Friday, April 14, 2006

I went to Refresh Dallas last night. They had a round table with Brian Oberkirch, John Keehler, Jake McKee and Blake Burris on Social Media. Buzz is started to get outside of the web community about Social Networking sites like MySpace and shared media portals like Flickr and YouTube.

My current project has a lot of community tools built around Ajax allowing simple messaging and other feedback. The site hasn't launched yet but it will be interesting to see how quickly the userbase ramps up. The tricky part of any site like this is getting the real community started. Obviously the appeal is the community relationship yet the first people who come to the site just see a ghost town. This particular site has a lot of other content, it's not just a community, so I hope that gets people in until there is enough of an "ecosystem" to sustain it. I think these kind of focused community sites are more interesting than wide-open places like MySpace.

One of the speakers at Refresh, Jake is the Director of Consumer Experience Strategy at Slingshot. I used to work at Slingshot and they have some clients like Dr Pepper and Jack Daniels that could really benefit from this kind of thinking. It's really easy for Dr Pepper (and sister brands like 7Up, Dite Rite and Sunkist) to fall into a constant "what do we give away now" mentality but I don't believe sweepstakes really create any brand connection at all. But most products like that already have not just a community but several micro-communities. Mountain Dew's success in connecting themselves to X-Games style sports is the perfect example.

I had some good converations afterwords, not just about Web 2.0 but also Flash, User-centric app development, Flash Media and more. If you are in the area, start checking out Dallas events like this and BarCamp. There's big Dallas development community with a diverse set of skills.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking for a designer to work with me on a project for my church. If you would be interested in bidding, please contact me at robert.flach(at) We will be using typo3 and going for standards compliance /css-based /accessible design. Thanks.

8:52 AM  

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