The Third Place


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Talk at Media09 in Sydney - explores the power of community through the lens of Oldenburg's 3rd Place Framework

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The Third Place

  1. 1. The Third Place and the Inversion of Web Marketing Will Price CEO [email_address]
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Why are social communities growing? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Third Place ? And, how can it help us understand the power of community and today’s web? </li></ul><ul><li>What if you are the 4 th place? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Community is the Killer App <ul><li>Community enablers are dominant: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Twitter is one of the fastest growing phenomena on the Internet.” – NYTimes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Facebook community hits 150m.” – The Times Online </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Facebook: Up 86% y-o-y
  5. 5. Twitter: Up 750% y-o-y
  6. 6. Why? <ul><li>Why are these sites growing so quickly? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it a technology phenomena? </li></ul><ul><li>What core needs are these companies addressing that help to explain their success? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Who is this guy? How can he help? Ray Oldenburg, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Sociology at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. Best known for writing The Great Good Place and for the concept of the Third Place.
  8. 8. The 3 rd Place 1 st Place: Home 2 nd Place: Work 3 rd Place: Informal Gathering Places Ex. Cafe, pub, etc?
  9. 9. Why We Need Third Places Modern life (suburbia, highways, commuting) is privatizing life – i.e. limiting communal interactions. Making it hard, expensive, irregular, and painful to gather Vibrant communities are extraordinary By nature, humans are social creatures We need the means to gather easily, inexpensively, regularly, and pleasurably The loss of Third Places leads to a sense of isolation and a cycle of home to work and back again
  10. 10. For Many Today: Only Two Places 1 st Place: Home 2 nd Place: Work No Third Place
  11. 11. Characteristics of Third Places <ul><li>Free or inexpensive </li></ul><ul><li>Highly accessible </li></ul><ul><li>Proximate </li></ul><ul><li>Involve regulars </li></ul><ul><li>Welcoming and comfortable </li></ul>
” Sometimes you want to go 
Where everybody knows your name, 
And they're always glad you came; 
You want to be where you can see, 
Our troubles are all the same; 
You want to be where everybody knows your name.” 

  12. 12. Offline Companies That Understand the 3 rd Place
  13. 13. Technology Foundations = of Today’s
  14. 14. Facebook and Twitter: Villages in a Modern World Welcoming, Accessible, Free, Regulars…
  15. 15. Today’s Challenge: Brands and Media Houses are at best the 4 th Place <ul><li>Audiences are reaggregating in 3 rd Places </li></ul><ul><li>4 th Places fighting a losing battle </li></ul><ul><li>Users want to consume content and applications independent of the content’s source </li></ul>How do content creators discover and reach their audience in the era of the 3 rd Place?
  16. 16. Traditional Web Marketing Drive Users to Your Content
  17. 17. Marketing in the Third Place Age <ul><li>Drive your content to users </li></ul>Content + Syndication Platform = Content on 3 rd Places
  18. 18. Widgets: Social Syndication
  19. 19. More examples
  20. 20. Conclusion <ul><li>Social communities are here to stay </li></ul><ul><li>Most media companies are 4 th Places….at best </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional web marketing needs to be inverted </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to best drive your content to your users? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to move the definition of success from site traffic to content consumed independent of location? </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. About Widgetbox <ul><li>#1 Web Widget Provider </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First web widget company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>74m uniques (Quantcast) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>130,000 widgets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>700m monthly widget impressions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funded by Sequoia Capital and Hummer Winblad </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For Publishers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Widgetize content, network content for traffic and distribution, and monetize </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For Advertisers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Targeted reach, engaging in-widget ad solutions, and IAB standard ad units </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Thank you Will Price CEO Widgetbox [email_address]
  23. 23. Growth Validates Premise Year Widgetviews Uniques (Wbx data) 12/06 6,304,014 675,558 12/07 273,883,577 25,267,336 12/08 629,744,837 72,533,559 06-08 Change 99.6x 107x 07-08 Change 2.3x 2.9x