Sunday, May 15, 2005

More Event Details & Context
by Ron Lichty

Architecting Community & Collaboration Solutions
San Francisco event: July 27, 2005, 6:30 - 9 p.m.

Joint sponsors:
* SDForum
* Softech
* Software Architecture and Modeling SIG of SDForum

First thoughts on key questions for the panel to address
* What brought them to implement community/collaboration functionality?
* How did they select a community/collaboration solution?
* How did they implement that solution? What challenges to doing so? What issues came up?
* Did they have to sell it internally? Was that hard? easy?
* What ROI did they predict? What results did they expect?
* What ROI did they see? What results did they see?

Context for this panel

Community software (defn): software that enables many-to-many interaction
--Joseph Cothrel, “Measuring the success of an online community”

Community software focus for this event:
* Message boards and forums
* Blogs
* Wikis

Recently adopted applications that may enable community, depending on their use:
* IM
* online presentation software
* email groups
* meeting invite services

First generation of applications that enabled community:
* mail
* web portals
* message boards

NOT part of the topic for this panel: Social networking sites whose business is developing community.

This event is about the spread and imminent ubiquity of community and collaboration applications onto EVERY ordinary corporate, nonprofit, governmental and political web site. With perspectives from early adopter implementers who can tell us not only about doing it but about the results and ROIs.

Potential Positive ROIs
* cruise lines and travel sites give their guests opportunity to plan their trips, share best destinations and ports, and ask earlier guests what to see via discussion boards and wikis
* cruise lines and travel sites help potential customers find travel partners who share their interests
* manufacturers enable users to endorse their products (as well as share suggestions and ideas) online
* manufacturers and distributors provide message boards to let their customers provide a significant portion of customer support to each other
* Internet marketplaces enable buyers and sellers to exchange information, recommendations and endorsements
* Internet commerce site invite their customers to find common interest with each other related to the products offered on the site
* online information services enable discussion among their customers of information provided on the service
* corporations enable their employees to share best practices to improve processes, products, and services
* health clubs let members form affinity groups and find tennis, racketball and golf partners through the club
* bridal registries enable wedding guests to connect for gift buying -- and to leave messages for the bride and groom
* companies like IBM, Sun, BEA, Microsoft, Macromedia and Apple provide developer communities online

Calculating community ROI….
Here are some data points from four actual commerce-related online communities:
* Company A: Online community members are only 5 percent of the customer base, but make more than 30 percent of purchases.
* Company B: Average transaction size is twice as large for community members as for non-community members.
* Company C: Online community members are almost twice as likely to refer others to the site.
* Company D: Customer retention rates are 50 percent longer for community members than for non-community members.
--Joseph Cothrel, “Measuring the success of an online community”


At 11:31 AM, May 27, 2005, Blogger Bob Suess said...

What about the effects on commercial advertising media? Many of us have Tivo and DVRs - television advertising is surely feeling the effect of this. How does community and collaboration play out in this trend?


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