Tuesday, December 22, 2009

List of online reputation and community involvement examples

Earlier in the year I blogged about rewarding community involvement online and came up with this 2x2 matrix to help me categorise the millions of methods of rewards out in the ether.

I thought that the best way for me to keep the momentum going on this train of thought was to begin a list of examples from the web that showcase all the different methods communities are employing.

This list will be updated periodically as new examples come to light. Enjoy!

Legend: Location: Reward (How attained) Scale

Measurements of rewards are based on social sciences scaling using either individual attributes scaled as either Nominal, Ordinal, Interval or Ratio or as a composite measure such as an Index or Typology. (Please excuse me if I don't get some of these measures correct and do comment to help me improve!)

As a brief re-cap I am defining subjective as any kind of reward where human interaction is needed in some part of the process where objective rewards are based solely on a pre-determined formula.

Subjective Periodic

  • eBay: Power Seller (eBay awards power seller status based on a mixture of objective achievements and subjectively adhering to community policy) Index
  • Yelp: Review of the day (Be the reviewer of the day in a Yelp city) Nominal

Subjective Perpetual

  • Amazon: Badges (Get a 'real name' or 'The' badge if Amazon thinks you are popular enough) Nominal
  • Twitter: Verified (If you're a celebrity Twitter can verify you are the actual account holder) Nominal
  • Twitter: Translate (If you help Twitter as a translator you get Translator badge) Nominal
  • Wikpedia: Barnstars (Peers award barnstars for participation in Wikipedia community) Typology
  • Yelp: Elite (Annual badge awarded for influential people in a Yelp city) Nominal
  • Yelp: Compliments (The community awards users compliments on reviews, compliments shown in public) Typology / Ratio

Objective Periodic

  • Ad Age: Power 150 (Marketing blogs ranked by aggregate of measurements) Index
  • Amazon: Feedback (Rating of transaction out of five stars) Ordinal
  • Amazon: Badges (Be a top reviewer) Ratio
  • at15.com: Best-Buy youth community Points (Complete activities to earn point, points directed to charity donation quarterly) Ratio
  • eBay: Helpful Reviewer (Be one of the top reviewers in eBay) Ratio
  • Foursquare: Mayor (Become mayor of a venue by being the person that checks in the most) Ratio
  • Technorati: Authority (More links to your blog mean more authority, calculated and updates frequently) Index
  • World of Warcraft: Reputation (Earn reputation points through doing deeds for other, reputation fluctuates based on whether you do good or bad deeds) Index

Objective Perpetual

  • at15.com: Best-Buy youth community Icons (the more points you earn the 'blingier' your icon becomes) Ratio
  • Facebook (Translations app): Awards (earn icons for quantity and accuracy of translation submissions) Ratio / Typology
  • Foursquare: Badges (earn points and badges by completing tasks, eg four bars in one night, be the first to review a venue) Ratio
  • Sears: Badges (earn points in MySears to enter the "Friends" - "Chairmans" Circle) Ratio
  • Soundunwound: Records (number of edits gets you coloured record) Ratio
  • World of Warcraft: Experience / PvP Rewards (earn items through increased game play, items traded for honour and other experience points) Index
  • Virgin.com : Badges (Rise from groupie to roadie then rockstar) Ratio

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Can I say trans-informational?

In the old marketing text book that I used to read at University there was a great section on informational advertising and transformational advertising and I really took those two theories to heart.

It was pretty simple really, informational advertising was used in important decision making processes. It was to remove fear like medicinal advertising or explain complex expensive products (you know those car comparison ads that list how many cup-holders a car has?). Then there was transformational advertising used either to gratify the ego with a minor purchase decision like how a can of coke will get me a whole lotta chicks in bikinis, or to satisfy the ego with large purchases like how when I bough my new Macbook I just knew that I would become hip.

But what I'm experiencing nowadays is that there is definitely a middle ground. And I think this middle ground is growing with the growth of online communities and networks.

Let me explain. Transformation feeds the ego and gratifies the individual while information gives the individual the required understanding of the needs required to go from being without satisfaction to having satisfaction. What better way of getting in the clique than by joining a community of experts and conversing and learning from the experts on how to transform yourself.

It is these online communities and networks that I believe fill the middle ground between information and transformation. This is the trans-informational advertising. Get this space right, create a space for the expression of emotion and transfer of knowledge, feed it with the occasional talking point of content and the community will can self-sustaining.

Example: The 2010 Ford Mustang
The new 2010 Ford Mustang is in anybody's book a pretty big purchase. To sell one of these babies you need to latch onto a heap of emotion, give lots of sexy information about the power of the beast, and of course have a space where fans and potential buyers can salivate together about this animal.

Let's start with tansformation. This is a beast of a car and has no practical use on the speed regulated roads whatsoever. But it is sexy, fast and down right red-blooded Amrerican muscle. Tell me this doesn't transform you:

Now information. You want specs? I'll give you specs. Take those details and shove 'em up your imported piece of plastic. As much as information is there to remove the fear of purchasing an inferior product it can also be used to reinforce your decision for buying an over-specced rocket on four wheels.

And the middle ground. I love these videos, I think this car is awesome, I want to salivate with someone over the fact that I could get the top of the range model for under $50k Australian!!! (if you didn't take into account import taxes, and every other obvious barrier under the sun to getting one in Australia).

Ford services this middle ground with a very healthy Facebook fan page with over 350k fans and a very nice assortment of photos, videos and applications to play with and discuss intimate stories about abnormal love affairs with inanimate objects. Facebook, as you can see from this example is the perfect platform for servicing this new and exponentially growing marketing ground.

The trans-informational middle ground is one of the most promising developments happening in marketing today. The opportunity to combine emotional transformational wants and rational informational needs in a living community of enthusiasts, executed thoughtfully and in the community's interest, can only strengthen a brand in the eyes of its core market.

*For more awesome mustang photos I recommend the Mustang fan page.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

That reads like a Chinese t-shirt

I like getting to the nub of things, you could say I like returning to the basic ;-)

And in the spirit of returning to the basic I have decided to out those that write reports, emails, presentations, whatever, in deliberately excessive or academic terms. The act of dumping as many three and four syllable words as possible into a sentence however irrelevant or excessive (much like this sentence!) is unnecessary to say the least and obfuscatory to say the most! see!?

I will thus politely comment that "what you have written good sir/madam, reads like a Chinese t-shirt."

I hope that such an obtuse remark might actually make them think twice about how to clearly and concisely present their information to me.

(image care of xiaming)