Iain at Morrison Macmillan just picked up on a previous post of mine that was, tongue in cheek, titled "YouTube Bigger Than Jesus"....


What Iain comments is how Revver has a long way to go before it becomes as successful as youtube, MTV, etc. In fact, this is what he says:

Their case for the creative merits of Revver over YouTube is a persuasive one, and one that would financially favor the creators of popular content. However, it's hard to estimate how long it might take audiences to change their viewing habits in big enough numbers to make properties like Revver more successful than YouTube, MTV or anyone else.

And that's a fair point if the measure of success is sheer volume of audience (eyeballs), which I'm sure YouTube, MySpace and PhotoBucket would like everyone to believe is the pinnacle of success. IMHO, the concept of the audience is dead, as the social customer manifesto says.
There are no spectators anymore. Participate.

So what does this mean for measuring success, if it's not just about the size of the audience? How about "revenue per customer," "revenue per registered user," or how about "value creating activity per user"? Think about the value that is created through the active participation of your customers.
People are down on flickr because they don't have so many users as PhotoBucket, but have you seen the value in collections, clusters, how much richer the experience of navigating that folksonomy is? What % of flickr users are pro users? And how many of those pro users are stewards of beauty and art?
Hey, I'm not saying flickr is going to be bigger than PhotoBucket, and wouldn't want it to... but just how do you measure success? As Caterina says in Metrics, registered users and social ecosystems:
They have different social structures and value propositions.

In the end, most customers in the social media space are co-creators of value and IMHO many companies need to be looking at how they steward those value creation activities. In the end, co-creative customers are making meaning for themselves, in conjunction with your brand, your role is to help them become more.
The audience may be dead, but the show must go on.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karl Long, straight talk, critical thinking, and strategic vision. Karl is fascinated in what happens and what value can be created "in the space between" customers and businesses, it is this space that customer experience happens, brands are built, value is co-created, and sometimes customers are let down.

Karl likes to focus on these areas and is a passionate believer that companies that pay attention to this space, like Google, Netflix, Amazon, ikea & ebay, create the strongest brands that essentially market themselves.

Karl writes the number 2 site on the topic of customer experience at blog.experiencecurve.com - customer experience strategy est. 2003, where he explores the marketing, branding and design implications of customer experience.

More recently Karl started up CustomersOnfire.com - microbrands & micromarketing to explore what he thinks is next generation marketing and branding that will rely on non-traditional marketing channels, like blogs, social software and co-created content.

Karl holds an MBA in Design Management from the University of Westminster in England and currently lives in the South of Florida for his sins.

Feel free to get in touch:
karl.long@gmail.com



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