As part of my research for our new online community I have read through a pile of reports, many from Forrester. I have read them with mixed emotions.

Some show great insight and Forrester are very good at structuring phenomena in the world of social networking sites. But sometimes you cannot help yourself from giggling and thinking of how true old sayings still are. Like “experts often discover things that ordinary people have known for ages”.

Savor this one from a Forrester report called Organic Branding: “People don’t form and interact with communities in order to support a company. They do it to serve their own emotional needs”.

What great insight! Such revolutionary thinking! Such gobbledygook! What an astounding example of discovering the obvious. (more…)

It’s amazing what kind of profane things come up during a project like this. Still, if you get them wrong you can create havoc further down the road.

Today it was time to discuss if members should be able to change their alias or not. It came up since a test user had misspelled his alias and wanted to correct it. At first glance, you say “of course you should be able to correct typos.”

But then you think of the consequences. Let’s say that a someone has been a member for a month or several and then suddenly decides to switch screen name.

Then what? (more…)

A hot topic in our project right now is what is the best method kick off member recruitment?

Just opening up for anybody to sign up or to do the “invite a limited number of friends”-thing?

Of course, opening up for anybody makes it easy for Tom, Dick and Harry to join the community. But does it create the buzz? (more…)

Have you seen the iA Web Trendmap 2007? It’s just great, particularly for folks like us in the process of building a new online community. Where do you really belong? Are you in sharing, technology or what? Know your neighbors conceptually and user benefit-wise and set out to diffirentiate from them.

I just love it!

Just read an interesting post on “How to Monetize Social Networks” talking about how Facebook and MySpace are striving to go beyond Google ads. It mentions the reluctance of members to accept too obvious publicity.

I think that to a considerable extent, that reluctance or willingness is linked to the benefits delivered to the members of the network. Which, on the other hand, would be linked to the networks long term survival-chances anyway.

Just finished migrating the last few tickets, now that Toby had added the missing categories in Trac; our catchall for ideas on how to integrate with other social networks to offer extended value.

Now we are all on Trac, so to say. What a relief.

It really works well. With custom queries you can easily build your own to-do list sorted by milestone and priority.

The screen of my main computer is still black and limp. I guess the graphics card has given up. Will have to try to replace it with another one tomorrow.

And Google are busy verifying to open the mail in Apps. Then I can hopefully stop getting the back-ups in my usual inbox.

I have just spent half a Sunday migrating umpteen items from our to-do and wish list in Google Spreadsheets to Toby’s Trac system.

I guess it will turn out useful, making it easier to manage the workflow and to trac back on past actions. But it was pretty mind numbing just sitting there rewriting all the entries and dropping down all those menus. And of course, Toby had created categories with a techy slant. There was no category for commercial, for example.

But, in all honesty, (more…)