Xperiablog.net is an independent online community passionate about Sony Ericsson, specifically around the Xperia product line. Here are some quick stats about the community:
- Launched: January 2011
- Discussions: 360
- Messages: 650
- Engagement Ratio: 1.8 (the number of replies per thread)
- Members: 200
However, due to some recent [legal] events, the community will be unfortunately shutting its doors for good having only been live for ten months. Why? Sony Ericsson has filed a formal complaint regarding the use of its trademarked “Xperia” name, alleging it was used in “bad faith.”
“We do not have the resources to fight Sony Ericsson on this and therefore this is the last you will hear from us. Sony Ericsson has made great strides in its Xperia portfolio, especially in listening to the community. This makes it all the more confusing as to why Sony Ericsson would want to shut us down. We genuinely believe that 2012 could be a bumper year for the company, we just wish we could have been there along for the ride.”
I can see it from both sides here. First, I think the Xperia Play is a great mobile gaming platform. It’s easy for consumers to get all caught up in the brand to the point where it’s an obsession; that’s all they talk about and they search for others who hold the same passion. These customer evangelists tell the story on behalf of the brand and essentially do the marketing for them. You just can’t buy that kind of stuff. Secondly, I’m all for protecting the brand and all the associated trademarked assets that come along with it. It’s intellectual property, it’s sacred, and it’s what defines a company. Misuse can dilute the message, bringing it to the point of uselessness.
I don’t know the whole story, or the legalities behind it. I’m going purely off of what the admin posted as their last entry on the community’s blog. This is what I would’ve liked to see happen as an alternative:
Embrace it and partner up
- Sony Ericsson and Xperiablog.net to collaborate on co-branded assets. Something that delivers the message “This is the voice of the user.” By fully welcoming the situation, it would lead to a deeper more meaningful relationship where both sides would benefit. Sony Ericsson gains an independent voice, giving them more credibility in the marketplace. Xperiablog.net is recognized as a destination for passionate users, co-sponsored and fully supported by Sony Ericsson, fueling the community’s growth.
Engage and Grow
- Sony Ericsson has an existing online community. They could offer Xperiablog.net membership with special privileges like moderator positions, their own independent blog, to be part of focus groups, product testing or VIP badges. This would appease the legal department and send the message to Xperiablog.net that they are appreciated as customers and there will always be a home for them.
Like I mentioned, I don’t know the whole story. Maybe both options were offered and the two parties couldn’t come to an agreement. Either way, Xperiablog.net, “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”
How is your company handling it’s fan sites and user groups?
Photo Credit: erocka
I caught the [New] episode of Parks and Recreation last night, “Pawnee Rangers.” The Pawnee Rangers are a spoof on the modern day Boy Scouts. Having a boys-only policy, Amy Poehler’s character, ‘Leslie Knope,’ goes off and starts her female version of the exclusive group, “The Pawnee Goddesses”
The episode immediately kicks off with Leslie awarding her Goddesses with badges of achievement; rather obscure and very niche badges at that. Seemingly, a badge for everything imaginable.
- Most Community Service badge
- Best Penguin Blog badge
- Flyest Hair Style badge
- Second Flyest Hair Style badge
Later in the episode:
- Cabin Refurbishment badge
- Best Pillow Fight badge [Gold, Silver, Bronze]
- Banging Hair day badge
I took these as a shot at diluting the value of the badging system. If everyone receives a badge just for the sake of completing any old task, then where’s the value? It’s the scarcity of the reward that makes it valuable. And that, I think, is what the show was trying to get across; our dependence on insignificant rewards just to inflate our egos for a temporary moment.
Make badging a sliver of your overall reward and incentive program mix for your online community. Leverage other gamification strategies like leader boards, point systems, progress bars, status rank.
If I can quote Gabe Zichermann for a second; “Gamification is not just throwing up shitty badges on your website.”
Now, I’m going to take a stab at creating my interpretation of ‘Flyest Hair Style’ badge.
Photo credit: drewm
Your online community has launched and registrations are growing at a very satisfactory pace. It’s extremely active with several 100 posts a day and everything is peachy. Time to sit back and relax right? Heck no! One thing you should know, there’s no relaxing as a community manager. Don’t rest on your laurels and never let your guard down. There is a cost with being a large successful community. You become a target.
Spammers, hackers and solicitors alike are becoming savvier each and every day. You have to take pro-active/pre-cautionary measures to protect the integrity of your online community and its members. Read more
Short and simple
1. Drugs are bad
2. Don’t steal!
3. Don’t punch or kick people
4. No cheating
5. Don’t harass anyone
6. Don’t vandalize anything
7. Don’t mess with stuff that’s not yours
Have you seen such simple [and humorous] community guidelines before? How elaborate are yours?