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WIKIBRANDS Chapter 7 Executive Summary

Well known internet commentator Clay Shirky believes we’re living in a period of transformation rivaling those surrounding the invention of the printing press, the inception of conversational media (telegraph and telephone), and the invention and use of recorded media (photos, sound, film, TV and the Internet).  Shirky argues we are experiencing the largest increase in expressive capability in human history and points to three new media innovations to prove his point:

People can now have Web-enabled conversations with groups, allowing
many-to-many conversations for the first time.

In a world of hyperdigitization, media is less a source of information
and more a coordinated site where like-minded people can meet.

Members of the audience can perform the role of producer and consumer, sometimes simultaneously.

Most successful Wikibrands also have a senior-level executive champion who enthusiastically leads the community effort.  It must be understood that you can’t assign your blog to the most junior staffer or tack it onto the end of someone’s to-do list and expect to make a splash.  Many larger brands’ customer engagement ventures are understaffed and under resourced.  Smart companies spend three to six months learning what resonates with customers before undertaking any Wikibrands initiative.  One must understand what their customers care about, talk about and the kind of language they use.  Knowledge, passion and time are essential for embedding yourself in your customers’ lives.  Insufficient passion in your communication will leave your audience cold.  Too often, many of the right elements are in place, but companies fail to connect emotionally with their customer base.  Wikibranding is a two-way street; it’s effective because it truly is collaborative.  Conversational affinity happens when we feel that others understand us and are genuinely endeavoring to help us rather than just trying to profit from us.

We need to focus on “awesomeness” – the ability to generate not just communication but long –lived, cross-platform interaction that taps into some of the basic human instincts; to survive, connect, make sense of the world, reduce risk, benefit economically and relieve stress!

At some point, the language and tools of social media will become as ubiquitous as e-mail or the phone call is today.

For further information visit: http://wiki-brands.com/