Monday, 15 February 2010

Firms benefit from using virtual communities to fulfil varying business goals. Many organisations have started to integrate virtual communities into their online strategies in search of the subsequent benefits:

o Increased sales (Brown, Tilton & Woodside, 2002)
o Positive word-of-mouth (Bickart & Schindler, 2001)
o More effective market segmentation (Armstrong & Hagel, 1995)
o Increased website traffic (Bughin & Hagel, 2000)
o Stronger brands (McWilliam, 2000)
o Higher advertising and transaction fee revenue (Rothaermel & Sugiyama, 2001; Schubert & Ginsburg, 2000)
o Better product support and service delivery (Armstrong & Hagel, 1995; Walden, 2000)

(Porter, 2004)

A proposed typology of virtual communities, groups Virtual communities into member-initiated and organisation sponsored establishment. We have looked at two differing communities for Sony’s PS3. The one that we initially found through Google was a member-initiated social group where fans get together to offer support to queries, talk about their experiences and such. We also found an official PS3 support group set up by Sony but that was a lot lower down the list, they have more of a passing interest, thus there was an evident shifting in focus away from the PS3 to more general discussions. We found that the member-initiated forum was more helpful and more in depth because the users and active members have a real passion for the product… they have clearly devoted more of their time to the games than the employed techy’s. What’s interesting though is the emergence of consumers testing the product as an expert is giving instructions in real time. Also, HP’s ranking system on the forum where they empower certain contributors, giving them an allure of wisdom. To the extent where users will advise others to wait for someone’s opinion.

Dark side of communities – the hackers… encouraging others to jail break their iPhone or chip their PS3, which is virtually impossible to police as their identities are unknown, furthermore when one forum is shut down within minutes there will be a replacement forum set up by somebody else who is offering the exact same knowledge. There are parallels here with the concept of play.

Friday, 4 December 2009

We have started to look at culture jamming and subvertising which refers to the practice of making spoofs or paradoies of corporate advertisements in order to make a (usually detrimental) statement to the company

--> Original Advert

--> Culture Jam

Here is our attempt at culture jamming and subverting the intended message behind Camel Exotic Blends cigarettes. The attractive girl has been edited to have severe aged wrinkles and not so modelsque as once originally, topped off with a breathing support machine. Her skin has been given a grey tinge as has her hair. We have also changed the writing.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Today we learnt about the idea of interactivity – we entertained the fact that perhaps the term “interactivity” has been manipulated and hijacked by marketing jargon and may lose its significance and that the term is a synonym for other such terms; Choice, Feedback, Discussion, Play.

Pavlik’s (1999) addresses the fact that interactivity is in fact a 2 –way influence. Traditional media and advertising predominantly was one way;

Firm => Content => Medium => Consumer

However consumers are know empowered and can interact with new media and have the ability to produce content, for example the rise of Youtube. Companies are becoming wise of this and are introducing there own “Channels” on the social networking site; HP ( have set up the campaign You on You. This truly emphasizes how the above simple model can be adapted into;

Firm/Consumer => Content => Medium => Firm/Consumer => Content => Firm/Consumer

The times have changed where audiences are passive and merely take in messages from where they’re told to (Hypodermic Needle Theory - ).

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