The Golden Goose Reloaded

By definition, people are the key to the “social networking” that drives web commerce so it’s always amazing to see businesses attempt to thrive without communities of people. On the one hand, it’s understandable because the linkage between communities and revenue is indirect – money doesn’t come with a community tag. However, businesses understand the power of word-of-mouth advertising and it would seem that they would get the economic power of community. I encounter this enigma frequently, most recently while reading about the demise of Philly.com’s popular Bling blog:

The thing is, in online media community is golden. Community isn’t merely fun, “feelgood,” and energizing — it’s the foundation of most successful online business models, especially those that rely on advertising, subscriptions, and related products or events. You can’t buy community; you must grow it and continually nurture it.

… a business model that values pageviews above community and engagement — and, of course, branding — is bound to miss the point of conversational media. … It’s generally bad business to cook the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Community Is Golden

I can’t overemphasize that people are the heart of the meshverse economy – that’s why the tagline of this site begins with the word People. It’s people visit virtual locations to attend events put on by other people and buy things from other people. As community develops around the places where people do commerce land appreciates. “location, location, location” is the golden egg laid by community. Maybe Bling needs to get a Second Life?

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