach, engagement, reputation, all of which are ladders of trust.” “You have to understand people and business (along with technology but to a lesser degree) to see what trends are forming. I have a group in their 20’s and 30’s that I meet with regularly to help spot future trends.” “Digital is not optional, it’s mandatory. There’s not going to be any tangible media in five years.” It was a 9 minute video. Took me two sittings, but well worth watching.
The #1 Problem Most Brands Have. This is an important point from Mitch Joel, I think. “It’s not about profit. It’s not about customer service. It’s not about inventory. It’s about consistency.” “The brands that master consistency win. Especially when that consistency happens on top of a product or service that people love (and will talk about).”
Not better, different. A Duct Tape Marketing post titled Stop Trying To Be Better Than the Competition. “So many business owners or would be start-ups sit around this time of year trying to figure out how they can be better than the competition – better product, better service, better features, and, the real killer, better price. Heck, some even strive to be ‘best’ in class. What they should be doing is figuring out how they can simply be different than the competition.”
Approaching the Minority Report UI. Interactive projector instantly transforms any surface into a touch screen.
Treadmill possibilities. This crude version 1.0 of a treadmill-driven transport machine has definite possibilities.