Live at OCS – Community Business Models


9:50

Topic: Community Business Models
What new opportunities and experience influence current online community business models.
Introductory comments: Michael Sherrod, MyFamily.com & Michel Thouati, Lithium Technologies

9:52: Michael from MyFamily is talking. They promise no slides and low tech.

  1. Brokerage: You build it as your marketplace.
  2. Merchant: You built it as a place for users to trade and sell.
  3. Vendor:
  4. Affiliate
  5. Utility: Provide serviecs for other community sites. Sort of like wetpaint, lithium, 43things, etc.
  6. Subscription
  7. Freemium
  8. Feeder Site
  9. Ad Supported
  10. Sponsored
  11. Hybrid

I think drawing this on the whiteboard should count as slides. 🙂

9:57: Myfamily.com - when the bubble burst they focused on subscription model to maintain the sites. It was near death for the site.  Myfamily.com had a 90% renewal rate yty.

10:00: Freemium - Redoing myfamily.com to make it all free and then upsell them to paid services.  Ad supported free and then pay for collaborative tools, advanced photo uploading, etc.

10:01: Community feeder sites - Affiliates sign up with myfamily and provide gravitational mass through the 3rd party sites.

10:03: Collaborative text Editing for developers - This is off topic from the IRC channel, but check this out... http://www.codingmonkeys.de/subethaedit/ ... http://www.codingmonkeys.de/subethaedit/images/sessionbig.png Mac Only though. 🙁

10:07: The presentation is a bit boring so the IRC folks are passing around links.  I thought this example of a wiki-based FAQ system was cool. http://wiki.ittoolbox.com/index.php/FAQ:I_have_for...

I'd love to be able to turn the top FAQ from the MSDN forums into FAQ entries like this.

10:11: Some pictures are up now... http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/ocs2006/ 

10:15: "It's all about the meta-data" Data showed that tag navigation meant people navigated wider on sites than they had previously.  This also meant for the business side that they had increased chances to show more contextual ads based on more specific content. Fun meta-data: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/sonoma/show/ 

10:20: 2 elements needed for any model. 1 = loyalty & 2 = Content.

10:22: Create that installed base model on loyal customers. Once you have the emotional connection it's hard to replace it. Like moving from compuserve to NNTP. 🙂

10:23: "Bank on content generated from return users that grabs new people constantly adding folks of broader ranging interests".

10:35: Holy Triangle: Critical mass around each community/micro-community; Embedded Community into content & support pages ; People Pages (old fasioned community, social networks) ;

10:40: Self help = search, asking the question, browsing via tags or links or organizations.

10:47: Lots of talk about amazon turning on wiki's and forums on popular products, but scaling them back on products that don't have enough interest. This way they push the critical mass around.  However even the popular item discussions aren't that healthy.  They need tagging forum content so they can add that content on more of their related pages. 

Break Time - Then breakout sessions.

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