Tag Archive | web2.0

Goodwill Hunting

When MyFC started recruiting members before taking over Ebbsfleet United, one of the rules was that the first year of membership would commence when the club was formally taken over. Which means that on February 19th 2009, over 20,000 memberships will expire. Some have renewed their subscriptions already, but there is great uncertainty as to how many will actually commit on or before the deadline. This is a problem because the clubs budget depends on the funds that these renewals will bring in – the CEO hinted as much on a recent BBC TV Inside Out report.

So whilst there are various issues that the Society is dealing with (not least how to deal with dissenting views, and others that I’ve commented on previously) the Operator has a new campaign to get people to commit. They have asked all members to signal their renewal intentions, and whether they will be purchasing gift memberships for christmas, perhaps donating a little more to the club kind sir?

I’m not sure at how this information can be considered representative, as it doesn’t seem to take into account the thousands who really don’t care any more. I said on the forums after the first couple of days: “by the end of next week the figures you have will be pretty much all your going to get”, and sure enough, for the last few days, there has been little increase in the number of respondents, which is now at about the same level as recent Society vote turnouts. I.e. everyone who was ever going to respond has done so, so their response should in no way be extrapolated to the rest of the 28,000 people who haven’t replied.

New Research

This report from Forrester Research could be far more useful, not just at estimating likely renewals but as a guide to work out how better to engage the different “kinds” of community participants.

It suggests that users of social websites like MyFC can be categorised by the extent to which they participate online and can be described by the following activity profiles:

  • Creators – write articles, create social content, upload images etc
  • Critics – respond to articles and forum posts, add to Wikis etc
  • Collectors – organise content for themselves and others
  • Joiners – join social networks and maintain their online identity / profile
  • Spectators – read articles, watch videos etc but otherwise do not contribute.
  • Inactives – neither create nor consume social content.

Clearly these categories are not all discrete as some participants may be both creators and critics, for example.

They also report significant differences in patterns of activity between different age groups, gender groups and nationalities. This is demonstrated with the profiling tool.

Forrester Social Technographics Profile tool

Data from Forrester Research Technographics® surveys, 2008. For further details on the Social Technographics profile, see groundswell.forrester.com.

A quick glance to me suggests that things may not be as bad as some of the more skeptical members make out, and reinforces my belief that the “Target” survey does not truly reflect likely member participation. This data seems to suggest that a website where 40-65% of the membership are either inactive or only spectators is not unusual.

My hope is that the Society Board and the Operator will at least consider this research along with their own demographic data, and use it to make better estimates about the renewals strategy and website development.

MyFC gets closer to Web2.0 expectations

MyFootballClub now have a WordPress blog integrated into the site so that the Society Board and the CEO and Chairman of the football club can communicate regularly to members in one place. Something I’ve been going on at them to do for ages. I’ve also got them to use twitter for updates, though people are still getting used to it (both the society board and the guys who maintain the site!).

I’m still trying to get them to be more open about their team selection process and getting members to think carefully about it. There’s a big friendly match against Charlton on the 12th July where we’ll be choosing the team, but I think the “system” they’re using is a severe mangling of Wisdom of Crowds principles.

Footballl Manager 2 (not MyFC interface)

This is very dangerous: if the process has the effect of sanctioning of the Coach’s selection, members will lose faith that their opinion counts for anything, not bother taking part, and thus Pick The Team gets dropped. This was one of the core principles of MyFC and though it’s not critical for every member, there are many that would that would not renew next February if it was dropped. If their mechanism doesn’t correctly aggregate the selections it risks fielding an unsuitable lineup, again suggesting it should be dropped.

Now if they opened up their mechanism, even if only to a select group of statistics geeks, they could check that it produced a “good” average lineup. The solution I proposed had some problems when you had a split verdict (unlikely scenarios but couldn’t be ignored), but in discussion with others I’ve found other ways that bring a diverse set of selections closer to an single “average” lineup. And from that, it’s really not hard to accept the Coach overiding some positions, as long as he tells us afterwards why this was done and therefore improve the information we have for next time.  And of course if he overrules us and gets it wrong, perhaps he’ll learn something.

It’s not that hard, is it?

More social media experiements

I seem to have collected some followers on Twitter (which my father-in-law thinks is a hilarious concept) which is nice.  I asked one why he followed me in particular (as I’d not met the guy as far as I knew) and he said he’d seen similar posts to what he was into.  Makes sense I suppose, just I hadn’t used it in that way before.  I may do from now, use it as a kind of ambient radar if there are particular issues I’m into.  Twhirl is really handy for that.

Dr Bunsen, thanks to CraHan@Flickr

I’ve already integrated del.icio.us into facebook and here, also twitter into facebook, so now I think I’m going to try using twitterfeed to show new posts.

My previous attempt to trackback to Phillip’s blog seems to have failed (I think he has a lame blog host but can’t be sure).

Do you know, I’m not even sure if Social Media is the right term for all this malarkey…