At our user conference a couple of weeks ago, we introduced to our friends and customers the idea of creating a community. At the conference, this idea was very well received, and I'm completely jazzed by the possibilities that exist not only for growing our business, but for growing the book industry as a whole.
The word "community", however, is a way over-used term in the tech world today. And it is one that has many subtly different meanings to people.
Our first experiment in the creation of Community, was to put a "Wiki Page" together for the conference. In the weeks leading up to it, we know that site got a very strong amount of traffic, and the feedback we received from it was very good.
Our next experiment was to put a "Group Page" together on Facebook. We even put a link to it on our new website. This page allows us to post articles, manage threaded discussions, post pictures, and even contact one another privately. A lot of nice functionality at no 'monetary cost'. But, the 'cost' is that you have to join Facebook, and put your 'real' self out there on the internet. I'm fearing that I may have underestimated that cost to some people.
As of this writing there are 47 members of the Firebrand Technologies Facebook Group. Not bad, but not that great either, when you consider that 16 of us work for Firebrand. I'm sure we can nudge that up in a couple of weeks as we start to post some videos and other things that we have planned. but that still doesn't get us into the numbers I was originally expecting.
But the numbers are really a secondary issue for me at this point. The numbers would surely rise if the page was used more by its members - and the discussions became as dynamic as I think that they can. Again, as of this writing, Doug and I are the only people who have posted anything out there. It seems like everyone who has joined, is watching to see what will happen. (We are, obviously, too). Doesn't anyone else have an opinion?
I guess we'll all keep watching.... I'll blog another checkpoint in a couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, the Firebrand Community Management Plan continues to be developed, and I'm extraordinarily excited by the possibilities. The issue is not what to do, but what to do first!
More to come on that in the next couple of weeks as well.
If anyone has any ideas, please comment here, or, better yet, join our group, and comment there!