Wednesday, 9 July 2008

TURNING A BLOG INTO A COMMUNITY

You might remember I said in a previous posting that "There are some websites where you go to be social, such as Facebook or MySpace. And there are some sites that are just conversations between the site and the individual. When you visit these type of sites have you ever wondered who else was viewing the same website you were visiting? There is no real community - the visitors are strangers in the dark. The answer might tell you something surprising and rewarding about yourself and your online social identity, and your invisible online community of fellow travellers."

I've acted on this challenge and started to try to turn my blog into a community. I'm talking about my blog, but this challenge would be the same for any website. It's early days in my efforts, but I have done two key things over the last week:
  1. Added the MyBlogLog widget - which you'll see on the right. This has allowed me to create a community on my blog, and it also identifies for me, and other visitors other people from the MyBlogLog social network who have visited. They can contact each other, and read each others profiles. Feel free to join.
  2. Added the Add This widget for social bookmarking, which you'll also see on the right. and at the end of each post. This helps me share more of my articles and hopefully gives them a wider audience.

The interesting thing about these two widgets is that they move the centre of gravity of my readership from my blog to other sites. People can connect with me on Digg, or Delicious, and talk with me on MyBlogLog. This requires lots of maintenance, and manual labour. It's an interesting side effect of the social web, and an interesting challenge for marketers. Imagine doing this for sites across Europe, in multiple languages, multiple platforms, against multiple competitors, and multiple products. The social web throws up some interesting challenges for marketers, but in financial terms it's still getting questioning glances from the finance department.

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