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Community online, like it’s a party

At the Refresh Seattle event last night, Lee LeFever gave an excellent presentation—and now has posted a text version on his blog: Your Community is a Party Waiting to Happen.

And, while I'm on the topic of Monsieur LeFever and community:

Lee recently created a great list of online community tools and/or features, in his Beyond Message Boards - Ideas for the New Communities. One day, I'd really like to sit down and map that list into a couple dimensions along the lines of whether the thing is a tool, a technology, a content feature, an interactive feature, something else TBD, or some combination of the above.

Lee's recent Overcoming Online Community ROI post is another I recommend.

Last night's presentation, and the discussion afterwards, were especially relevant for me, because of the multiple community / collaboration projects we're working on right now. Definitely food for thought.

Also, having done a number of online community projects in the enterprise setting (going back into 1990s), I really appreciated one comment from Sean Odriscoll, who talked about how he doesn't get bogged down in "selling community" to the enterprise. Rather, to describe what he's creating, he finds other labels that more directly match business needs—his example was "content and answers."

Sean saw that his company needed to produce "content and answers" for its customers, and focused his efforts on creating an efficient platform / process for producing content and answers. We might recognize that efficient platform / process as an online community, but the enterprise only need recognize it as a solution to a specific need (and can therefore use its industrial-age, need / solution / ROI-oriented equations to justify it). Nice!

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