I’m sitting at the front row of the Forrester Consumer Forum in Barcelona, this post will be cross published on the Marketing blog.
I’ve had a few minutes to visit with Jay before his presentation, he’s Vice President of Operations for MySpace Europe. He’s a long background in the internet industry, and shared with me his background in communications and the web.
Key nuggets from his presentation:
History of MySpace: Launched in Jan 2004, by Tom Anderson and Chris de Wolfe. Grown from roughly 1MM uniques throughout Europe to more than 24MM today. There are currently 175 employees in 10 European territories.
What’s a social network? Individual profiles, semi persistent public commentary on the profile, a traversable public articulated social network displayed in correlate to the profile. -From Dana Boyd
[Jay Stevens: “User told us that ‘I don’t want brands to advertise to me, I want them to be my friend”]
Why do people flock to social networks? A User’s profile may be seen as a metaphor to their room or apartment. The profile has become a user’s online persona. This “Digital Native” have grown up online, with cell phones, and tv. MySpace is their space. Globally, there are about 400 million social network users worldwide. 86% of UK 15-34 year olds are now on social networking sites. 4.3 Billions monthly UK page views on MySpace.
So how do you take advantage of these social networks? Build a network within a network. Create icons (content, images, logos) that will be dressing up users profiles. A few don’t matter as much, until thousands and then millions do this. An English tea brand called has 9500 friends in MySpace, they encouraged users to change their profile pictures to become a cute monkey icon.
[Why join a network rather than create your own? Leverage the power of an existing network, the larger the network the larger the power]
Why would anyone create a social network? There’s a momentum effect that transcribes to ‘never ending friending’
What about Facebook? There’s huge amount of cross over. MySpace is over 2X the size, and are still growing. The media gloms onto the ‘next big thing’.
What about Open Social? The promise for opening up certain elements of MySpace profiles makes sense. Widget’s can’t interfere with user experience, but there’s concerns about user data, and we have to be careful. (learn more about Open Social) Google has advertising on MySpace, and discusses hyper targeted, to learn more about Hyper Targeting, please read this primer.
Implications for Brands and Advertising
A visual representation of a network
It’s obvious form the culture in Barcelona that it’s a community of sharing. I realized this as we passed plates and plates of tapas within a crowded restaurant to each over beers and passing ideas. It wasn’t just about the amazing tapas, but ideas, relationships, URLs and business cards were being shared about.
Last night, the Barcelona blogging community culminated at the Buda Bar, a very upscale lounge suggested by Maria Sipka and Daniella (both of Linqia), our gracious community hostesses. About 30 individuals came out in this open city, and I learned that many were web entrepreneurs from other countries around the world. I’ve kicked off these bloggers dinners at various cities that I visit, and it’s really for the community, and the chance to meet those that I often interact with online, where the focus is on community, not any individual.
I think I could really get used to the Barcelona lifestyle. After work, I enjoyed drinks with colleagues and tapas, I returned to my room, took a nap, got cleaned up, and headed out to more socializing on the town, followed by supper at 10, if not later. My doctor tells me that many small meals is better than the large mega meals that we have in America twice or three times a day.
One notable conversation started with the open source movement, and we quickly started to note that many of these software movements lack solid marketing strategy to mainstream consumers. We started to talk about what could fix this issue and the concept of ‘open source marketing’ or ‘open marketing’ could deliver this. What would this look like? A combination of evangelism from established marketers doing pro bono work, and the collaboration from global marketers to help with the variety of skills that many developers do not have.
In my hand, I have business cards froms companies such as ecaptia, migoa, rollingtalks, ITnet, neurona, onetomarket, and emascaro. While this is not the first time this group has met (some knew each other from previous events) it’s always intersting to witness people introducing themselves for the first time, and realizing they have an online relationship via blogs, and other social tools. Face to face is often a relationship sealer for many online relationships.
I took a few pictures below (please help tag with names, and I’ll correct titles) and recorded a few videos that I’ll publish in the coming weeks.
Thank you Barcelona bloggers, it was great meeting you all.
Tags: for this event are BarcelonabloggerNov07 (or just link to this Technorati page)
I’m going to use this post to point to anyone that’s blogging or tweeting at the well attended Forrester Consumer Forum in Barcelona, where I’m here as an employee. I’m currently sitting in the front row and will be taking a few pictures. Later, I’ll head into some of the sessions and capture knowledge from the social media tracks.
If you want to get real time updates of juicy nuggets of knowledge, go to the Forrester Twitter account being managed by Tracy and Peter both of Forrester.
Let’s use the tag FCFEMEA07 (Forrester Consumer Forum, EMEA, 2007) for this events tag.
Come back to this post, and I’ll update this post:
Forrester Marketing Blog will have Q&A and session captures
Wunderman Defines The Age of Influence Marketing
Jaap Favier to Brands: Don’t Walk Alone
Forrester Twitter Account
Rolling talks is excited to be here
Vue Royale and part 2
Sandrine Plasseraud (Renault)
Facebook event page
Demystify and Democratize have some sound bites
James McQuivey enjoyed the conference and the trip to Spain
I’m going to try to get some quick video interviews with the CEO of Twitter, the managing director of Cyworld, and an executive from MySpace, wish me luck!
See you at the Barcelona Blogger Dinner tonight, details on the wiki. For me this event is starting late, but hey, we’re in Barcelona and night life gets started later. Who’s going to be at the dinner?
Marc Canter – spiratulally, virtually and socially (just not physically) In an OpenSocial kind of way.
Lennert de Rijk
Jan-Willem van Beek
Bas van Bokhorst
Evert Jan Koning
BJ Fogg (Stanford University)
Haripako aka Francisco Vargas
Christian Van Der Henst S.
Francesc Pla (RailsLab)
JC Duarte; Charminguy.com & Strategy in a Day
Simon McDermott (Attentio)
Update: Interestingly, according to Google Analytics the second most visiting country to my blog is Spain, over the last 30 days. It probably has nothing to do with me visiting, so I really look forward to meeting everyone.
Thanks to Per Axbom, a Web Strategist, the original post I wrote called “How to evolve the irrelevant corporate website” has now been translated to Swedish.
You could check out the original post in English, to date, it’s been translated to German, Greek, Italian, French and Dutch, all by the community.
I’m hoping to get someone to volunteer to translate to Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese.
Update: CernIO suggests that he uses review sites before going to the corporate website.
I don’t want to be American-centric, but I need your help.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll notice that I’ve spent some time in Asia (Singapore, HK, Japan) learning about web adoption and sophistication (Canada too). I really want to be the conduit for my many Silicon Valley readers to know more about what the rest of the world has done, Social Media, and the internet at large is truly a global tool.
I’d like to invite you to share with me some case studies of what other companies have done to use social media (from blogs, social networks, online media, etc) to reach and connect with customers. These stories can either be of success or even hard learnings, so please leave a comment below and let me know, of course, please provide links to the appropriate websites.
Shout out your success with social media in Europe! Tell me: 1) What was the company, 2) who were they trying to reach, 3) what was the problem, 4) what did they deploy, 5) how’d it go? 6) What suggestions would you give to the program, where’s it headed? and anything else you wanted to share!