Sunday, October 15, 2006

Communicaitons as "Sticky" Factor

A very decent point about online services is that the communication relationships of those participating or using the service, are a very deeply entrenched "sticky" factor. Robert Young, writing on GigaOm notes this Communications In Social Networks

Robert makes the point that online services are a bit like going to the gym. At first you are full of enthusiasm, but eventually you "churn out" or narrow down to a few excercises that form a routine. One of the things that people "keep" is the communications relationships.

On mySpace and related sites, people post up their messages on a shared "wall". In time these will become "user generated videos" that are posted up on "the wall". Only you and your invited friends see them, and the communications are always relevant so you keep going back to the service. You may be attracted to a particular site such as Irish Health because it has great information, but you keep going back to the site because of the people that participate on the site, make comments, and offer suggestions. A good moderator service also keeps the site relevant and focused.

I wonder will we see the day soon when instead of going to the technical help desk, a companies "customer advocate" or "moderator" will ask to be invited into an online conversation in order to make pro-active suggestions about how they might be able to solve a particular computer problem. I'm thinking of someone like Dell here. Does that seem unlikely? Well, perhaps Dell will make a shift from "personalising your computer" to "socialising your experience".....

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