Two decks that you probably ought to read.
The first is from Bud Caddell. It’s about a better perspective for businesses to take in their approach to goal-setting for the web. Key takeaway: “Quit buying eyeballs, start earning whole fans. Viewers come and go, but fans fight for your survival.” And I love the point about being a big, generous friend to people online. Use your money to build cool things for people, and they’ll love you for it. So, do that.
The second is from Mike Arauz. I’ve used the concept of “Desire Paths” for some time in presentations when talking about how people get to a site, and how you can impact that path with the marketing things you do on the web. But ultimately, people take the path they want to take, and organize around the ideas, motivators, experiences, etc. that they are most passionate about. Key takeaway: “If a brand hopes to earn people’s attention, it has to connect with an existing desire path.”
Cool Thing 1: Self-Selecting Networks
The interesting thing here, for me, is something that I hope to finally finish writing about at some point, that communities will organize around these desires, and not around the tech leaders; Facebook, Myspace, etc. (the superpowers in this bipolar social networking world) will disappear in favor of open-source solutions that allow people to create their own communities. I know this is already happening with Ning, but I don’t think Ning is the answer yet. Something better will come.
Cool Thing 2: Super-Users Speaking Up
Clay Shirky once talked about the design of social software requiring the creation of a class of higher-level users that help govern the system; without these super-users that help determine the future of the software, any social network will fall. These super-users care so much about the quality of the system that they’ll spend a disproportionate amount of time tending to the site and ensuring that everything stays on the up-and-up. Wikipedia is probably the best, most relevant example of super-users at work. Without them, Wikipedia would have drowned under the weight of trolls some time ago. Mike and Bud are both super-users of the internet. And they work in marketing. So they’ve got the twin masters of ensuring that clients make money and that the web doesn’t get crappy for the rest of us. If you’re building something new, some new way that the web can get used, or some new way that a brand is going to interact with people online, talk to the super-users. They’ll steer you right. So read these decks, and be learned.