Postcard from San Jose

Before I forget a few thoughts from San Jose & San Fran of a random, nature, mainly connected to our trip..

  1. The day after meeting an English guy over lunch at PayPal HQ in San Jose who told me he lived on the same corridor as the Google guys at Stanford when doing his PhD, the news of Google co-founder Larry Page taking over as CEO was announced.
  2. Google is in Zurich this week (when I wrote this originally on 23 Jan 2011), so if you wondering why you can’t get a hotel in the city, now you know why…
  3. Thanks to a notepad from Office Depot used at our brainstorm at eBay Town Hall, I’ve adopted them as my lucky charm. And funny how it keeps on turning up..

Office Depot's rickshaw in Farringdon!

Notes on social media feedback loops

A few slides to layout the principle of different feedback loops between your online community, your site, contributors, readers and other blogs and communities. Any feedback?

…And thanks to tweet-feedback from Jenny Ambrozek (@sagenet) for the wider context around the power of feedback loops – see the Fast Company article on how Ning is using this concept (what they term a ‘viral expansion loop’) to great effect. [I’m currently at the British Computer Society at Covent Garden, so looks like I’ll be reading the print-out over lunch].

PS: It’s also a key way in which the world’s biggest social network site Facebook, by implementing the ‘status update’ feature, managed to rapidly grow its membership, as I outlined in a recent post. In other words this is a very powerful tool if done well, and with something people want. Anyone want my viral loop consultancy better get in touch quick as I’m off to see a London-based social media agency about this on Thursday!

In the meantime I’ve ordered Adam Penenberg’s book ‘Viral Loop’ (see the Amazon widget on my homepage to order a copy) after a ‘winning streak’ of blog posts on the power of networks & feedback loops led me to his virtual door. If you fancy creating some feedback loops, or plain user flows for that matter, I’ve tracked down what appears to be a useful site: Product Planner. It allows you to create your own viral loops and check out some that have already been created.

And of course I did a very quick search today on Twitter on the key phrase ‘viral loops’ which unearthed this gem of a slideshow, from Josh Jeffreys (Interactive Creative Director at BusyEvent) which provides (in his words) an overview of how to build applications that have built-in mechanisms for driving users to recruit additional users through normal use of the application. Look out for the new acronym ‘UDU’ (users drive users):Viral Loops: Making Self-Marketing Apps