The Social Contact Centre

to a social networking way of working through the eyes of a Contact Centre manager

Posts Tagged ‘Second Life

Here’s to the rich social “failures”

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Some time ago I blogged about the rise and fall of social media “brands”. Not so long ago my children were addicted to Bebo, Friends Reunited and MySpace and where are they now? In a similar vein, Second Life participants rose from nothing to having four million citizens in 2007. It now settles down at just around 1 million repeat logins.

We need to redefine what we mean by failure I think. With a mindset that is educated on bricks and mortar this would look like decline and fall – the similar fashion-led business profile of the Rubik’s Cube or the latest TV show merchandise.

We really need to look at what has happened with these brands. There are a group of them which have gained enormous popularity and have then been superseded by the latest version. A good example is MySpace which was once the most visited website in the US. In 2011 it was sold for $35m. In my opinion the social media world is a great example of speeding up the business world. The rise of MySpace was fuelled by comparatively little capital expenditure compared to most other businesses. All the issues associated with recruitment, training, facilities etc did not really apply – the growth was driven by increasing subscriber numbers and the need for the network to scale quickly with it. Before it lost popularity it was sold for $580m to Newscorp in 2005. It is hard to imagine that a technology business could grow from nothing to be worth $580m in less than three years and that almost 10 years later it still has revenues of over $100m from essentially the same product. In my view MySpace is an enormous success story when compared with other businesses using a comparable currency.

Consider SecondLife – which remains profitable and with a huge customer base in any other terms. A traditional business which had undertaken the same roller-coaster journey would have been saddled with enormous and crippling overheads and would probably be in administration at this stage. SecondLife is an example of a mature and settled business riding the wave of popularity and settling into a development phase.

The message from Social Media and Social Networking is that the numbers of users and the pace of change are an entrepreneurial dream – huge markets and very low barriers to entry. People entering the market are not looking for businesses to grow and pass on to their children – they are using the pop-up shop and restaurant model – keep your overheads low and take the opportunity while it’s there. There are some very rich “failures” out there.

Written by greencontact

July 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Posted in Opinion

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50 Shades Can Pay

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There can’t be a soul in the United Kingdom who isn’t aware of the literary sensation which is 50 Shades Of Grey. It has just broken records with  the 1 millionth sale on Kindle. Although marketeers are welcome to read the trilogy they should also be paying attention to the message. Apart from the fascinating demographic and the creation of labelling of the Mommy Porn genre, the phenomenal success is yet another example of the rise of Social Media and Social Networking in a concrete way.

The work started as fan fiction which in itself is an enormous subculture. Time magazine ran an excellent, non-judgemental article on fan fiction The Boy Who Lived Forever. While most people may not be interested in the subject matter, I am always interested in numbers. hosts over 2 million pieces of original fan fiction covering a wide range of genres with the Harry Potter section holding over half a million pieces. There is an associated infrastructure of competitions and editing which most people are unaware of. Other interesting similar areas are the huge gaming and roleplaying worlds. When the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants sets up a headquarters on CPA Island in Second Life you need to start paying attention.

EL James moved her stories from a fan fiction website on to her own website after some comments about the content of some stories and then rewrote some elements to take away the direct character references to Twilight and then published as an ebook and by a small Australian print-on-demand publisher. Sales grew through word-of-mouth recommendation and book blogs until finally in 2012, news agencies identified the phenomenon driven by viral marketing. With phenomenal pace, references, spoofs, parodies, huge increases in sales of ereaders and spinoffs are appearing in a way that only social media can drive. Even sales of a piece of music referred to in the novel have increased.

50 Shades Of Grey is a huge success story with important messages:

1. It is a superb example of success of Web 2.0, user-generated content shared for peer review.

2. It is an example of a new business model with money being made from ebooks rather than physical books

3. It hints at the possibility of crowd subcultures to be understood and developed in the way the CPA model has

4. It demonstrates the entrepreneurial opportunity created by large numbers and low costs/barriers to entry

I’ve still not read the books but well done EL James!


Written by greencontact

July 16, 2012 at 9:20 am