I keep saying that I’m going to get away from the TV networks and post about something else. I don’t even *care* that much about them, they are just fumbling things so badly that I can’t keep my mouth shut.
Today MediaPost has this article “Just An Online Minute … If you build it: NBCU and Social Sites”
“NBCU is building a core social networking platform that will provide various tools and functionality on all our major properties to enable users to self-express and find, interact and share with other like-minded users,” Kanaujia wrote on his blog. “There is no reason why users should go to/create ‘The Office’ community on MySpace when NBCU has the competitive advantage and the ability to provide a differentiated experience on NBC.com.”
OMG!! The advantage of a differentiated experience can be leveled by one blogger linking to that content.
I posted the following comment to Media Post:
Social networking is about is people having fun hanging around with their friends and other people just like them. People go to these sites because they are entertaining and because they tie into their identity.
Yes, the networks can do some killer sites around their shows, but these sites will not be the end-all be-all last word or even necessarily the “go to” place. The reason is because there are many different types of communities, and many of their properties are mutually exclusive.
For example, there are people who insist on communities where every piece of user generated content has been guaranteed “safe” by the community manager. Other people insist on the opposite and don’t want to go anywhere near what they call censorship. Think of the red state/blue state divide and then add more passion to the arguments.
Good content is not the top deliverable of a community, the actual community is. This means the people and the tone are as important and the networks can’t guarantee that there right people show up at the right time. Yes, they have an advantage, but not a huge one.
This doesn’t even get into the feelings of identity people have with different communities and also the drive by some communities to actually create content. (The Starwars Wiki). Some of those fans will want to stick with the cannon and others use it as a jumping of base. There is every reason in the world why there is a vibrant MySpace community around the Office and it will continue to exist no matter what NBCU does.
Why don’t the suits at NBCU hire some t-shirts and listen to them?