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Online Communities In Business 061104final
 

Online Communities In Business 061104final

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Presentation of the 2004 Online Communities in Business Study findings to The Hague Virtual Communities Conference June 2004

Presentation of the 2004 Online Communities in Business Study findings to The Hague Virtual Communities Conference June 2004

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Online Communities In Business 061104final Online Communities In Business 061104final Presentation Transcript

  • Online Communities in Business: Past Progress, Future Directions Presented by Jenny Ambrozek, SageNet LLC [email_address] Joseph Cothrel, BTC [email_address] Prepared for 7 th International Conference on Virtual Communities The Hague, Netherlands June 15, 2004
  • Agenda
    • Background
    • Definitions
    • A Brief History
    • VC2004: Perceptions and Plans
    • VC2004: The Influence Network
    • Five Strategies
  • Background
    • Online community's second quarter-century
      • 1978: The first computer bulletin board
    • Signs of a turning point
      • Death and decline of pioneers
      • Resurgence of interest in virtual interaction (social networking)
    • A time to look back—and to look forward
  • VC2004: A Survey
    • Survey scope
      • Community definitions
      • Attitudes and expectations
      • Community tools, present and future
      • Communities/people who inspire or inform
      • Major learnings in first quarter century
    • Target audience
      • 200 online community managers, sponsors, consultants, software vendors, and researchers
    Dear Colleague: Last year's 25th anniversary of the computer bulletin board prompted many to reflect on the state of virtual community today. Where do we stand in 2004? In recognition of your significant experience or knowledge in this area, we invite your participation in a brief survey being conducted for the 7th Annual Conference on Virtual Communities in The Hague, Netherlands in June 2004. Click here to complete the survey, which should take no longer than 10 minutes: http://websurveyor.net/wsb.dll/15802/vc.htm The survey is being sent to 200 leaders in the development and study of virtual community and collaboration. If there's someone else you feel should be included in the survey, please feel free to forward this invitation. At the end of the survey, you'll have the option of requesting a detailed survey report sent directly to you. Thanks for your time and attention, and for your contributions to virtual community! Jenny Ambrozek Lynne Bundesen Harry Collier Joseph Cothrel ______________________________________________ 7th Annual Conference on Virtual Communities Conference Site: http://www.infonortics.com/vc Conference Blog: http://infonortics.typepad.com/vircomm/
  • VC2004: Who Responded? TYPE OF COMMUNITY PRIMARY ROLE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE n = 135 GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION
  • VC2004: Organizations Responding (Partial)
  • What Is an Online Community?
    • Problems with "virtual"
      • Some prefer "online," others believe nothing's "virtual" anymore
    • Communities vs. networks
      • Do networks expand or replace the concept of online community?
    • Rheingold is still a touchstone
      • "Social aggregations that emerge from the Net when enough people carry on public discussions long enough, with sufficient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace."
    WHAT TYPE OF VIRTUAL GROUP ARE YOU INVOLVED WITH THE MOST?
  • Distinguishing Communities/Networks/Teams
    • All three involve "something in common"
      • Interests, thoughts, issues, goal, objectives, needs, vision, resources, values, practice areas, problems, opinions, ideas, identity, way of interacting, thread, discussion, subject, information, experiences, reality, set of explicit or implicit rules of behavior.
    • Differences exist along specific axes
      • Number, purpose, strength of ties
      • "A community has relatively intense interactions (as compared to a network that has less intensity), and is based around an issue, topic, subject (as opposed to a team, which is based around a project, task, process).”
  • A Brief History of Online Communities 1968 ARPA PAPER PREDICTS EMERGENCE OF VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES 1992-93 "THE VIRTUAL COMMUNITY" 1996-97 INTRANETS 1986-91 LOTUS NOTES INTERNET RELAY CHAT LISTSERV WEB CROSSING 1978-79 BBSs USENET NEWSGROUPS MUDs 1973 FIRST E-MAIL MESSAGE 1979-85 ONLINE SERVICES [COMPUSERVE, PRODIGY, AOL, THE WELL, MINITEL, ETC.] COMMUNITIES ONLINE [BLACKSBURG, ETC.] 1994-95 COMMERCE COMMUNITIES [EBAY, AMAZON.COM, ETC.] HOMESTEADERS [GEOCITIES, ETC.] BLOGGER 1998-99 2000-01 B2B COMMUNITIES [CISCO, SAP, ETC.] 2002-03 "THE CLUETRAIN MANIFESTO" "COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE" RSS "LINKED" "SMART MOBS" TEXT MESSAGING " THE STRENGTH OF WEAK TIES " IDEAS TECHNOLOGIES INITIATIVES KEY: SIXDEGREES.COM SOCIAL NETWORKING [FRIENDSTER, LINKEDIN, ETC.] GOOGLE GROUPS CAMERA PHONES "NET GAIN"
