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The Future of Media: Four Key Drivers Altering an Industry

Until recently, the global media industry had been relatively stable, with a robust value chain and well-defined business models.

Today, multiple factors are tearing at the fabric of those finely tuned business models: new players such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Apple offer consumers new ways of accessing professional video content; technology standards are in flux; and regulatory and macroeconomic factors undermine consumer and investor confidence.

Last week, more than 90,000 media and entertainment officials from 150 countries descended on Las Vegas for NAB Show, the annual National Association of Broadcasters conference. I attended to share some of predictions for the industry that we have developed in the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG). In particular, I spoke at a breakfast briefing for CxO-level executives about the impactful yet uncertain effects of four key drivers—consumer behavior, regulatory changes, technology, and macroeconomics—in an effort to better define their media-industry disruptions: Read More »

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Creating Trust: Moving from Lurking to User Generated Content

As a training professional, I know what makes good online training and what makes boring and ineffective online training. We often get complaints that our training doesn’t present a variety of view points, it doesn’t go far enough, does not present enough practical examples, or that you can’t change attitudes or behavior with online training. These are all valid arguments that training professionals face in making the case for online training. But these days, social media can be used to address some of these issues with communities of practice for learning.
As always, the key to an effective learning experience is to get the learning to continue after the online course ends. Creating communities of practice, slowly generates trust, and turns learners into experts who will create and pass along their experiences, essentially creating user-generated content.

In most online communities, 90% of community members are lurkers. (Institute of Behavioural Research, 2008, Preece, Nonnecke, and Andrews , 2004) Lurkers get a great benefit from the community, as they come to the community for primarily to read and review the content. The trick to growing a community of practice however, is to change lurkers to participants. Lurkers generally do not contribute until they foresee a benefit to their contribution, or an increased social equity; social equity is essentially a raise in trust and status among community members. To increase social equity, lurkers must establish social networks of their own.
Communities of practice have an advantage over other types of communities in that their membership generally shares a common level of expertise or a common experience: for example, cardiac physicians, or people who have passed their CCNA certification, or even participants who attended the same online class. Content generated by the membership of a community of practice can even be perceived as more trustworthy than traditional content , (ITtoolbox and PJA Advertising + Marketing “IT Social Media Index, 2007), as audiences today feel as they can perceive the difference between traditional marketing-type content and user generated content. In a community of practice, this perception may be especially important, as there is a common level of expertise among the participants and therefore an implicit level of trust.
The more that community of practice members can make connections and engage with other members of the community to gain trust, the more they will feel comfortable making contributions to the community. Lurkers may start by simply rating a particular post or blog, but again, the community of practice advantage is their expertise, and shared experiences, which can make lurkers more comfortable in moving beyond ratings to actual postings.
Activity in a community of practice and the creation of user generated content has a strong correlation with the completeness of user profile information, making it easier for community of practice members to find and follow each other. After all, it is only natural that a community member will be more comfortable displaying knowledge and expressing opinions among friends, rather than strangers. Therefore in a community of practice, it is absolutely essential that participants are encouraged to complete their user profile information to more easily find friends and make content contributions to the community.
So take some time today to fill out your user profile and “follow” fellow community members, it’s the first step from moving from a lurker to a full-fledged community member.

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Give the People What They Want

Understand what your fans want, and help them help themselves.

A few weeks ago I blogged about how we gave admin rights of the Networking Academy fan page to the top fans. In the private FB group I set up for them to collaborate, one of them commented that our total active monthly fans was constant at 90k, even though we’d gone from 100k to 150k total fans in the past 10 weeks.

They started to collaborate on how to generate more relevant content. They decided to share mini networking lessons as well as daily quizzes. The ambassadors set up a wikispace to collaborate, and a WordPress blog to share full lessons with the fans.

The results have blown me away. Our monthly active fans have been amazing! (Facebook defines monthly active as viewing, liking, commenting or sharing your pages posts)

Out of a total 153k fans, that’s a 77% Monthly Active User base. Please share your stats if you have a similar or better ratio of activity.

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