Community Shock Redux

Community Shock redux explains an epiphany. Almost a year ago (June 19, 2015) we had a vision. We didn’t take peyote or dance around a campfire. We saw the next big CRUSH in online marketing three years (at least) before the need for a community hit online commerce like a tsunami. Today we noticed how GOOD Forbes personal profile is, and now it feels like the online community train is leaving the station.

Personal or “user” Profiles are the cornerstone of an online community.

GIVING SOMETHING UP is the first step to creating an online community. Forbes profile is excellent. To have such a HUGE company create a good user profile now means the tsunami will arrive faster than three years. We hear the, “No, but…” thinkers out there.

No, but philosophers find reasons NOT to do new things. Not a stance we recommend for web marketing.

We have two wishes for everyone reading this post: 1. We Cure Cancer – you or anyone you love NEVER gets or have to deal with the Big C because we’ve cured the monster (and yes we have a dog in the hunt) and 2. You complete against a tribe of “No, but” thinkers. People ask me how teams I managed made over $30M (mostly for my employers sadly), in online sales frequently.

One answer to winning online is doing what Google told us too, and the other is completing against slow to move “No, but….” thinkers.

Here is an important note from our Community Shock Is Coming post:

“We can answer this question for most brands in the negative. Few websites pay attention to the need to build sustainable online communities. Few e-commerce sites seek to “tribe up” communities into a growing and supportive network.

Just as Mark Schaefer defined Content Shock as point of diminishing return where too much content chases too little attention blowing up the concept of ‘content marketing’ we are about to experience Community Shock.”

Community Shock chart

Community Shock Defined

Community Shock is the point of diminishing return where adding new members ceases to add benefit to a website, brand or company’s bottom line. Cost of acquiring new members is, after community shock, greater than the marginal value produced by new member.

Content shock is too much content chasing too little attention. Community shock comes from too many websites, brands and social networks trying to scale Metcalfe’s law (value of a network is square the number of members). There are only so many communities we can join no matter how cool the technology becomes.

Attention exists in a flexible infinity.

In theory, the technology could enable complete membership by every human in every community. Since we haven’t reached such a theoretical nirvana competition for members is sure to heat up especially given the 1:9:90 Rule:

  • 1% of a site’s visitors will contribute meaningful User Generated Content (UGC).
  • 9% of a site’s visitors will share content especially when coming from the one%ers.
  • 90% read and are important to traffic metrics but hard to engage.

Since every website competes for their engaged 10% and there is overlap between YOUR engaged audience and your competitor’s finding ways to WIN hearts, minds and members TODAY is the great land rush few seem to understand.

What To Do NOW

Here’s the rub. Even if you want to create a great User Profile or “personal profile” for your user base you can’t. Creating great user profiles is TRICKY, and profiles are the cornerstone of your online community. Your profiles need to ROCK even more than Forbes.

And the pain doesn’t stop there.

As we described in Community In A Box online communities have “pillars” or content areas you should include, information areas such as:

  • Wikis – crowdsource definitions and other technical information you can’t keep up with
  • Forums – What are people talking about in your biz? Are those conversations your site?
  • Knowledge Base- Crowdsourced and expert Q&A.

Those three ideas AND a user profile and you see the problem. If you want to have community tomorrow, you can’t. There’s too much work. There is half a years work by the time you design, code and tweak. The LONG LEAD TIMES to create a great community and to have hot conversations on your website is one reason we are working with and to create Community In A Box.

Our Community In A Box project will deliver a personal profile, a wiki, forum and knowledge base for by the end of the second Quarter (July 1) if not before. Our work for will be built on the one thing you can do TODAY – create an ASK.

A year ago when needed volunteers they had a hundred potential Ambassadors raise their hands immediately. People want to join your tribe. People want to help. You can ASK FOR HELP today with a single caveat. Ambassadors need support, empowerment, and curation. Supporting, Empowering and curating an Ambassador environment is another reason we are creating Community In A Box. is having a record year after record year. To add one more thing on founder Drew Baird or Chief Operating Officier Nichole Baird’s plate is impossible. needs the community to sustain record growth. If those sentences sound like an unsolvable Chinese finger puzzle – need community, but community requires active curation and support when there is NO TIME to do so – we agree.

Will the algorithms we build into Community In A Box ever do 100% of an e-commerce site’s curation, support, and empowerment? No, we can’t move the needle to zero no matter how good our quant-math, but we can create near real-time business intelligence with actionable information such as:

  • HOT Conversions – What content is making money NOW/li>
  • HOT Social Shares and Conversations – What content is being TALKED about, shared and linked?

See the timing problem? HOTNESS has two dimensions, dimensions that may or may not be related. Some content makes an online merchant MONEY in such an unambiguous way they need to know AS THE TREND IS HAPPENING. If Moon Audio’s new Black Dragon audio cable V2s are making the register ring (as they are), creating social, blog and website support for the HOT product NOW is a CSF (Critical Success Factor) in tomorrow’s e-commerce.

Tomorrow’s e-commerce won’t forgive not knowing what they (your customers) are talking about NOW. TOmorrow’s eCommerce demands a shorter distance between YOU (website creators) and THEM (customers and visitors). The community is the best collaborative tactic we know to shorten the distance, to move from and THEM to US.

Content generating money happening NOW is crucial, but so is knowing what content is exciting social networks. Content exciting social networks is much more ambiguous. Content may BLOW UP on your site and never make a dime. Curagmai and Community In A Box will identify different kinds of social content including:

  • Social Bombs As LEADING Indicators to MONEY/li>
  • Social Bombs not likely to become MONEY

With enough Big Data we can tease “leading indicator” social blowups from content liable to remain relevant on social nets but hard to convert into new members or new buyers. The TO DO list for is always infinite. The number of things they SHOULD do is TINY.

Community in a Box and Curagami’s mission is to find WHAT SHOULD BE DONE because there is a path to return. Our new tool will never JUDGE it will only PRIORITIZE., Yes priority is a judgement and yes we think tuning our algorithms once a quarter (or so) will keep the little list of things our customers CAN DO rich in return, rich in “should do”.