|Will 2.0 Spark a Land Rush to Build More Forums?|
Word of the day is: Community
Now they're talking about social networks and communities as being key, especially regarding user generated content. When people like Terry Semel go out of their way to jump on the bandwagon [blogs.zdnet.com] with one leg in and one leg out, you really must stop and listen.
From another article [sfgate.com] about web communities:
|Advertisers see social networks as free focus groups. Already, Apple Computers has bought the right to start groups on Facebook, roping college kids into an advertising campaign by dangling the prospect of a free iPod. |
It's cool to see the pendulum swing to communities because a lot of us have been building web forums, sometimes not making any money, wondering if maybe it's time to pack it in.
Is it time to dust off your old forum?
Is it time to build communities that target specific demographics?
I've been beating this drum for a while, it's good to see the experts catching up! ;)
I do think that businesses are increasingly interested in communities. How many will commit to a well-organized and ongoing community building effort remains to be seen. Throwing a forum out there and hoping for the best is a sure prescription for unsatisfactory results.
We are seeing increasing value placed on communities - look at the Myspace acquisition. Of course, critical mass is of the utmost importance; Myspace was valuable because of its size and reach.
Yep. iVillage acquired the world's largest gardening forum, gardenweb, last year. That was before the Web 2.0 hoopla. The reason was to acquire eyeballs under the assumption that a majority of the gardeners were women, and so they thought it was a good fit with iVillage, as iVillage styles itself as "the Internet for women." Oops.
Turned out that a great number of the forum members were men! There was a male gardener backlash [king5.com], too.
Nevertheless, if an iVillage bought gardenweb, your forum could be next.
>>your forum could be next
I'm going to go look for some pink templates right now. ;)
i've seen a lot of forums bought by hopeful entrepreneurs who have no idea what they're getting into. You really have to be able to use the forum as something to get users from for some other website, for example, because directly generating income from forums is fiendishly difficult. The lack of a direct income source from their purchase makes buying forums particularly risky investments.
we don't need more forums. We need a revolution in the mindset of advertisers. Our forums are a fantastic marketing opportunity. Once they realise this, and we can provide them with some more sophisticated advertising/product placement opportunities than crappy banners, forums will become a viable source of income, and the value of our forums should shoot up.
The ball is in both courts at the moment - we need to imagine up new opportunities, advertisers have to wisen up