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|I Am Skooter|
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
From the October 1998 edition of Report on Business Magazine
The Do’s and Dont’s of Creating “Virtual Communities on your Corporate Web Site
by George Emerson
…’What starts off being a group drawn together by common interests ends up being a group with a critical mass of purchasing power—based in part on the fact that in communities, members can exchange information with each other on such things as a products price and quality.’ Hagel and Armstrong say.
Building a vibrant on-line community doesn’t have to be difficult—it just takes a good idea and dedicated execution.
…the idea takes an odd twist when company try to bolt community-building tools onto their corporate Web sites. It’s no wonder many commentators have laughed at tampon-maker Tampax’s efforts to get people to hang around their “T Lounge” chatting about the relative merits of feminine hygiene products. It’s far better for companies to promote their brands at independent virtual communities…than to go to the trouble and expense of growing their own fake company towns around the corporate URL.
But using on-line community-building tools to improve business processes is quite another. Companies can use message boards or even live chat as a form of customer support…
Mailing lists are an underutilized community-building tool…A mass-market variation of a mailing list invites users to participate in contests or receive discounts such as coupons. A good example is Canadian Tire’s E-flyer program…(Canadian Tire E-flyer managers claim their list subscribers spend three times as much as other CT customers.