SOBCon08 Notes | Chris Brogan: New Media Communities

chrisbrogan-barbararozgonyi Chris Brogan – – talked about new media communities.

About the SOBCon08 notes series . . .

On May 2-4, Liz Strauss hosted SOBCon08: Biz School for Bloggers in Chicago. During the sessions, I typed notes to share with you. To presenters and attendees: please feel free to clarify and comment. I will share notes from each session along with how I’m using the knowledge to improve my reader/customer experience.

Notes from Chris Brogan’s presentation . . .

Make humans feel important. He showed picture of his mom whose blog is about building a house and talked how about the contractors reacted to her blog. His daughter has 11 Webkinz – she’s teaching him about community.  The first Webkins funeral is going to suck, he says.

People tell stories. Chris’ presentation featured lots of stories and just-snapped images of people in the room. 

HACK . . .

As is taking the environment around you and making it what you want it to be. You can drive your community to do the things you want.

The most important thing he teaches today – beyond repetition – is the difference between community and marketplace. [Mess] with community and it will ruin your life. Pirates will come in and take over.

A marketplace is where you sell things. You don’t buy in places where you’re a community member.

Hacking in the reverse: passion.

You wrote the rules for your business. Superheroes taught him a lot about passion because people who love them, love them all the way through. You can take your passion and you can pirate another community away from someplace where people don’t feel loved and appreciated.

What are the pop-tarts you can use and grow your community?

Passion drives people to attack your enemies without them being there.

Passionate fans are awesome – look at the recent flickr protest. They believe they’re in a community.

Garmin is releasing a new phone – Chris suggests they link it to to add value and build their community.

A marketplace is where you sell things because when you start selling, your audience is questioning you.

Trust is one of the most important things in the entire world so don’t blow it. Be earnest about making money as well when funneling some portion of the trust towards sales. Should you do it? Be very careful what you pour into the funnel.

Chris’ 2006 mantra: ask. do. share.

Give your ideas handles

Make it useful – kind of like make it great, be helpful

Give more than you ask back, give a lot and then ask back a little

Be clear about your business – don’t fudge

Hack. Make pirates.

Where did the pirate theme come from?

Chris read “The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture Reinvented Capitalism” and met the author, Matt Mason, last week.

Pirates are the people in your community who will do things for you. Watch Conan the Barbarian: Flesh is more powerful than steel.

People will only do what they’re inclined to do as long as it’s not heavy-lifting.  Chris uses twittersearch to find out what he’s interested in. On twitter, 300 seems to be the magic number to be able to follow.


On his own site, he makes money by reputation.

Which networks do you like? Where are your customers? If they’re mobile, use utterz. He likes twitter because it’s light-weight and it’s easy. He’s a little down on Facebook right now. Facebook is like the AOL of the networking world. He does like Sermo, a professional network for physicians that gives  answers for medical emergencies. Velvet rope social networks is the next big thing.

Recommendations for building a business brand about the company: @lionelatdell on twitter. We think of Lionel when we think of Dell. There is a secret trust where we get to know companies on twitter.

Terry Starbucker: From a business perspective, you have to get the analog right [first] to do the digital.  

Reflections and Implementation

Ask. Do. Share. That’s what I’m doing with with SOBCon08 note series.

Chris – here’s my Superhero Public Relations-Client Rescue Operations article.

At the end of the day, I asked Chris if I could take a picture with him. When he told me he enjoyed reading my twitter updates, I was flattered. But then I realized Chris probably told everyone that and meant it every time.

The pirate, superhero and pop tarts themes resonated with me, mostly because they were unexpected.

“You’re not a geek, you couldn’t hack anything,” that’s what my 13 year old told me, but according to Chris’ definition I can hack and I will take the environment around me and make it what I want it to be. I think that’s maybe the best takeaway of all: make your environment what you’re passionate about and make it easy for your pirates to board your ship and sail with you.

There was some question about whether Chris thought you should ask your community to buy from you. How you go about it is the tricky part. You set the tone with how you start out. On Twitter, do you link your bio to a sales landing page? Does this send a signal that you expect this to be a sales relationship? Is that messing up the funnel? When do you think it’s okay to market to your community?

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