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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

MD253 - E-Commerce

Module 5: Virtual Communities

Spring 2003

some types of communities
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
users value
Users = Value?

source: InternetWorld, Wired News

why communities
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

slide9

Loyalty

Sales

community participation
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

challenges
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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