Publishers are scratching at this right now: How do we turn our publications into communities? In the magazine world, FastCompany augmented its magazine site with a social network. Last year's Gnomedex conference used introNetworks to power people-to-people connectivity before the event started. Webkinz knows it's not about the cloth or the stuffing. But these are just the start. There are so many obvious community business opportunities in play, just waiting to happen. Why?
Here are some options for some community organizations not yet in play.
Forget loyalty programs and sky miles. Imagine a program where business types can opt in to reveal that they're staying at a particular hotel and that they're amenable to meetings about product pitches, but not job offers, for the next four days. The upside? I'd pay extra to go where the business opportunities would make it worthwhile.
Fear Factor: Stalkers and other liabilities. This can't be too hard to solve, can it?
Marketers have merchandised the life out of the books, everything from pretend wands to real jelly beans, and there's a massively multiplayer videogame in the works (or has it launched?), but what's missing is a place where fans of the books and movies can get together, talk about them, create their own fan fictions and mash-ups, and otherwise sit there in a barrel to be hit with opportunities that would work best for them.
Fear Factor: Kids in ...