Social Media Stories

Guy Kawasaki chaired a panel entitled True Stories from Social Media Sites with:

Rashmi Sinha told a story about a furious Australian Professor who rang her at home at 3am to say that someone was impersonating him on SlideShare by posting a photograph of him. He emailed every email address she has ever had and somehow found her home phone number. It turned out this was by two former students of his living in Mexico. When found they were banned.

Kathryn Finney told a story about Oprah, Sarah Jessica Parker and a dress. Steve & Barry’s sent photographs of SJP’s new Steve & Barry’s clothing line to The Budget Fashionista. This was reviewed an the photographs were published on the site. Steve & Barry’s demanded that the photographs were taken down, threatening legal action, as they were for information only and Oprah had an exclusive. Rather than taking them down they asked the community whether they should. Eventually they caved into pressure on an injunction. SJP even blogged against them. However when SJP went on Oprah, with minor media coverage around it their site traffic increased five-fold. You can read the whole story here.

Laura Fitton, Twitter poster-child, espoused it’s benefits. She used it to find tech support for her Blackberry and came across someone who claimed to be the executive producer of Curb Your Enthusiasm. She thought, “Yeah, Right”. He fixed her Blackberry problem and turned out to be the executive producer of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Erica O’Grady bowed to pressure to launch OpMom early. She got an angry call from the VCs in bed the next day to say the site was down. The lead developer had just got married and was not answering the phone. The MD eventually had to drive around to his out and drag him from the bridal bed to get the site back up – the MD has never been forgiven. The moral of the story is don’t be pressured to launch early. It’s better to launch a site late that work than to launch early and have problems. Initially they were getting 10 signups a day but later became Yahoo site of the day and went up to 5 sign-ups a minute.

Tips for making your social network a success:

Christina Wodtke – “As long as you take care of your community they take care of you.”

Patricia Handschiegel – “When building a social community you need to think about who my audience is and how do you want them to engage.”

Kathryn Finney – “Don’t focus on yourself, focus on the community. Focus on making peoples lives better.”

Laura Fitton – “Be useful”.

Erica O’Grady – “Don’t focus on being cool. Concentrate on the target market.”

Aaron Mentele – “Plan less. Plan for iteration. Don’t over think.” and “Look at other examples [of social networking sites] but make sure it fits your community.”

Rashmi Sinha – “Take a vacation before launch! Have a private beta. Allow private sharing before launch.”

Kathryn Finney – “Move offline.” She’s authored a book of the sire: How to Be a Budget Fashionista

Laura Fitton – Get “Face to Face” power like Seesmic.

Christina Wodtke – “Stay two steps away from volunteer burnout. Watch out for new talent.”

Erica O’Grady – “There will be Flame Wars. Create a platform. Find out what they love.” and “Get named by top bloggers. Get people talking about you.”


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