  • VC2004: Participation
    • It's happening
      • "Most people I come into contact with have participated in some way with a virtual community."
      • "Virtual communities will be intrinsic to our lives moving forward."
    • It's changing
      • "People are increasingly seeking out local connections."
      • "[Members] will begin to co-produce media, and media producers will act as editors."
    • And will continue to change
      • "Those born into it will transform it utterly."
    PARTICIPATION IS GROWING Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree
  • VC2004: Knowledge and Awareness
    • Value
      • "I also see them as the new way to participate in professional organizations … But, it's going to take time and good facilitation so that participants can see the value of being involved... and get some more than generic return on their time investment."
    • Corporate survival
      • “ What we've learned from virtual communities must be applied in corporations if they are to survive.”
    PEOPLE WHO HAVEN'T EXPERIENCED IT DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree
  • VC2004: Return on Investment
    • More than "latent ROI"
      • "If virtual communities cannot clearly deliver value to the sponsoring business outside of the loyalty, retention, and membership concept that are essentially built-in to a well developed and managed offering, those sponsorships and business initiatives will cease to support such endeavors."
      • "More rigor and discipline is needed to demonstrate the true value of virtual communities."
    MOST ORGANIZATIONS CAN'T MEASURE ROI Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree
  • VC2004: Management Support
    • Some say execs are already there
      • "Users and executives alike are recognizing the value communities bring."
    • Where they aren't, we're not doing a good job helping them understand
      • "Today, [ROI] is anecdotal. Hopefully over time it becomes more data-based and real for the senior executives who budget for the expense."
    EXECUTIVES UNDERSTAND THE VALUE Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree
  • VC2004: The Role of Technologies
    • Technologies matter
      • "The tools available to participants unquestionably have a bearing on the success of the groups mission, whatever that is."
    • The negatives
      • "We need better tools, that match how people work"
    • Both positive and negative
      • [Our] tools, technical and organizational, will continue to both impede progress and evolve towards a state of seamless ease."
    TECHNOLOGIES ARE IMPROVING Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree
  • VC2004: Motivating Participation
    • Getting started is hard
      • “ [It’s] quite a slog getting virtual communities populated. People generally show interest but once the subject disappears from their mind, so does the interest.”
    • Expanding uses
      • “ This explosion in "community formation" has transformed the way we think about the "potential uses" for community.”
    • Number impacts involvement
      • “ The number of these are growing at such a rate that the time-consuming aspects are starting to affect involvement”
    GETTING PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE IS HARDER THAN IT USED TO BE Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree
  • VC2004: Success
    • Mission and member needs
      • “ Tossing up a virtual community without a detailed understanding of the general concepts, the specifics of your mission and the needs of your participants is like a shot in the dark.”
    • Challenge of second wave
      • “ We've established we can connect meaningfully, do work and learn in distributed groups with early adopters. Next we need to figure out if we can move this to the second wave and if yes, how we reach the hard-to-reach.”
    VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES ARE GENERALLY SUCCESSFUL Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree
  • VC2004: Community as a Discipline
    • What have we learned?
      • "Not much, everything needs to be redefined."
    • Lifecycle
      • “ Communities do have a relatively predictable lifecycle”
    • People matter
      • “ The key is building an environment of trust; protecting the community requires constant vigilance. ”
    THE DISCIPLINE OF CREATING AND RUNNING COMMUNITIES HAS BEEN ADEQUATELY DEFINED Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree
  • VC2004: Research and Case Studies
      • Innovation needed
        • “ After this 'first quarter-century' we have ultimately learned that we too must innovate ... one of those innovations is the value not just to members, but to the businesses and other concerns that fund these environments.”
      • New genes and memes
