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Posts Tagged ‘community’

Finally in CA-LI-FOR-NI-A!

March 22, 2010 Leave a comment

So, I have finally made my way out to California!!!! Woohoo!!!!!

It is nice out here…and it is even nicer being on vacation and enjoying the extended relaxation, lol.

But I felt compelled to write because I wanted to focus (again) on community and why it fascinates me so…specifically in retrospect of the communities that I have discovered during my (short) time thus far in California.

For starters, I am currently in the Bay Area, visiting friends and making new friends. And the first thing that struck me while I have been here is all of the young people who populate this general area. Even if they are young parents in their earlier 30s or young college graduates who are working on at startups or their own businesses, there is a general vibe of youth in the Bay Area. And it feels good to me. It feels very different from New York City in that this general youthful vibe is one that is absolutely prevalent throughout the Bay Area, particularly in San Francisco and Palo Alto, while in New York City — you sometimes have to search a bit harder for that youthful vibe.

And that youthful vibe got me thinking about the shared ideas, values and goals that a lot of the people I have met thus far throughout the Bay Area. There is definitely a sense that everyone is transitioning from one space to the next and just trying to learn as much as possible from each situation. There is also the high focus on entrepreneurship and/or flexibility within one’s work that I sensed from a lot of people. Also, I picked up on a social consciousness of one’s world and how one is affecting that world. Lastly, I got a huge sense that so many of these people were comfortable with the concept of failure — especially in the sense that if something doesn’t work out, it just means that you find another way to make things work for you instead of giving into despair. And I absolutely loved that vibe.

All of these qualities led me to think of who these people would be in 15-20 years…and I truly believe their lives will be quite different than that of their parents. And then I thought — how are companies and brands going to talk to these people in the future? To me, companies and brands are going to have to get very honest with themselves if they want to target this community — because this community is not interested with irrelevant, wasteful messages nor with a lack of getting things done. This community is focused on not only getting things done but on constantly growing in making things happen. Which makes this community very, very important to companies and brands, why? Simply because they are the ones who are early adopters and who will more than likely create something that will end up being a huge competitor for companies and brands. So why not start speaking with this community now? Why not start learning what is meaningful to them, what makes them tick and what gets them motivated to be a brand evangelist? Why not figure out ways to impress them, further develop your relationship with them and prove to them that you are a worthy focus for their attention?

I say all of this especially because I see this community in myself and I know that with people like me pushing the space of communications in that direction, it leaves many companies and brands little room to deny this community. Hmmm…the next five years are going to be very interesting. 😉

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Community Is Important For Your Customers AND Your Employees

March 7, 2010 1 comment

I think I have been hammering on about this for sometime now…in this blog, in conversations with friends and family and just to myself sometimes, lol. And before you go any further…here is what spurred this current blog post — this wonderful “Cluetrain Manifesto”.

But now I am going to write about this as much as I do about digital communications, passion and music — why? Because all of them are inherently bond to each other…each of them is bound in the concept of community. That wonderful entity that I love so much — I actually think the word community was made for people like me…people who love to connect with people, who love authenticity and who love helping people…but I digress, lol.

Too many companies fail to understand the vital role that a community plays in the company’s future success. Not your success three years down the line but a decade from now and even further into the future. Marketing as people understand it now will, frankly, no longer exist. Marketing will be essentially community management. Yes, I said it. Marketing as community management will be what consumers and employees demand in less than five years.

Community gives your consumers a sense of purpose and does not leave them feeling as if you just used them for their money – I mean, who actually enjoys feeling used? I don’t care if people look at it as a part of life…no one like how it feels, not really. And your consumers are fed up with feeling used — trust me, they most definitely are fed up. And now they have the means to ignore you, switch teams and leave you in the dust. So giving your consumers more than just your stale and vacant messages is now required of you. But who will build these communities with you and with the consumer?

Yep…you guessed it. Your beloved employees will be building these communities with the consumer.

And I mean beloved. You had better get used to looking at your employees in that manner because they are fed up of being used — not being acknowledged nor encouraged to grow and learn. And they will leave you as well if you continue to ignore the beauty and necessity of community. Not a good scenario for future growth, is it?

Some of you may already understand the importance of building a community and now are wondering how one goes about building a community — check out Jono Bacon’s “Art Of Community” book. I have this book and it is great…it really is. Jono understands approaching people as people — not as cogs for you (the company) to just use for your benefit.

But for all of you who are still resisting this idea of community, especially community between your employees and consumers…I am urging you to STOP.

Just as everyone thought music would solely exist in the hands of the record companies, that passion was something that people should do in only a small portion of their lives and that the Internet would not be able to stand on its own two legs — those people were wrong then just as you are wrong now. So…let it go and recognize that it is okay to be wrong sometimes. Just let go of your old ideas and at least take a peek at what is not coming around the bend but what is already here. And it is better for you to be proactive and focus on building a community for your engaged consumers and employees — instead of being reactive and struggling to earn the trust of your remaining employees and consumers to gain a space in their communities. It is becoming increasingly hard to earn people’s trust…so let your employees and consumers converse with each other and actually build a community now, huh?

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