Chapter 5 Review
What is it about Wikipedia.org that allowed it to survive - and flourish - in the environment of chaotic collaboration, where anyone can make any edits they want? How has Wikipedia managed to become a reliable source of often academic information, despite the fact that the majority of its contributors have limited (and sometimes zero) knowledge on subjects they write about? In this chapter Shirky explains that with the rise of social media, entry barriers to group communication and collaboration have almost diminished. Therefore, people don't need to be rewarded in some financial way to communicate, create and collaborate anymore. It's the "feeling good" reward that get's them going.
Marketers have always sought ways to engage audiences, get them excited and, ultimately, spread the word of mouth. In theory, today it's easier than ever to do so. I mean, all you need is to attract enough customers who are passionate enough about a particular subject and give people the tools to communicate and collaborate around it. "[If] enough people care enough about an article to read it," writes Shirky about the Wikipedia phenomenon, "then enough people will care enough to improve it." In reality though, there have to be some strong non-financial incentives for people to get together and do something.
Because there are so many non- and for-profit social initiatives on the Web these days, marketers not only have to identify and bring to light WHAT moves the audiences, but also understand WHY it moves them. This is the 'secrete sauce' everyone is looking for. From aspiration to do a good thing, to desire to get healthier, raise a happy child or simply find a good deal, every customer has a personal motivation for things they do online. A deep understanding of your customers motives will greatly increase your chances for success.