Web 2.0: Marshall Manson

Engaging Social Networks
This isn’t just about technology. 18 months ago, no one would have believed Twitter was going to be a big deal, but now it is.

Throughout human history we formed communities based on our proximity to each other. Technology has changed that in a profound way. Groups are now formed around shared interest. Geography isn’t important any more.

Examples: Carrieoke’s Knitting Blog – very vibrant community. Knitters in US or Egypt or anywhere around the world swapping patterns and tips.

In-n-Out Burger. Only in the west US, kept a local spirit. But food is higher quality, organic, local, all the things other places are criticised for not being. Very simple menu, but staff will make anything for you, great choice if you ask. Word of mouth driven business. People are very loyal. Facebook fan page about what you can get at this place.

Sometimes groups form for a short time. Rathergate.com, OhGizmo, and the ‘ad hoc working group’ that sprung up to get a guy out of jail when he was arrested on holiday in Egypt, after he Twittered “Arrested”.

Community around ‘old stuff’ in the UK, Google Maps. 43,000 sites of ‘old stuff’ on the map.

People form groups in different ways. Management is no longer needed for group forming. What’s the thing that we as institutions need to do differently about that. Need to act differently. Talks to a lot of PR people, but people hate press releases – not a useful mechanism for communicating, except for in the context of a management structure that has to sign of on it. How can we be more human in the way that we communicate. Don’t need a big institutional voice.

Share information in real time, info comes from everywhere, people trust people like themselves. Institutions are full of “people like me” so how do we free them?

Principles: Be authentic. Fish where the fish are – the audience is out there don’t need to build new ones.

[Then goes through some case studies.]

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