        • “ I suspect that in coming years we will find ourselves looking for the forms of evolution—of both genes and memes—that are selected for success in this new planetary ecosystem, rather than seeking to develop analogs or metaphors for a prior world.”
    AN ABSENCE OF RESEARCH/CASE STUDIES INHIBITS ADOPTION Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree
  • VC2004: Member Retention
    • Motivation
      • "The motivation for keeping [the community] together is one of the shared interests of a community."
    • Shared emotions drive repeat visits
      • “ Successful operations of virtual communities require sharing of emotions to make participants keep coming back.”
    • Technology & content
      • “ The challenge is staying up with the technology and information that allows customers to come back again and again.”
    RETAINING MEMBERS IS A PROBLEM Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree
  • VC2004: Technologies Instant Messaging Discussion Forums Social Networking Text Messaging Chat Email Discussion Teleconferencing Web Conferencing Newsgroups Expertise Location RSS TODAY Teamrooms Weblogs Webcasts 1 YEAR FROM NOW 5 YEARS FROM NOW Increase KEY: Unstable Decrease Wireless/Mobile Wiki FOAF = 25 respondents
  • VC2004: Identifying Influencers DISTRIBUTION OF INFLUENCERS BY TYPE
    • We asked the question:
      • Who do you look to as an inspiring example or a good source of advice regarding virtual communities?
    • Answers included:
      • 136 unique names.
      • Individuals, organizations, communities, and networks.
      • Other phenomena such as the open source movement, global currency trading, and international art organizations.
  • VC2004: Influence as a Network
    • We then analyzed the results as a social network
      • The diagram at right shows the dense network of connections between respondents and influencers.
    • Network characteristics
      • Out of 136 influencers, 30 were cited more than once.
    THE INFLUENCE NETWORK
  • VC2004: Mapping the Influence Network The chart shows the connections inferred from responses to the question, "Who do you look to as an inspiring example or a good source of advice regarding virtual communities?"
  • VC2004: Mapping the Influence Network  Online Community Rheingold, White, Kim, Online Community Report  Collaborative Knowledge Management KM Cluster,Gurteen, Basex  Communities of Practice Wenger, KnowledgeBoard, Harvard  Internet Studies AOIR, RCSS  Social Networks Linked In, Orkut  Intellectual Capital/Innovation St. Onge, Amidon  Consumer Online Services AOL, Everquest       
  • VC2004: Most-Cited Influences INDIVIDUALS Howard Rheingold  Nancy White Jenny Ambrozek  Joseph Cothrel Jim Cashel  Amy Jo Kim  Etienne Wenger David Gurteen  Lisa Kimball  Lee LeFever  Hubert Saint-Onge  Jonathan Spira ORGANIZATIONS IBM  BBCi  Harvard COMMUNITIES KnowledgeBoard KM Cluster  Yahoo Online Facilitation Group AOIR  Community Roundtable  CPSquare  eMint  IBM IKO NETWORKS Friendster  LinkedIn OTHERS COP  Multiplayer Games  Online Community Report  Open Source  None
  • Five Strategies 1. THINK LOCAL, AND REAL 3. EMPOWER THE PEOPLE 2. GET NETWORKING Real and virtual, and local and global, are merging. What opportunities exist for your community? Social networking software is the latest community tool. Try it, and apply your learnings to your online group. People want to participate in new ways. New media and mobile are only the start. Your community knowledge has value. Find ways to better articulate what your community is and does. What data are you currently capturing? Don't stop at ROI—insights from discussion can be just as important. 5. ADVOCATE AND EDUCATE 4. RAISE THE BAR ON DATA
  • Acknowledgements Advice on all aspects of the project
    • Lynne Bundesen – Isaiah Company
    Survey hosting and promotion
    • Harry Collier – Infonortics
    Survey promotion and outreach
    • Jerry Ash, Stowe Boyd, Jim Cashel, Diane LeMoult, Nancy White
    Advice on analysis of influence network
    • Rob Cross – McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia
    Provider of wiki platform for survey team
    • SocialText
    Piloting of survey instrument
    • Elizabeth Doherty, Lee LeFever, Chris Rizutto, Etienne Wenger, Nancy White
    Advice and assistance on analysis of qualitative data
    • Anabel Quan-Haase, Jennie Mae Thompson, Steve Cook – University of Western Ontario
    Advice and assistance with analysis of influence network
    • Teddy Zmrhal & Estee Solomon Gray – Congruity
    Review of survey instrument and advice on analysis of quantitative data
    • Daniel Harrison – Consumer Reports USA
  • Continue the Dialogue
    • Do these strategies make sense to you?
    • Who influences your thinking about online communities, networks, and teams?
    • Join us in the VC2004 Wiki for complete survey results (platform courtesy of SocialText and Congruity).
    • Please feel free to contact us at:
    • Jenny Ambrozek [email_address]
    • Joseph Cothrel [email_address]