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What happens when ‘Community’ is just a ‘tab’

Example of 'Community' as a tab

In spending some time recently on the web sites of major TV networks, I notice something has not changed much since 2004, or 2005, when TV networks first started developing branded web site counterparts with message board or discussion areas for TV show fans.

In the early days of TV show web sites, discussions about the episodes were not placed against the content, but typically were segmented off in separate areas of the web site, into ‘forum’ areas. And such forums (or ‘message boards’ as they are also known) still exist today, mainly because they are straight forward and easy to use, even though there are other social tools to comment and participate in a conversation around content.

Despite their ease of use, on many a media site, it may take you three or four clicks more to find the discussion threads about a particular program once you’ve found a community ‘tab’. And the discussion threads may be outdated, the last thread may be older than the latest episode of a TV show!

I still think forums are a great way to start new topic threads and allow fans of a TV show, movie, or artist to discuss in depth the content as comment boxes may have a text limit.

Yet when forums are the ONLY place to discuss the content, and there’s no way for fans to comment directly against the content (e.g. comment below a video, or a blog post), you see some interesting drop offs in site engagement. Also, fans go to other sites, like Facebook where they can comment directly against the content, leaving the branded entertainment sites behind.

For example, I examined the ‘community’ tab for the Fox animated comedy ‘American Dad’.

Fan Forums / Community area of Fox.com for the TV show ‘American Dad’

In the show related forum pictured above, at the time of writing this blog, the last post by a fan is from 5 days ago, and the post received only 26 views. Meanwhile I went to the Facebook fan page for ‘American Dad’ and found that page owner Fox had posted a episode clip just a day ago. Because commenting was allowed in line, against the content, the clip netted 75 comments in just one day and over 1400 ‘likes’, way surpassing the social engagement of a 5 day old post on Fox’s own community.

Fans can’t comment on video clips of ‘American Dad’ on Fox.com, but fans are allowed on to Facebook, greatly increasing the engagement off the main site

So while American Dad fans can’t comment against the video clips on the Fox.com site they are enabled to do so on the Facebook fan page for the show, or on the official YouTube posted clips for the program.

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Cisco ūmi: Can You See Me Now? A New Market, A New Product, A New Experience (case study)

February 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm PST

What is Cisco ūmi? Think of it as a TV-based video conferencing tool designed for consumers to help stay connected with our loved ones (for now in the US). You and the person you want to connect with each get a Cisco ūmi, hook it up to your TV, pay a monthly fee and you’re ready to chat away with grandma and grandpa on the East Coast or with your son or daughter in college. Wondering how to set it up? Check out Cisco ūmi social media manager, Zoya Fallah’s blog and first video message using this product. Then, read Alisa’s story on how she used ūmi to connect with grandpa.

Now that you have a better understanding of what Cisco ūmi is and what it does, let’s shift gears. The purpose of this blog post is to share with you how we introduced this product. This launch wasn’t just about a new product, but about a new experience…Our goal was to show through Read More »

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New Facebook Photos Lightbox Rocks!

February 9, 2011 at 6:47 pm PST

I’ve never been a fan of the way that Facebook photos jump me from mini view to another page. But this new lightbox like version of clicking on photos really rocks! Nice work Facebook. Too bad the first experience I had was Tyler’s ugly mug!

Click on photos in your Newsfeed or Notifications to see the new feature.

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Look at the New WebEx.com: Pages You Should Bookmark

We have refreshed our website that includes new content to help you have a better WebEx experience. We are also working to bring the power of WebEx to you in different ways. Here’s a quick list of things you might want to bookmark for future use.

1. WebEx.com: come in the front door. We will always have the newest information on mobile, video and more in the banner on this page. You can also grab the latest news and special offers via the home page.

2. Together@WebEx -- Upcoming Events: Watch a series of WebEx events that range from VIPS (like Sir Richard Branson and Guy Kawasaki) to topics like leadership, selling smarter and training. Register for those events here. With a click, you can also see a host of recorded events that you can watch on demand.

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Mind Your (Online) Manners

February 9, 2011 at 9:04 am PST

There it was, in my living room against the wall. My comfy couch. The couch that has been the place of many fond memories. Now, I was on a quest and I had to sell it. I had couch 2.0 on the way. I decided to post an ad on an online marketplace and after many spam emails, several scam attempts and an invitation for a drink (ha, no, I did not post my ad on Match.com), I did get emails from people that seemed genuinely interested. A great start, or so I thought. I responded to each person and called those who provided their phone numbers. To my surprise, I only heard back from one person. This experience got me thinking: has the social web, and electronic communication in general,  Read More »

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