Monday, October 29, 2007
Dictionary.com defines a community
as a "social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually prec. by the): the business community; the community of scholars."
In today's Web 2.0 context, we hear the word community often. When me and Timothy set out to create Nuffnang, the word was in my conciousness, and I thought to myself, "Why can't a blog advertising network be a community as well?"
In terms of the commercial aspects, we knew how to differentiate ourselves. The key was, being local. It was about serving local ads to local blogs, paying in local dollars, and having local understanding to deal with local needs. This was all fine and dandy, but besides being local, what other edge would Nuffnang have over potential competitors?
That answer is the community. It should be clear to anyone that Nuffnang being such a young company has not turned the corner monetarily. We are progressing better than expected, and our financial position is strong, but this is more a matter of what we have put INTO the company, rather than what we have gotten out of it as yet.
Let's discuss what I feel are the 3 core aspects of Nuffnang's community drive. These come in no particular order of importance.NO 1: HAVING FUN
A community in my mind is all about relationships. Its about meeting new people, meeting old friends and having fun together.
We're really into that at Nuffnang. Both Singapore and Malaysia have hosted a number of events to this aim.
In Malaysia, 250 Nuffnangers caught Pirates of the Caribbean 3 on the 24th of May.
You can find the best account of that event on Jolene's blog, HERE
Singapore held its own movie screening, Rush Hour 3 for similar numbers on National day on the 9th of August National Day.
An event that I very much enjoyed hosting, and organizing.
Malaysia has also seen several Food Outings, like the one to Food loft in Penang
Kenny made the news in that one, and he very graciously gave some of his body hair to be auctioned off for charity.
Even when we're not organizing the events ourselves, we have added value to Nuffnanger's lives. 75 Lucky Malaysian Nuffnangers got a chance to catch Ratatouille for free. Here
. Recently Fridays even bought 50 Nuffnangers dinner!
I believe very strongly that the community initiatives we have organised in this way, have helped bring people together. But it is key to note, that the constituents of the community have got to be proactive. We are merely facilitators and our events merely platforms to forge new bonds. The door is open, and you must walk through it yourself.NO 2: EDUCATION AND SELF IMPROVEMENT
One of our aims has always been to add to the phenomenon of blogging. Workshops, talks, blogging seminars, we support such initiatives because we believe it adds to Nuffnanger's lives.
With this in mind, and the brilliant TDM team behind the event, we sponsored Blog Out. This was in my mind a brilliant event (with a brilliant host ;-)), which explored real issues that were and is confronting the blogosphere.
You can read about that event in my previous post
I also got an opportunity to host a mini community initiative recently. 8 Nuffnangers (If you count myself and Huiwen) attended. Myself, Huiwen, Estee, Jayden, Ylva, Kexin, Immelia, and of course Nadnut! It was a talk cum workshop entitled "To Blog or Not to Blog" organized as part of the Singapore Sun Festival.
They all wrote brilliant entries about the event, so go read their blogs.
Our group was the most tech saavy, and way ahead of the pack when it came to techniques and technologies of blogging (Nuffnangers WOOT!), but Jacque, gave some fabulous insight into creative writing and actually improving the literary content of a blog.
The best pictures though (Photoshop mah), came from Jayden, hence I'm lifting it off his site.
I had a real fun time hosting this event and I've set myself a target of having 5-6 mini community initiatives a year at least. A smaller and more intimate setting helps with the forging of relationships too.
NO 3: Giving back
A community isn't just about having fun and enjoying privileges, with power comes great responsibility. A community of 10,000 opinion makers and influential professionals in their own right can make a huge difference to the less fortunate.
Malaysia has been running charity ads for SPCA and Eden Charity home for a while now. They are looking to add to that list.
In Singapore, we are also in the final stages of negotiation, and hope to give bloggers options to serve charity ads as well. Remember, the difference is relevancy. Charity begins at home, and Nuffnang hopes to use its influence to help LOCAL charities.
We are happy to have done our part in the recent Ieat charity dinner hosted by Singapore's preeminent food blogger, Dr Leslie Tay of ieatishootipost.blogspot.com . Leslie and I are working together to arrange visits and volunteering sessions to AG Home. Stay tuned for that!
So these are the 3 areas of focus the Nuffnang community program has. We are common, in that we call ourselves Nuffnangers, we are bloggers, we have fun together, we embrace one another, we learn together, and we give back together.
These are my hopes for the fledging community. We're not there yet, but we're taking positive steps in that direction, so keep it up! YATTAAA!