Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the emergence of “Content Exchange networks”, as I predict significant changes in the value chain of content creation and distribution over the next few years.
Related to this is the changing impact to the news industry.
So it was with interest that I read Jeff Jarvis (of Buzzmachine)’s presentation that examines the changing business models for news publication and distribution in light of social collaboration. Jeff is planning to give the presentation to CUNYGraduate School of Journalismm, and has put a draft up on Slideshare for comment.
Gartner has released some new research which describes how various people engage in online communities.
Using the term “Generation V”, the research confirms that segments do not relate to age, gender, geographic location or social class, but instead are grouped by their interactions and behavioural usage preferences of digital media consumption.
The 4 levels of engagement in Gartner’s model are creators, contributors, opportunists, and lurkers.
The report suggests
Up to 3% will be creators, providing original content. They can be advocates that promote products and services.
Between 3% and 10% will be contributors who add to the conversation, but don’t initiate it. They can recommend products and services as customers move through a buying process, looking for purchasing advice.
Between 10% and 20% will be opportunists, who can further contributions regarding purchasing decisions. Opportunists can add value to a conversation that’s taking place while walking through a considered purchase.
Approximately 80% will be lurkers, essentially spectators, who reap the rewards of online community input but absorb only what is being communicated. They can still implicitly contribute and indirectly validate value from the rest of the community. All users start out as lurkers.
“Companies should plan to segment all four levels in the community – each has significant business value,” said Adam Sarner, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Differentiation exists between sectors and industries. Marketers with strong brands attract more creators. Certain industries, such as insurance, draw more lurkers.”
Successful communities support the needs of all four segments, and my research suggests that as communities grow, the percentage of each segment will remain relatively consistent.
Fleishman-Hillard Inc. and Harris Interactive have published an excellent white paper which examines how the internet influences the modern consumer.
The study is titled “Digital Life Index Study” and highlights how the internet influences shopping behaviours, making particular comparisons between the UK, Germany and France.
4 key insights of the study were:-
The Internet is by far the most important medium in the lives of European consumers — but companies are underinvesting in that influence.
Behavioural Framework: Consumer use of the Internet falls into five distinct classes of behaviours.
Research, Communication, Commerce are the 3 more established behaviours. In the expanding web 2.0 environment Consumer Generated Content is rapidly rising in importance. The 5th behaviour is consuming Internet content on Mobile devices. Smart marketers will clearly understand the mix of behaviours that is most critical to their business — and formulate integrated campaigns to address that mix.
Consumers use the Internet in different ways to make different decisions.
The differences are driven by the impact of the decision on their lives and the range of available choices. e.g. Buying commoditised items like airline tickets are made with less consultation with online consumers than choices that have higher personal impact such as healthcare, or major electronic purchases.
Consumers see the clear benefits of the Internet to their lives, but they still have strong concerns that need to be addressed.
Clearly consumers recognise the value of the internet as a medium, but are also voicing concerns over internet safety.
Description: Allows users to create an accurate 3D walk-through model of their home, preview renovation possibilities and products provided by vendors, and contact service suppliers. People can share their home interiors and gardens for collaborative design. The viewing software will soon be available as a free download, allowing manufacturers and retailers to display products and themed homes in interactive 3D on their websites. Software being sold and licensed in a number of overseas countries.
Description: Collaborative filtering and recommendation engine provided as a web service for online retailers or entertainment providers. The consumer site Scouta.com provides personalised recommendations for video and audio.
Description: Residents rate their streets and localities on criteria such as public facilities, noise, and neighbourly spirit, and write reviews. Users earn ‘streetcred’ and ‘local experts’ are appointed. The primary focus is on Australia, US, UK and Canada, but it has been launched in many other countries.
Person/Company: Matt Tilleard/ Mack Nevill/ Jehan Ratnatunga/ Simon Griffiths
Description: Charity site that generates income for donation through advertising and sponsorship. Buttons and search boxes are available on Facebook, widgets for blogs and websites, Google gadgets, and browser toolbars.
Description: Citizen journalism websites that allow local residents to report and comment on what is happening in their city and community. Currently available in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. ure directions include licensing the platform into overseas markets.
A new social network has launched in Australia which hopes to address some of the key insights from online social media research.
Vibe Village is a social network which is hoping to connect brands to social influencers, by targeting 3 needs.
I still remember running home to tell my brothers that I had found a way to get through the lane way at the back of my house, only to be disappointed when it became apparent that the news wasn’t news to them.
One of the key motivators for research and discovery is to be one of the first to know about a certain product, service. Being First can be a relative concept, for example there is only one Neil Armstrong. Yet, it’s much more common to be the first person in our social group to communicate a new fact.
We all like stuff for free, so much so that we are almost suspicious when we are offered free things. Vibe Village lets its members chose products that match their interests, offering programs that members can register for, and obtain free stuff such as advance copies of soon to be released DVD’s and new innovative products.
Share and Shape.
Members are encouraged to shape the innovation of products by being given a direct voice to products, and are also given opportunities to share news by hosting parties.
In today’s world of advertising clutter, it’s more and more difficult to get your message in the hands of the people who can provide a genuine word of mouth communication. Vibe Village is attempting to provide a targeted solution for brands wanting to recruit product evangelists, by providing access to individuals who are passionate about your category.