March 23, 2009


  • I'll go ahead and start the discussion with this quotation from Matt Nelson, an analyst at the TowerGroup: "Web 2.0 is the use of lightweight, intuitive, Web-based services that rely on user participation and user-contributed data, and generally involve some level of social interaction and networking."
  • Thanks for the input, Jimmy! Some great ideas and great examples. I completely agree. A good rule to go by: if you wouldn't do it in person, you probably don't want to do it online. Imagine if you were hosting a presentation for a group of members on a certain topic. Would you stop the members from speaking to each other, and suggest that if they have any questions to call you up after the presentation? Or, would you open a dialogue, and allow members to share their experiences and engage them? I imagine everyone would easily choose the latter! The online channel should be no different.
  • I think the key idea in this article (and I'll jump the gun and assume the same for the webinar) is that "Web 2.0" and "Instant Following for Free" are not one and the same. I've heard people say "We want to put our CU on Facebook. That'll draw in the young people". I don't bother telling them that's nonsense. The web and its various channels are like any machine - you'll never get as much out of it as you put in, but you will get more out if you're willing to put in a solid effort. Updates, talk-backs, e-mails, posts, matter what it is, make it a worthwhile interaction for members who are actually interested in you. And please, don't bother blogging and twittering and vlogging and vrogging and twogging and any-other-dr-seuss-words-ing if it's not going to be anything more than "I like coffee...thoughts?" Give members something worth reading. Give them offers that are dependent on their interaction with you. Give them insight into what's going on with your CU. Show them things they need to see. Ideas for your CU: 1) "Fireside Chats" with CEOs - Take a few minutes, talk into a digital camera, have your web guru put it on your site so you can talk with your members. They might want to reply: let them. Give them an e-mail address or a form they can send you a message with. Let them talk back. 2) Member communities - This would be ambitious, but why not let members chat with each other in a forum setting? You claim you're a community organization, so serve your community. 3) Member submitted section in your newsletter/your online news section - let a member send you their praise, their success story, their kudos for your work and the work of your employees. Make it a feature section of your site. Show your members you're interested in what they're doing beyond their account balance. One of DigitalMailer's clients has been doing something similar, with great success (read about it at There's no reason to think about Web 2.0 if you're not interested in hearing from a member every day. If you want to strengthen your online presence and, by so doing, strengthen your member relationships, then start producing.
    Jimmy Marks