User Generated Content Is Totally Square, Man.

Public Squares vs. Walled Gardens
The defining traits of the Internet since the year 2000 — especially the ability of users to create content and form communities of interest — have created what Williams described as “public squares” in comparison to what he called the “walled gardens” of the pre-2000 web. The changes are driven by young users who are exhilarated by the variety of choices offered by the Internet but who also carefully scrutinize the companies they buy products from. The Wikinomics authors found that 65% of this new generation of online customers wants a two-way relationship with the brands they select, with the ability to provide feedback and direct input.

Make Room, Wikipedia: Internet-based Collaboration Could Change the Way We Do Business – Knowledge@Wharton

Forgive me for my flibberty-gibbetness, but all I can think of is Johnny Depp in Cry Baby. Squares Versus Drakes, man. Oh, Hatchface… why did you celebrity star never take flight?

Okay, now i’ve digressed. Anyway, User Generated Content continues to catch the eye of the world, now gaining new “definitions”. The part I find interesting is the “young users….who also carefully scrutinize the companies they buy products from.”

When I first read this, I saw the “young users” tagline and immediately thought the article referenced kids, tweens, teens… but that’s not the case. It’s a broad statement for any newbie to the web-o-sphere. It’s odd to think now: Youngsters are now the Elders in compared to these “new users” invading the community-based web.

Since I’m not very versed in this “Square” lot of adult new users… I’ll post some more of my notes from the CommunityNext conference, from the head hancho (Jake McKee) behind “Big in Japan

Successful communities:

– Traditional community building relied on fan groups
– Now-a-days, to be successful you must balance Monetization & Support (aka, working the marketing system)
– Fan groups (adult consumers), only a small percentage becomes brand evangelists.
– Make sure everyone goes home happy: keeping the troops happy while making marketing happy…
– Find a balance between “what i want out of this relationship” (Business to community, and vice versa… as well as you– founder/builder/contributor/Etc)

1. Redefine “success” — “Big as humanly possible”
2. Share. A Lot.
3. Skip the NDA. NDA = stop conversation. “Get out of jail free card” Get marketing to understand “the worst that could happen isn’t actually so bad” (note: pay no attention to this, people who deal with children. Rules change when the young’ns are involved. thank you -izzy)
4. Set & maintain expectations.

And here’s the quote I’m borrowing from Jake’s page, “Never moan. Do not be a victim. Either raise hell and change the game or get the hell out of there.” -Jack Welch

  1. February 23, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Love that quote! (Clearly, right?)

    Thanks for the write up!

  1. July 12, 2007 at 10:11 pm

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