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MD253 - E-Commerce. Module 5: Virtual Communities Spring 2003. Some Types of Communities. Chat / Paging / Instant Messaging free-form, person-to-person moderated (e.g. Barnes & Noble author chats) Bulletin Boards Interactive Games / Contests

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MD253 - E-Commerce

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Md253 e commerce l.jpg

MD253 - E-Commerce

Module 5: Virtual Communities

Spring 2003


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Some Types of Communities

  • Chat / Paging / Instant Messaging

    • free-form, person-to-person

    • moderated (e.g. Barnes & Noble author chats)

  • Bulletin Boards

  • Interactive Games / Contests

    • e.g. EverQuest, You Don’t Know Jack, Fantasy Leagues

  • Homesteading

    • web site hosting services


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Users = Value?

source: InternetWorld, Wired News


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Why Communities?

  • Higher sales among members

    • Users for 2/3 of sales from only 1/3 of users

  • Lower churn rates / higher retention

    • Message posters are twice as loyal

  • Longer & more frequent visits

    • Message posters visit 9 x as often

    • More page views per session

  • Lower customer service costs

    • ex. Cisco Connection Online

Source: McKinsey Quarterly


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Visits, Page Views, & Retention


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Loyalty

Sales


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Community Participation

  • Focus of online communities

    • 42% professional

    • 35% social

    • 18% hobby

  • Examples:

    • Cisco Connection Online, QuestLink, State Street FXConnect

    • L’Eggs ??

source: BusinessWeek / Harris


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Challenges

  • Some services suffer Congestion Externalities

    • at some point value can decrease with expansion

    • ex. Ultima Online, America Online flat-rate fiasco

    • lessons: scale, focus/concentrate, prune

  • Generating contributions & stickiness

    • incentives: special recognition, bios, gifts. E-mail reminders

  • Revenue models (ads, subscription, commerce)

    • ad conflict: participate or click-through

    • possible solutions include no-click-through ads, forum sponsorships, and ‘bridge sites’

  • Free Speech

    • relationship with advertisers & among users


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