Podcast 58: Community websites Part 1

This week a somewhat jetlagged Paul discusses virtual communities with Marcus. In particular they focus on the tools available to community builders and the business benefits of social participation.

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Well, I am back from the Refresh 06 web conference in Orlando and feeling somewhat jet lagged. As a result this week’s show is far from coherent. However, I do get the opportunity to make Marcus envious so I guess it’s worthwhile.

Actually it’s a pretty good show despite everything. We discuss the benefits of meetups and conferences as well as looking at some of the upcoming events such as a North East Meetup arranged by our very own Dan Cave, and the BBC Backstage Christmas Bash happening in London.  

The more conferences and meetups I attend the more convinced I am of their value. If you fancy getting more involved in these kinds of events I would highly recommend upcoming.org.

Our main subject this week is online community and social participation. It is a subject I have been promising to cover for some time and one I am particularly passionate about. As a result I have too much to share for a single show. That is why this week we focus on the tools at your disposal and the business benefits of communities. Next week we will move on to look at setting up and growing your community as well as motivating and managing your users.

Finally, we also manage to squeeze in a review of Twitter.com and take a quick look at the issue of multi-lingual sites (although this is something I would like to return to in the future).

  • Tim

    Hi guys,
    There are internal business benefits to online communities as well, particularly in large companies spanning multiple sites.
    Online communities can be a key component of lots of good organisational stuff like blended learning, information sharing and open problem solving or “crowdsourcing ” (good definition in Wikipedia too).
    Great to have you back!

  • Good point Tim. I hadn’t considered the internal benefits. Nice to be back!

  • Nice podcast, looking forward to next weeks.
    i was one of those plebs who go on the normal tours at NASA! we aren’t all celebs lol.
    i was suprised how small refresh was, i thought it was hundreds.
    did you fly first class? lol

  • Good podcast as usual but fancy no mention of the UK’s great grandaddy, CIX. CIX has been around since 1983 and is still going strong with both OLR and web access to the conferences. There is a reasonable Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIX). It was also where the UK’s ISP industry started with a conference called the tenner a month club which provide the initial funding to go and buy a Unix server for what became Demon Internet.

  • Thanks Paul, for pointing out my Twitter obsession to the world. Cindy gets a nod for being an organizational leader and I get one for being a dork. Nice.
    Anyway, it was great to meet you and talk shop. Hopefully my MacBook Pro comments convinced you to make the switch. You’ll be glad you did.