My post on Friday sparked a couple of conversations offline about participation in communities: how do you get people to contribute in an online community?
There’s a huge surge in interest in the ecommerce community, for example, in posting customer reviews on web stores. A couple of interesting businesses in particular (ReeVoo and BazaarVoice) are based around this concept, and both seem to be doing quite nicely thank you.
Over at the IMRG, I’ve participated in/listened to some discussions around the issues involved here – and a big initial concern for e-retailers is around the nature of things that people will say. The assumption is that consumers are far more likely to post negative comments than rave about good stuff. Apparently this assumption is false.
And yet, away from the direct retail environment, one of the themes I’ve heard from new (and new-ish) businesses is around the difficulty in getting conversations started at all. It seems that once they’re underway, it’s somewhat easier to keep it going, but seeding the discussion is a tougher proposition.
What does the Sandlines audience think? I’d love to hear back from people about their ideas on this? Or experiences?