July 31, 2008

Interview with Communispace about C3 and the Industry

Before I left my position as project manager for the Consortium, I was fortunate enough to have a chance to correspond with the folks at Communispace about some of the Consortium's research and perspective on the current media landscape.

For those who don't know of Communispace, they are a company based in the Boston area that creates private, invitation-only communities that allow brands to converse directly with a small group of targeted people, who take part in an ongoing community that Communispace maintains. I've written about Communispace before here, and Judy Walklet represented the company in a discussion at our spring retreat.

As part of the interview, I said:

"I think it's crucial for businesses to understand that the world doesn't operate in what we call in media studies a "technological determinist" mindset. Avoiding significant engagement in today's digital world is increasingly dangerous for many businesses' survival, but just as perilous, or maybe more so, is the "gee whiz fever"--the disease which causes companies to believe they are smart and innovative if they try every new technology that comes along, without putting substantial thought into the strategy and purpose behind those digital decisions and offerings.

We're looking to return the favor soon with Manila Austin from Communispace. I conducted an interview with her awhile back that I'm hoping to post soon here on the C3 site. They're a company helping to lead the dialogue about what community really means, considering that it's a term that's thrown around a lot these days, especially by "Web 2.0" companies.

Sam Ford is a research affiliate with the Consortium and Director of Customer Insights with Peppercom. He also writes for PepperDigital.

July 30, 2008

A Few Recent Posts on PepperDigital

Sorry for the radio silence on my part as I have settled into this new position at Peppercom as "Director of Customer Insights" and my new relationship with C3 as a research affiliate. I hope to be back to posting a couple of times a week from this point forward.

To start with, there were a couple of recent pieces I have written over on the PepperDigital blog that I thought might be of interest to Consortium blog readers:

A Model for Better Understanding Communities Online. "That's not to vilify segmentation. It's no more a help to say every audience member is unique than it is to say the audience is all the same--neither produce a model that's feasible for effective mass communication. It just means there's a need for a more nuanced way to understand the different types of online audience members."

More Chatter about Canada's Brand and Media's Role. "As Canadian media such as these two shows continue to gain notoriety south of the border and across the globe, one has to think there are definite benefits to the Canadian brand, differentiating the Canadian experience and Canadian society through distinctly Canadian television shows."

No Virtual Handshakes: Remember That the "Virtual" Doesn't Exist Outside the "Real" World. "So I wanted to remind everyone that, in all our enthusiasm about digital technologies, let's never fall into the trap of thinking about the 'virtual world' as something disconnected from everything else. After all, these are technological tools that still connect us in our everyday life, not a way that we can somehow transcend living."

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