Web Community Forum: A report back

Cross-posted from the OC Report.

Bill Johnston's Facebook profile

OK, I have to admit, I’m a little tired of talking about Facebook after attending last week’s Web Community Forum in Seattle. The conference focused on community building with Facebook, and we spent two days exploring topics ranging from FAcebook usage basics to best practices in B to B marketing.

The event content is partially captured on the Web Community Forum site, which has a running blog and some twitter feeds. Most of the sessions were lecture-style presentations.

The key takeaway for me is: that, in spite of the hype, Facebook is something you should be paying attention to if you are charged with community management or strategy at your organization. I wasn’t convinced 6 months ago, but I am now. Why? Aside from my increased usage of the site:

• It’s the best online social experience available. Facebook has nailed the social networking experience, in part, because the system is structured to start your experience with your real world networks and contacts. Once you start using, it’s *addictive*.
• It has hit critical mass, and it’s growing (57 million members and growing)
• Though still very “V1”, social ads and fan pages will morph into something meaningful. We are seeing the initial, crude offerings to create a marketing and advertising presence on Facebook. This is a make or break issue for the company, and they will continue to experiment until they nail it. A vocal and visible community will keep them honest (see Zuckerberg’s apology about Beacon), and Microsoft’s investment (among what are sure to be other upcoming investments) will push the company to develop creative sources of revenue.

Some of the key highlights from the conference (and speakers) can be found here:

Jeremiah Owyang’s keynote
http://webcommunityforum.com/2007/12/slides-from-jeremiah-owyangs-presentation/

and Jeremiah’s key takeaways
http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2007/12/07/8-key-learnings-from-the-web-community-forum-two-days-of-facebook/

Lee Lorenzen Says Facebook is Worth $100 Billion–uh huh prove it. – Tris Hussey / blognation
http://ca.blognation.com/2007/12/06/lee-lorenzen-says-facebook-is-worth-100-billion-uh-huh-prove-it/

Zuckerberg Apologizes for the Mess that was Beacon Rollout – Nick ONeill / All Facebook (recomended)
http://www.allfacebook.com/2007/12/breaking-zuckerberg-apologizes-for-the-mess-that-was-beacon-rollout/

B2B Marketing – Facebook Tips and Tricks – Mari Smith / Why Facebook
http://whyfacebook.com/2007/12/07/b2b-marketing-facebook-tips-and-tricks/

Bill Johnston - Founder, Structure3C. Former Head of Community at Dell & Autodesk. Mobile: (415) 233-6914 Twitter: @billjohnston LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/billj In a sentence: Seasoned online community and social media executive and advisor with over 15 years experience developing large scale online communities, social media initiatives and successful online product strategies.
3 comments
  1. Fortuantly, with Open Social looming, it’ll be hard to have ‘facebook only’ conferences as developers will be deploying on multiple networks.

  2. Thanks for including my presentation link, Bill. It was good to see you at the WCF event – though it whizzed by so fast, I found it hard to connect with everyone! 🙂

    I found the general theme was just get on to FB and familiarize yourself, as this is the future for sure!

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